Friday, June 25, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD

~ Happy 87th Birthday Dad ~

If my father saw this picture he would say that those were the happiest times of his life. He was so proud of his family his buttons would pop! He worked very hard to give us everything we could ever want. He started out by being an usher at a local movie theatre in his neighborhood around 26th & Pulaski in Chicago called the Atlantic. Before you know it he was the manager and back then that was a pretty good thing. The sad thing about his job is that the owners always promised things but he never got them. (no retirement either) He was actually approached by a theatre owner in California years ago wanting him to move there and run their movie theaters. He turned them down because he didn't want to move us away from our friends and family. Family is and always will be #1 to him.


He could tell you story after story about those years in show business. Movies were a big deal back then, not like today where you have mega theaters everywhere. He would be in downtown Chicago at movie screenings all the time. The Elvis Presley fan club of Chicago use to hold their monthly meetings there. He had been invited to visit Elvis at his home one weekend but he turned that down too. Lana Turner also asked him to visit when he was in town. Back in the day he had Sonny & Cher on the stage there before they were big. We spent a lot of time there and that is where my appreciation for movies grew.

We made a trip to California once and had passes to some of the studios. I remember meeting Jay North who played Dennis the Menace on TV and I got to look through the camera on the set. We also saw Jerry Lewis making his movie Visit to a Small Planet (1960). I also remember staying in the hotel room because my parents did some tour that kids were not allowed to go.


He always says he could write a book and I tell him to write it all down but he says he can't do it anymore with his hands. I can only remember so many of them. He has a heart of gold and has been missing the love of his life, my mother, for 28 years now. Even at 87 he is sharp, still mails out every ones birthday cards in the family, drives and lives alone.

Here he is with Skye last October.

Little by little I see the changes coming and I cry. When my mother died of a sudden heart attack it was horrible but you go through all the steps and move forward. I often wonder if it's easier to suddenly lose your parent or to watch them grow old. This is breaking me to my core. I fear the day that he won't know me anymore. He and I are best buddies even though we live miles away. I love him with all my heart. Hopefully I can get to Florida in a few weeks to visit with him and do our favorite thing which is go to a casino!

With my children back in 1991.
I told him he wasn't supposed to bite off the ear!


Update: This was written before he went into the hospital last Saturday. Yesterday they put in a pacemaker which we are hoping will solve several issues he has been having.

35 comments:

jayayceeblog said...

I loved reading about your Dad ... he sounds like an absolute gem! I could just picture the theater and the way things were back then. (Lana Turner was always one of my Dad's favorites.) The photos are great. Your folks look so handsome all dressed up. I sure hope the pacemaker does the job and you get to spend some quality casino time with him soon. Happy Birthday, Dad!!!

Cherie said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet Dad! He sounds like a wonderful Father and a good man. I hope he gets strong quickly after his hospital stay and pacemaker surgery.
I didn't know all of that about Theaters back in the day - I love the history...sadly things do change.

purejoy said...

i LOVED this post!!

i pretty much cried when i read the part about him losing his wife almost 30 years ago. such a huge loss. he sounds like a remarkable man with so many stories to tell.
when you go and visit him you should get him on film describing some of his memories. you'll treasure them for a lifetime.

thanks so much for sharing about your dad, debby. he sounds like a wonderful man, and i'm so glad that he's gotten his heart issues taken care of. it' so hard to watch your parents age… but it sounds like he's doing it graciously!

Adoption of Jane said...

Happy Birthday to your dad! What sweet pics. I love the black and white ones. Have a great day!

everythingisjustwonderful said...

Happy birthday to your dad! It sounds like he has had quite a life!! Go spend some time with him--I always wish I could spend more time with my parents and we are all young yet.

Jessica-Lauren said...

wow, you tears in my eyes. It is tough I know how you feel to some extent and I'm sure many of us do. We love our parents so much and wonder about that same question every day. is its harder for someone to leave suddenly or to grow old? My mom is ill right now too and shes only 54, but its as if shes growing old on me all so suddenly... if that makes any sence but the best thing we can do is make up for all the years they have loved us just by the little things we do for them. They are such beautiful people and we are sooooo blessed to have parents! some don't realise it some do. And I think thats all our parents want from us. Just to know they exist and are loved and you do a really good job at that. He is a beautiful man and his story tells me a million beautiful things about him! <3
I am sure he raised a beautiful family too, and by reading your blogs and the feeling of happiness I get when I enter your blogs, I can tell :)

bye for now xoxo

Pen Pen said...

What a sweet post! Happy Birthday to your dad. I had tears in my eyes by the time I had finished reading. Hope he is getting along great with his new pacemaker!

Karen Mortensen said...

Happy Birthday to your dad. He seems like a very wonderful man. What a great life he had with the movies. That would b exciting back then.
Having seen my father slowly pass away sometimes I think it is better if they go suddenly. It was awful watching my dad. The only good thing is we had time to get use to the idea.

