The very first Father’s Day celebrated in our nation occurred on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington. The day to honor our fathers didn’t become a national holiday in the U.S. until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official. As we remember and celebrate our fathers this year, here are a couple of memories shared by Lawrence Presbyterian Manor residents.
Phil Anderson – Manorwoods Townhomes:
I don’t remember a specific Father’s Day memory, however hearing “Father’s Day” often reminds me of our family trips from Lawrence to Minneapolis, Minn., in the 1950s. Dad had a Chevy in those days, and my older brother Pete (who also lives in Manorwoods townhomes), and I would get in the back with mom and dad in the front. The closer we got to Minneapolis, the faster dad would drive – strange! I always looked forward to getting Gramma Anderson’s rice pudding!
Ken Blair – Manorwoods Townhomes:
In 1943, my dad was drafted into WWII at the age of 32, and I was just 8 years old. During his basic training, we exchanged correspondence in code, moving the alphabet to the next letter, i.e., “A” became “Z” and “B” became “A”, etc. Wow, how great was that for an 8-year-old! After basic training, my dad was sent to the Philippines for 18 months, and we could no longer send coded correspondence. Dad was a “Flame Thrower,” sending flames into tunnels that the Japanese had made. My dad was a happy, outgoing guy before he went to the Philippines, but was different upon returning home 18 months later when I was 10 years old. At firs,t, for several months, he had bad dreams and would wake up yelling in a cold sweat. I had no idea what that was all about. Dad never mentioned a single thing about his time in the Philippines, not even to my mom. I was told he did speak to a minister about his service.
Once home, my dad opened a dry cleaning business and had it for more than 20 years. He taught me how to get along with all kinds of customers and how to treat employees. He said that if I saw something that needed to be done, just do it and not wait for someone else to do it. I remember many good times with my dad.
Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads in our community!