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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

One Year Later – A Father Remembered

Our dad, John Sharp, lived a long life. He was born in 1915 in Oak Park, Illinois, living down the street from Frank Lloyd Wright and the Hemingway’s. He played with Ernest’s brother Lester, even attending one of his birthday parties. He was called Jackie back then.
-He met my mom, while stationed at Camp Phillips near Salina, Kansas. She was the most beautiful girl on the base, Miss Camp Phillips of 1943. They were wed there that year and celebrated 46 years of marriage until her passing in 1989.
-On family vacations when we were little he would never stop along the way always saying, "We need to keep going so we could get there", wherever there was. On one trip we arrived late at night in the abandoned village of Eastport, Maine and had to drive many miles out of town to find a place to stay that night. However in his later years, he took many nice long road trips with my brother, where they got to spend quality time together and he learned to stop more often along the way. In later years he went on many trips to Disney World in Florida with us. On one occasion while he was still in his 80's, my husband took him on the Tower of Terror ride. When it was over he turned to us, with his always great sense of humor and said, “Are you trying to collect your inheritance early?”
-He had a lifelong love of the game of golf and that is where you could find him on the weekends. In his retirement years, he worked part time at the West Nine golf course.
-He loved the music of his era, Big Band and Swing but especially Jazz. Whenever you approached or walked past his room in the Veteran's Home you knew he was in there from the music coming from his boom box. Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald were among his favorites and he met many of them back in the day. His favorite song was a little not well known tune written by Carmen Lombardo, Guy's brother called "Coquette"*. He requested it at his funeral. But he loved the new artists too. Harry Connick, Jr. for example and my brother introduced him to Diana Krall. He got to see both of them and Natalie Cole in concert.
-He had many pets through out his lifetime but his favorite had to be his Schnauzer, Schroeder. He even had a little brass plaque made with his name on it that he put on a piece of wood and placed in his garden.
-He had some favorite sayings. At dinner time he would say. “Do you like Lamb? It’s not baaaad.” And “Eat your roughage, it’s good for your bowels”. We would just groan.
He would tell my mom, “There’s a place for everything and everything in its place.” & “Nothing's a bargain if you don’t need it.”
-He had just turned 95 on Friday, August 6th. (13 days before he passed) On his birthday my brother took him to his favorite restaurant, Charlie Browns and then they went out to the current outdoor production at Plays-in-the-Park that he thoroughly enjoyed. He had a day of rest on Saturday and then on Sunday he came to church for his birthday blessing and birthday cake at Lemonade on the Lawn. He had a birthday lunch together with our family and my brother at a seafood restaurant where he dined on lobster tails. Later that day my brother took him to an outdoor concert overlooking the water. He really enjoyed his last birthday.

Fond remembrances by,
Debbie (Sharp) Loeb and John Sharp

*To hear Coquette go to the link and 1:10 into the video Guy Lombardo will begin to sing.



Anonymous Johanna F. said...

My father died when I was six years old so I was not as fortunate to have experienced the wonderful and touching memories you so lovingly recalled in your essay.
What a kind rememberance. I am sure your dad is proud of his family and the dignity you have shown to his legacy.
Thank you again.

5:25 PM  

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