Amy said...

Happy Birthday to your Dad.. You can link this up if you would like for Family Fridays. It is such an amazing story that should be read by many.. HUGs to you and your Dad today.. Glad to hear he is getting the help he needs...

Have a great day and weekend.. ;0)

Together We Save said...

Happy Birthday to your dad! I hope the pacemaker is helping!!

Randi Troxell said...

happy, happy birthday to your dad!!!

what a wonderful post.. and i THINK.. he's lucky to have you as a daughter by the way!!!

Joyce said...

Aww...sweet post! Happy birthday to your dear dad!

Tonja said...

What a sweet post, Debby! Sounds like a really sweet guy. Sorry he's having health issues. And, hope the pace maker helps. You have some really sweet memories of your family and that is wonderful.

My Dad has wonderful stories also. I bought him a small tape recorder, and he tells his stories, then gives me a tape and I type them up. I do not want them to be gone when he is.

Mommy, I'm Home said...

What a sweet post, Debby! Happy birthday to your dad also! Hope he's doing better.

Brandy said...

an awesome post for an awesome sounding dad. happy birthday

Amy said...

yeah I am so happy you linked up...

Have a great day.

That corgi :) said...

what a beautiful tribute to your dad, Debby! Happy birthday to him!! What an interesting career he had and opportunities you guys had because of it, yet he had his priorities right to put family first. so sorry your mom died so many years ago. I'm hopeful the pacemaker will help your dad feel better; maybe if you go to visit him, you can bring a tape recorder or something and spend some time walking down memory lane with him, with him talking into the tape recorder so you will have memories for later years to share with your grandchildren

betty

croleyc69 said...

What a wonderful post !! Happy Birthday to your Dad. I'm hoping the pacemaker will help.

Caroline

Sandy said...

I relate to this so much! Thank you for sharing about your wonderful Dad. I am praying for him and for you!

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

What an adorable Daddy! Happy Birthday to him and how VERY fortunate you are that he is still with you! Bless him and bless you for sharing him with us !!

Gotta Have Faith said...

What a great Blog about your Dad and all of your memories with him. I will be praying for you and him that the pacemaker will help him get back to a normal life. I know that my grandmother had a pacemaker for 20 years before she passed away. Thank you for your comments on my blog and God Bless!

Keep the Faith,

ShannonDBR said...

Love this post!

Blessings,
Shannon

Alexis AKA MOM said...

What a sweet man your daddy is! My prayers are with him and your safe flight there!

You should have him put it on a recorder that way it can be transcribed. Really I think it would be amazing to read it all! Recorders are easy and transcription is also an easy way to go.

I so would love to be in those times!

Holly said...

Happy Birthday Debby's Dad!!! :)

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Happy Happy Birthday, what a beautiful age. Hope your day is perfect in every way, Debby. xx

The Urban Cowboy said...

Happy 87th to your father! He really did live a full life, awesome.

You got to meet Denise the Menace and Jerry Lewis? Now that is awesome. I can remember watching them as a kid.

Midwest Nest said...

Happy Birthday to your dad. Looks great. You might give him something to record his thoughts instead of write. Those memories are all so precious.

Trish said...

Such wonderful memories Debby! What a blessing that he is still so active and still doing the things he loves. Praying for his quick return to health!

Mama Zen said...

What a wonderful tribute to your Dad!

nancygrayce said...

My dad died very suddenly 14 years ago. I think it was much easier (looking back of course) than watching my mama slowly fade away. Her mind is good but she can't move or walk at all anymore and everytime I go, which is everyday, I leave crying and depressed!

God bless your father and I hope the pacemaker works great!

Technodoll said...

What a beautiful heart-warming yet heart-wrenching post, Debby... Your father will pull through, he's been this strong up 'til now, for a reason. He's so handsome and has such a warm, kind face - I just want to hug him warmly... Prayers sent his way, sweetie. xoxoxo

Sweet Tea said...

Your Daddy sounds like a wonderful person and it's great that you realize it and value him. ((HUGS))

Laura said...

He looks amazing!!!! What a wonderful post! He sounds like a truly wonderful person! (but I don't have to tell you that) My grandpa Jonasen lived into his 90s and was sharp as a tack! Losing one's mind is so tough to watch. My Nan (age 91) has no short term memory anymore- it is sad to watch sometimes! I hope you and your dad have many more years together to make many more amazing memories! Hugs!

Midday Escapades said...

What a sweet tribute to your father! Happy Birthday to Dad!!!

p.s. I hope you get something from your list: the Mercedes Benz!

Kirby3131 said...

Happy Birthday to your Dad! Hope the pacemaker is ticking right along and he makes a full recovery quickly.

I so love the old photos. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Kristin - The Goat

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