Happy birthday to my Dad

4 generations -- my grandfather, my father, my oldest brother with my niece Anita (Sorry for the poor quality)

4 generations — my grandfather, my father, my oldest brother with my niece Anita (Sorry for the poor quality)

Today is my Dad’s birthday. If he were alive he would be over 100 years old. He’s been gone a long time but my memories of him live on as vividly as if he were still here.

He was generally a homebody (and I wonder where I got that from). I don’t remember my parents traveling anywhere except for a very occasional day trip. It may have been money issues. He lived through the depression, working hard to survive.

On the other hand, my Dad’s father, my grandfather was the great wanderer. He emigrated from Germany in the 1890s but went back to visit occasionally.

My grandfather played the accordion and stories have it that he was a troubadour of sorts back there. Here he was a farmer. I don’t remember him much except for his bouncy walk but my brothers have stories of stealing homemade wine from the barn.

My Dad also played the accordion and would often play and sing songs just for me. I was the only daughter and we had a very special bond. He has been gone 57 years but in some ways it seems like yesterday.

This is the song he always sang for me and this one is for family!

Oh yes, he could dance like this too. Move over Fred Astaire!

44 thoughts on “Happy birthday to my Dad

  1. I really enjoy hearing the memories you share with us. There is no statute of limitation on the love and longing for parents…even 57 years later. I am very fortunate to have both my parents still living, but my husband lost his dad when he was just ten, and him mom twenty years ago. I see what that impact has on him from time to time. I thick it’s really special that you have “celebrated” your dad’s birthday in your own way, and I’m so glad you allowed us to know him a little bit, too. ox

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    • You are right. I miss both of my parents. My mother lived much longer but she’s been gone since 86 and every once in a while I still get the urge to pick up the phone and call her. (PS: She would still tell me my dress is too short or my hair needs a combing. Gotta love that.)

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  2. This post is so sweet and I can feel how much you still miss your Dad. I believe our parents are who we are, and it is their love and our memories of them that connect us in very special ways through generations. Thank you for sharing your Dad’s birthday and your memories of music, dancing, and love.

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    • That is a beautiful way of saying it. It does connect up. I don’t remember my grandparents except for one and I only know him as an old man so my parents and the very few stories I have of my grandparents are the connection.

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      • I don’t remember my grandparents either Kate, but I truly believe that not only their genes, but their personalities and preferences, fears, joy and feelings are transmitted to their children, and then on to us. So even though we have no specific memories of the grands, those memories reside in our parents and then reside again in ourselves. Oh my, I am being philosophical here!

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  3. If my dad were still alive, he would be 100 this Dec. 12. I hadn’t thought of that until this moment, thanks to your post.

    You don’t see accordions much these days. What dances did your dad do? Do you remember the polka and the Schottische?

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  4. Kate, a bond between a dad and his girls (in this case, girl) is something special. She’ll always be your daughter is the way I look at it. The fact he had you a 45 really made you special to him, of that I’m sure. Wished I could play the accordion too. Wished your dad could have at least seen the century mark. Have a great weekend. ;o)

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  5. What a nice tribute to your dad. I just realized that my dad’s birthday is a week from today – he would have been 94. And he was also one of the guys who rocked out to Lawrence Welk! Bubbles!!

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  6. Love the picture — thanks for sharing your memories. My maternal great-great grandfather emigrated from Germany also. He was furious over the rise of the Kaiser and German Nationalism — so angry that no one was allowed to speak German in his household ever. In WWI, one of my great uncles was a guard in a POW camp in Arizona and ran into a German who recognized the familial surname. The German POW told my great uncle the family was from Lippenhold.

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  7. How lucky you are that you had a special bond with your dad. My parents faithfully watched Lawrence Welk’s show also. Thanks for including the video – fun to see it again!

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  8. It’s great when we have fond memories of those who are gone, but not forgotten. I “celebrated” my great aunt’s birthday on Tuesday ~ she would have been 123 this year.

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