This year marks the 51st anniversary of my father’s passing from a coronary thrombosis at the age of 38 on July 23, 1966. Doing a little more math on the subject—widowed at 35, my mother became a single parent to my daredevil of an 8-year-old sister, and my bookish 15-year-old self. My father instilled in each of us the importance of independence and fending for ourselves. His sudden death tested our mettle through baptism by fire.
Prime example of a hardworking blue-collar American, my father nailed down two jobs: Master welder for Teknor Apex by day; gas jockey by night for a friend who owned a Texaco service station. Though my parents pinched pennies to pay their bills, they had achieved their dream of acquiring a custom-built ranch house with a breezeway and two-car garage on an acre of land. For all intents and purposes, my sister and I lived high on the hog without being mollycoddled or spoiled rotten. My fond recollections of growing up during the Sixties are preserved in the 100 Memoirs I’d written and published at the Den.
In my dad’s spare time he’d restore A-Model Fords (1927 – 1931) for resale. Also, appreciating a valuable antique when he happened to come across one, my father lucked out the day he accompanied his uncle, a self-taught architect and builder, to a demolition site in one of Providence’s old-moneyed neighborhoods. There to help his uncle salvage wood, my father espied a Victorian “side by side” secretary desk and bookcase whose likeness is accurately captured in the photo. Imagine something that beautiful discarded like a piece of worthless trash amidst all the ground rubble!
My father loaded it on the truck to bring home. Carved of solid oak in 1900 or so, he ended up stripping the wood and staining this unique piece in mahogany at my mother’s behest so it would match our furniture. I am in possession of it now. Its door locks and keys still work. The beveled mirror and the wavy glass in the door are original. The adjustable shelves showcase my memorabilia. I’ve stored copies of my novels in a couple of the tiny cubicles.
As time marches on with another year in passing, it becomes increasingly important for me to establish a future home for my father’s handiwork with a family descendant. Like the man who restored a piece of furniture to its former lustre—it harbors the timber of an original!
Eva Pasco’s Websites:
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco
Eva’s Novels at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Eva-Pasco/e/B00HWMLHL0