If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.
In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, DAD
Last month my father would have been 100 years old. The above picture was his high school graduation picture from 1930.
Dad was born in the coal mining town of Crabtree, Pennsylvania, the third child and first son in a family of eleven children. There would have been thirteen, but twins died a few days after their birth. His father was foreman of the mining stable. They lived in a patch house owned by the mining company and shopped at the company store. Once my grandfather was reprimanded by the mining superintendent because my grandmother wasn't buying enough in the company store. She grew a large vegetable garden and took a bus to a neighboring town to shop in a grocery store with better prices than the company store. I don't remember if it stopped her trips or not. I know at a later date, my grandfather threw down his keys and quit his job during the Depression because the mining superintendent wanted him to work the mine ponies longer hours and cut back on their feed. I have a feeling it was also because he didn't want any of his sons to end up working in the mine, too.
Because Dad was a good student, after his graduation from high school, two bachelor uncles and their unmarried sister from Ohio paid for a year of college. Dad had lived with them for several years during the school year so he could attend a larger and better school. Since it was the Depression, Dad quit college after the first year to help his family rather than continue, but he never stopped learning. He was one of the most widely read, intelligent and knowledgeable people I've ever met. All of his children got their love of books and reading from him.
After Grandpa Hovanic quit the mining job, they came to Ohio where Grandma's brothers and sister lent them money to buy a small farm - the same ones who gave Dad a year of college. Even though it was still the Depression, Grandpa, my Dad and two of his brothers got jobs in the same factory. Dad worked his way up in the company and stayed there until he retired. Although he hadn't been a union man for years, he still believed staunchly in unions for the rest of his life.
A few years after moving to Ohio, my dad met a shy young woman and fell in love with her. Her father, a farmer who'd inherited enough money to limit his farming, objected. He opposed the marriage because my father was a foreigner. (Dad's father had come over from Slovakia as an eight year old boy.) And just as bad as that, my father was a Catholic, a Democrat, union man, and he carried a lunch pail to work. In spite of Grandpa Jones' objections, John and Elnora married and soon started a family. I was their first child followed by a brother, three sisters and much later another brother.
My father always treated Grandpa Jones with respect and helped him around the farm when needed, and Grandpa soon returned that respect. He gave my mom and dad a lot next to the farm at the same time he gave one to his oldest son and daughter-in-law. My father built a cape cod house for us on that lot.
Dad was an excellent father. He was firm, but fair, and had a good sense of humor. He read to us and sang songs to us and best of all he loved us. He taught and showed us by example what was important; honesty and respect for others. Years and years before the Civil Rights Movement, my dad preached equality, that all people were equal. He was so honest that to this day, I still feel guilty about the marble I put in my pocket and took home from a cousin's house. Even though he never found out about what I had done, I felt I let him down by that dishonest act.
I could fill pages and pages with what a great husband, father and person he was, but I'm going to give one example. My Grandma Jones was probably one of the world's worse cooks. At a large extended family reunion, she took boiled chicken. Picture grayish, uncoated, unseasoned boiled chicken on a platter next to dish after dish of mouth-watering, golden-brown, fried chicken brought by others. My father didn't care much for chicken in any form after years and years of his father raising chickens and that being the meat most often cooked and served, but he took a helping of Grandma's chicken and ate it. I think he was the only one who did. That's the kind of man he was - unfailingly kind and compassionate.
Dad was a listener, too. When we'd go on vacations or camping trips, he'd disappear for a while and then came back with wonderful stories about people he'd met; people who opened up to his genuine interest and told them their story. Stories like the one he'd heard from an old man fishing on a dock of a river in West Virginia. The old man had worked hard to send his first child to college, and after that each child helped the next one until all his nine children had a college education. For years and years when I'd meet someone who knew my father, their faces would light up with smiles as they'd tell me about what a special man he was, and something they'd always remember about him. In fact, I got my first job after graduating during an economic downturn in the econmy because of him. After several months of pounding the streets looking for a job, a woman interviewed me who had once danced with him at an office party - or wedding, maybe. Her husband was the vice-president of Dad's company. She had such fond memories of meeting him that she hired his shy and awkward daughter. He had a way about him - not flirtatious, just a nice guy with a nice smile who liked people.
It's been over twenty years since Dad died, and my siblings and I still miss him. He was the scaffolding on which each of us built our lives.
Who do you have who made a positive influence on your life?