Tuesday, May 26, 2015

On My Father's Birthday--A Memory

Yesterday was Memorial Day, and today would be my dad's 83rd birthday.  My dad  was a serviceman, but he was in Germany in the 50's  when things were cold instead of hot. Happily my family has not lost a loved one in the milatary, though many have served.  But the convergence of the two is still appropriate, for my all time favorite memory of my dad involves a Memorial day--1974 to be exact.

First you must understand my dad lived and breathed Boy scouts for 37 years as a boy and leader.  He was a firm believer that scouting had room and achievement for every boy. Other than his family, it was the most important thing to him, and he involved his family as much as possible.  Our vacations often included trips to jamborees and the like.  He gave time as well to his 3 daughters' girl scout activities, driving field trips and helping with badges.

This  particular Memorial Day  we were at our local scout camp attending a special weekend  for leaders and their families.  It was too cold for the pool, but the rest of the camp was open to us.  I remember going to the rifle range and hiking several trails with my dad.   But my fondest memory is this...Memorial day morning I noticed  the flag  atop the huge camp flag pole was at full mast.  I promptly pointed it out to my dad.

Now dad was a veteran and a scouter.  He was a stickler for the flag code, and proper folding and carrying of the flag was one of the first things he taught young scouts.  And he was instantly embarrassed that a Scout camp, of all places would display their flag wrong, especially on Memorial day.
Next thing I know we are in the admin office and my dad was patiently but persistently explaining the proper observance of Memorial day.  The capper was "and I have a girl scout here who knows the flag should be at half mast, what's the matter with the Boy scouts? "

I will never forget the pride in his voice at his Girl scout as he said this.

A few minutes later the flag was in its place, and we were back in our camp with the rest of our family.

Some years later I began working as a helper in my dad's pack, and kept at it off and on ever since.  Most of his grandkids, boys and girls have been in scouting in some form.  2 have become Eagle Scouts.  I received my Wood Badge, the highest earned award for adults. Scouting has been a vital part of our lives.

My dad has been gone 22 years, and although I have many wonderful memories, not a Memorial day goes by that I don't think of that day when he was so proud of his daughter being smarter than a Boy Scout.
Dad and I at the 1985 Jamboree.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful memories and a wonderful tribute to your dad, Meg.