Dad naturally intelligent, strong in his convictions

I loved listening to Eddie Fisher sing:

Oh! my papa, to me he was so wonderful

Oh, my papa, to me he was so good

No one could be, so gentle and so lovable

Oh, my pa-pa, he always understood.

Gone are the days when he could take me on his knee

And with a smile he’d change my tears to laughter

Oh, my pa-pa, so funny, so adorable

Always the clown so funny in his way

Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so wonderful

Deep in my heart I miss him so today.

That song touches my heart and I found myself singing it earlier this week. If my dad was living today, he would have celebrated his 100th birthday on March 5. His life was short; he died at age 55. Although his life was short-lived, the memories of him will last my life time.

Dad was old school. He was strict. He was the head of the household. He believed it was his responsibility to provide for his family, so Mom was a stay-at-home mother.

Dad had heart problems. He had rheumatic fever when he was young. His parents didn’t have money for doctors, but Dad always thought the rheumatic fever affected his heart.

My dad graduated from Shawano High School with high grades. He was one of those people who was just naturally intelligent, but he never had the opportunity to further his education. He worked at the Four-Wheel Drive in Clintonville as a superintendent. He liked his employees and they liked him back.

Years after he was gone, former employees told me special memories they had of him. Dad was a big man with a big heart. He had a great sense of humor. He enjoyed being a prankster, something I think he passed down to me.

He was also a strict disciplinarian. I don’t know if I should say I was fearful; maybe the better word is respectful. He would never hit us or abuse us, but I knew what a tongue lashing I would get if I did something wrong. He also believed in grounding. I remember once when I forgot to trim the hedges, a job he told me to do. I could not leave our yard for two weeks.

I don’t know if some of our young people these days really understand the meaning of respect. It totally shocks me when I hear kids talk back to their parents. Let me tell you, there is no way I would ever have talked back to my dad or my mother. I wasn’t raised like that. Oh, I would get angry, go to my room and cry sometimes, but never would I talk back, argue or disrespect them.

I belonged to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Marion. Rev. Fred Ohlrogge was my pastor. No one ever slept through one of his sermons, that’s for sure! He taught my catechism class. I remember how much he stressed the fifth commandment, “Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” He often preached about the importance of families and how children should love their parents. He also talked about the good examples parents should be.

Dad enjoyed writing. He was creative and a dreamer. He also loved Mother Nature. Dad routinely ordered lots of seedling trees and our whole family spent hours and hours planting them.

There was no cursing in our house. While growing up, I never heard the four-letter words kids of today are often exposed to. Back in the late 1950s and 1960s, television was family entertainment, no cursing, violence or sex.

There was just one-time Dad’s words shocked me. A car salesman sold Dad a lemon. I was about 10 or 11 at the time. Dad took the car back and the salesman claimed he didn’t know there was a problem. Dad angrily said, “In a pig’s ass you didn’t know.” I was so upset hearing my dad’s angry words.

I remember I went to the bathroom and cried. When we drove home about an hour later in a different car, Dad told me he was sorry.

We didn’t have a lot of money, but on payday, Dad went to the local pop factory (Wiesmann/Wieco Pop) and bought a case of assorted flavors. Popcorn made on our old wood cookstove and a bottle of pop, what a treat!

I have such wonderful memories of my dad. Oh, my papa, to me he was so wonderful! I hope he spent his birthday drinking a bottle of cream soda under a black walnut tree.

Question: In what year were the Amvets organized and where did they initially hold their meetings?

Clothesline Conversation Answer: They were organized in 1947, and they met in the club room of Laehn’s Cozy Club.

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.