Wednesday, February 01, 2023


My father would have been 100 years old today. 

Not many of his generation left, his remaining sibling died a few years ago. He came from a big family, fractured by the death of his mother, but they all made it to adulthood, bringing the up the crop of cousins that I am a part of, and several of them have passed as well.

I wouldn’t say that my childhood was blissful, there were many anxious moments, particularly after my father had been drinking. He did support me when it came to matters of principle, however, and even tolerated my rock and roll lifestyle. In his later years (after the grandchildren came) he mellowed, but could still be cranky, an inherited trait from his German upbringing?

Now that I am a grandparent I find that I’m often looking at myself, trying to nip the mean-old-man syndrome before it starts. My children have their own memories of their upbringing. I wonder what their impressions of me will be in 28 years?

At least they won’t be remembering any beatings.

By Professor Batty


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