June 19, 2011: Dads.
June 19, 2011 by kblumenau
Regular blog-service will return tomorrow.
This being Father’s Day, I thought I’d put up a few pix of the fathers of the Blumenau family — specifically, the ones who immediately surrounded my grandfather, and who either influenced him or were influenced by him.
I think most of these pix can be clicked for viewing at larger sizes, if the spirit moves you.
Being a father is a many-faceted challenge, and I’m convinced I make a complete hash of it 99 days out of 100. I wonder how often my dad, and his dad, and his dad felt the same way. I suspect it is eternal. (The coldest of comforts is a comfort nonetheless.)
Anyway, today’s gallery brings together an accumulated century-plus of bottle feedings, ballgames, training-wheel installation, training-wheel removal, math tutoring, birds-and-bees talks, stick-shift lessons, tuition checks, and countless other forms of paternal love and support.
(And, yeah, the occasional blown gasket.)
Happy Father’s Day.
Wilhelm Blumenau, my grandfather's father. Born in the Lorraine region of France (which was Germany then) and made his way to Springfield, Massachusetts, by way of Milwaukee. The rock-star hair in this picture is not his own; he is in costume for some sort of theater production. He died when my grandpa was 12; if a pic of the two of them together exists, I don't have it. (EDIT: I do now. Probably will put it up as a separate post.)
My grandfather and my aunt Elaine, circa 1958. I think they are making popcorn the old-school way, at a cottage in rural western Massachusetts that my grandpa's family used to rent in the summer.
Three generations, summer 1972, doing what Blumenaus did best -- shoot film. My grandfather at right; my dad at center; and my brother in the kiddie pool. And there had to have been a third family member on the scene with a camera, in order to get a picture of the other two. A Kodak family, indeed.
A family gathering at 1107 Hope Street, summer 1975. My dad is shooting the pic; my grandpa appears to have waited all day to dig into that hamburger; and that's my Uncle Steve (Aunt Elaine's husband, and father of my cousins Brandon and Kara) at center front. As for the pissed-off kid in the high chair ...
... here he is enjoying dessert with his father, circa 1976. As an adult, I would, for a short but sweet time, grow a pair of sideburns whose grandeur rivaled my dad's. What Freud might say about that, I can only guess.
And here we have another Blumenau dad and his kids bonding over Halloween preparations. I expect my children to someday tell their therapists, "The old man was a real SOB ... but man, oh, man, could he roast pumpkin seeds."
Finally, the newest father in the family - my cousin Brandon and his daughter Nora. Congratulations, and enjoy this fatherhood thing. I don't understand it, but it is kinda fun.