A remembrance for George E. Rogers, Jr.
My dear father.
The chair he's sitting in above was the one in which he rocked me and
read bedtime stories. The globe was how I learned about the world
outside my own home. That picture was taken about the year my parents
married (1939) and yes, that's a radio on the table. My childhood
memories of the 40s and 50s include listening to a radio daily. That
was the norm for entertainment.
He was a man who was dedicated and worked as an accountant almost every day of his life. And he acted happy most of the time. And he just escaped problems by reading the paper, or going to his workshop space to "tinker" with things. If he ever made decisions in my family I never knew it, because my mother would be the one who voiced everything. He listened well to me, but didn't give much advice.
Outside the home he was not only a jovial man, but a flirtatious one as well. I didn't notice that until I learned how to flirt in middle school, at around 12 years old.
My Mr. Rogers also was dedicated to his religion, Christian Science, though he broke several of it's tenants. He wasn't a church-goer. And he sneaked smokes sometimes. I was maybe 10 and playing hide-and-seek with my sister once (younger sister) and hid in the coat closet. I noticed a bulge in my father's coat pocket, and pulled out a pack of Luckies. Oh my. I'm sure that's why he gargled with Listerine all the time. Later my sister (who lived with her parents for a while as an adult) shared some stories about other ways my father had feet of clay.
My father was raised in and lived his whole life in the religion which used prayer for healing, and never saw a doctor, and even died at home. He lived until he was 70.
I was not popular with my parents in their later years, because I had not only left the religion, I was an active advocate of medical treatment.
But I did love them, and my father holds a special place in my heart still.
My father was a great and dedicated man who through the hard times and the good would always do what was right, what was expected of him, and provide a bit of a smile every time you looked his way. He even learned to say he loved me when I started saying it to him the last 20 years when I visited him. It took a few tries.
I loved how he would always sneak a $20 bill to me as I was leaving and say "Now, don't tell your mother." She did all the finances so this must have been from his allowance.
I wish everyone who is a father a happy day this Sunday, Father's Day.