July 1, 2011

Celebrating the First of July

The Bombardment of Fort Henry
by Bill Alderfer

Today is may dad’s birthday. I will not say the year that he was born, except that he is possibly older then dirt and candles should be banned from his birthday cake.

On the other hand, my dad is an amazing artist, still handsome and brilliant. 

My dad is a WWII Veteran, wanted to study linguistics, and speak Chinese, But he had a growing family – three children and a wife who demanded that her husband concentrate on “bringing them up.” including learning cooking, books, and anything that had to do with paper besides books – but real period paper, 16th -  17th - 18th  and 19th century material – the stuff that most people ignore or throw away.

Some of the papers came from our 17th Century home in Pennsylvania, which is how the bug for old homes became imbedded in my life, as did antiques. The papers were used as insulation beneath floor boards and stuffed between log walls and beams.

I remember going through boxes of  my dad's "stash,” and pulling out an original newspaper with George Washington's address to the troops from Valley Forge.  Then there were boxes of old letters and other papers from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War.

Which brings me to the fact that in a few days, on July 4, our country, which is also older then dirt, will be celebrating its 235th birthday.

My dad isn't that old, but I sent him one of those talking cards that warns the people who live in the vicinity of his apartment in Hatfield, Pa -  to run for cover because there is a fire going on but actually its his birthday cake with all its candles.

I warned you dad --- Happy Birthday!

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