1966, April 20th … Eddy Johnson is standing in line at the Post Office in Kenora, Ontario before heading to work in Redditt for Ontario Central Airways. While in line he has a heart attack and dies.
I was 12 then.
Try teaching yourself shaving.
Becoming a ‘man’ (in the 60’s) whatever that is …
Learning how girls think when you’re brought up to preserve privacy and not talk about ‘it’ …
Deciphering right from wrong when the hypocritical bad guys might be the government?
There’s so many things I can think of, and I’m sure lots more that I missed, that a parent is rather important in helping out the development of.
If there’s anything I’m actually proud of, and there’s not that much, it’s that I turned out as ok as I have in spite of having no Dad around to help me find my path, a correct path.
And I’m sure my father was a good enough model for the small me to notice how to be well behaved enough from that it didn’t screw up my mother’s example of how to coexist with civilized society. Main street mind you, but good people all the same.
But I can only guess at what I missed … maybe that’s part of why I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
(Does using that phrase date one?)
Maybe that means I’m more self defined … or maybe less defined in general.
How the heck would I know?
If you believe that, then 5 people stand between me and that boy who had a dad … maybe 5 stages of difference or more from a ‘me’ that had a ‘dad’.
Had he lived my dad would have been 87 today … my mother lasted until 86.
If he’d lasted that long … my brother and sister and I would have had him around him most of our lives.
Somewhere along the way I learned that he died on Hitler’s birthday.
So every year on the anniversary of my dad’s death, a day that I’d like to observe in privacy, the nutbars of the world choose to vent their anger and shoot up high schools or blow up buildings … what a bunch of losers … intruding on this day.