Remembering dad this Father's Day

  • Saturday, June 14, 2014


Recently, I found two boxes of slides that my father took from 1949 through the 1960s. Many of the slides were from his days on the USS Princeton and USS Yorktown as a Navy fighter pilot during the Korean War. My dad died in 2008, so I couldn't ask him about the slides, but fortunately he had labeled each slide.

Curious about his military service, I searched online for his squadron number and found the website www.koreanwar.org. A man from Arizona, Ray, who was in that squadron, had posted a message. I contacted him and asked if he had known my father, and he responded that he had known him and that my father was featured in a series of several short stories Ray had written about his war experiences.

Because my dad's name is very common – Bill Smith – I was a little skeptical that we could be talking about the same man.

But in the first story, which was about wanting to go on shore in Hawaii with a beard (some ships didn't allow facial hair), Ray had the original note that my dad had signed stating “This man is allowed to leave the ship wearing a beard.” There was his signature, which was so familiar to me!

In another story, the squadron was training at China Lake, Nevada, and they witnessed a fatal crash of one of the pilots. Ray, only 22 years old, was extremely upset, and my dad put his arm around him to comfort him.

I will especially remember these stories as we celebrate Father's Day this year.

It was not until 1972 that Father's Day, created to complement Mother's Day, became an official holiday nationwide. Sonora Smart Dodd, who was raised along with five siblings by her widower father, helped establish the first Father's Day in 1910 in Spokane, Washington. Today, Father's Day is celebrated in many countries on the third Sunday of June to honor fathers' contributions to their children's lives.

Times have changed, and today we no longer think of fathers as depicted by Robert Young in the 1950s TV series “Father Knows Best.” According to the website www.fatherhood.gov, there are about 70 million fathers in the U.S. and about 189,000 of those are stay-at-home dads. Fathers are definitely more involved in the day-to-day lives of their children than they were 40 or 50 years ago.

Two books you might enjoy are “Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge” by NBA player Etan Thomas and “Do Fathers Matter? What Science is Telling Us About the Parent We've Overlooked” by Paul Raeburn. On a lighter note, TV personalities Bill Geist and his son Willie have written “Good Talk, Dad: The Birds and the Bees and Other Conversations We Forgot To Have.” “Pregnancy for Dads” by Joe Kelly is for future fathers.


The Big Bang Theory Marathon (ages 13 and older)

Wednesday, June 11 from 2-5 p.m.

Watch nine episodes from the first season of “The Big Bang Theory.”

Summer Reading Family Storytime: The Beach (ages 2-6)

Thursday, June 12 at 11:30 a.m.

Enjoy stories and activities about fun at the beach.

Porkchop Productions Presents Rumplestiltskin (grades K-5)

Thursday, June 12 at 4 p.m.*

Listen to a classic tale about turning straw into gold.

* Tickets will be given out 30 minutes before program

Second Saturday Writing Critique Group (ages 16 and older)

Saturday, June 14 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Open to all writers.

Fantastic Reads Book Discussion (adults)

Monday, June 16 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Frankenstein: Prodigal Son” by Dean Koontz

Monday Matinée (all ages)

Monday, June 16 at 2:30 p.m.

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” Rated PG; 94 minutes.

Mount Pleasant Cribbage Club (adults)

Tuesday, June 17 from 2-3 p.m.

Learn to play the classic game Cribbage, or come for a challenging match. No experience necessary.

Allan Wolf: Summer Poetrypalooza (grades K-5)

Tuesday, June 17 at 4 p.m.*

Thursday, June 19 at 4 p.m.*

Be entertained by this international literary rock star.

* Tickets will be given out 30 minutes before program

Wii Wednesday (all ages)

Wednesday, June 18 from 2-3:30 p.m.

Blast into fun with library Wii games.


Baby Bumblebees Storytime (ages 6-24 months with a caregiver)

Thursdays, June 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 10 a.m.

Family Storytime (ages 2-6 years; all ages welcome)

Thursdays, June 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 11:30 a.m.

Susan McSwain works in the Reference Department at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, and also writes the blog “MTP Library Matters,” which can be found at www.mtplibrary.blogspot.com.

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