February 20th would have been my dad’s 114th birthday. Here is the email I sent to my family.
Today would have been Papa’s 114 birthday.
If he were here today he would be so proud of everyone one us., which reminds me of a musing of his: I wish George Washington could return and I could show him around. What would he think?
Hmm, what would I show Papa if he could be with me now? First, I would show him our family and Jim’s and my home. Then we would walk up the street to my church. Oh, I’m sure we’d visit Florence. We’d remember being there with Grammy and Alice in 1956; we’d walk around the city and visit my favorite museums, churches and restaurants.
What is new in the world that Papa would be interested in and intrigued to explore? Certainly the technology world, and particularly the graphic arts.
What would disappoint him? Most certainly our president’s public name calling. As you all know, Papa loved to discuss ideas, and he was comfortable voicing his opinions and listened to those of others. But he always did so showing kindness and respect, and was willing to admit that he had changed his mind. He was a model of civility and he expected his four children (and grandchildren) to be kind and polite, and to make us ever mindful of the needs of others.
Grammy was the same way. I remember once, and only once, calling her a ‘dumb bunny.’ I can still picture her lifting her finger, looking me in the eye, and saying, “Don’t you ever talk to me again that way.” I never did.
We are now living all over the country. I admit that I am sad that we don’t get together as we used to. I miss those of you that I hardly ever see. But, there is the technology world. I’d love to hear what you would show Papa, and the ‘words of wisdom’ that Grammy told you. I trust that the rest of you would love to hear, too.