Grandpa’s On Facebook!

Make no mistake, he doesn’t have all the characteristics of the men depicted on Mad Men, that hot award-winning sitcom that everyone talks about. But he is from that era and he would be damned if he would ever wear a pair of jeans. No, this man, my dad, was a shirt and tie kind of guy. He smoked and bragged to anyone who warned him of the ill-affects, that he never coughed, so go warn someone else. He drank and back then, who didn’t?

I’m writing about him today, after viewing a picture that my niece posted on Facebook. I smiled as I waited for the page to load and then…my heart melted seeing him in this so familiar pose. Smoking and drinking and dressed oh-so-cool. I think so now. Back then we were kind of embarrassed of his old fashioned dress, ways and ideas. This picture was taken in the mid-sixties.

Men ruled in his day and ‘women’s lib’ was kind of a joke to him. ‘Do women want to dig ditches? Go ahead honey, grab a shovel!’ He would tease me when I brought up the subject, but we lived in the very transition of that time. My mom did rule the house. She worked close to full time hours, but did not have the equal share of the home responsibilities, so she did what most women did back then: she did it all. And there were six of us children, to cook for and clean up after. Her life was not an enviable one.

But this is about Dad.

What I found amusing this morning and as the day progresses, is the positive response his picture is getting. He’s ‘liked’ by an amazing number of people.

Straight out of Mad Men!
August 15 at 10:42am · Like

I know, I don’t even watch that show and that’s the first thing I thought of.
August 15 at 10:43am · Like

Damn, your gramps is stylish!
August 15 at 12:00pm · Like

This is so cool, can you email me the photo? Imagine my Dad on Facebook!!
August 15 at 3:02pm · Like

August 15 at 5:42pm · Like

Everyone loves my daddy
August 15 at 5:45pm · Like

He dresses like my grandpa did. Definitely Mad Men.
August 16 at 7:15am · Like

Grandpa :) Love the pic!
August 16 at 11:13pm · Like

Send this photo into Coors! Guaranteed to be made into a poster or better yet a coaster to add to my collection :)
Saturday at 1:43am · Like

So Mad Men!
Sunday at 4:47pm · Like

How awesome to see grandpa show up on Facebook. What a great man he was.
4 hours ago · Like

Looks like a Jeff wall.
2 hours ago · Like

Truth is, he was just Dad, a man of his times. He had many prejudices and voiced them loudly. I remember being on the Island on the west coast and we visited the very famous and popular Butchart Gardens and he watched in disgust as a hippie dressed in their uniform: long hair and bare feet (a guy!) bent over and inhaled the scent of a glorious rose. When the young man closed his eyes in ecstasy Dad responded with:

“Oh, Jesus…” he muttered and had to turn away.

I still laugh remembering the scene.

He had many attributes. But changing with the times was not one of them. People lived together during Dad’s lifetime, but he refused to call it that instead it was tagged, ‘shacked up!’ as in, ‘No daughter of mine is going to shack up with anyone!’ You get the picture.

Old fashioned values for him. Yes sir. Men don’t cry, nor do they do women’s work, except on Sundays they might cook breakfast, but that was a lark. But, he was the one who fixed everything, built the playhouse in the backyard, untangled a snarl of delicate gold chains from my jewelry box and carried my collie when he broke his leg on the icy road. It was a fair trade of chores, he thought. Maybe he had something. We often argued into the night about who had it tougher: his generation or ours. We were wimps according to him. His generation fought in WW2, grew up during the depression and earned their right to sit back, have their cigarettes and cocktails after a hard day’s work. Children were seen and not heard.

He never strayed from his values. Except once. He knew that I’d experimented with marijuana. He cornered me one day, during one of my visits and said he could smell it on the campus where he taught.

“I wouldn’t mind trying that stuff, maybe just once,” he raised an eyebrow at me.

I was so shocked, I couldn’t answer. I walked away and we never spoke of it again.

Well, Dad, I think you’d be pleased to know you’re liked on Facebook. As you would say, “Every dog has his day.”


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