Happy Father’s Day to my dad Francis Albert Gruswitz! Born in 1901, if he were still alive next month on July 7th he’d be 121.
This is a drawing I did of my dad when I was around 4 or 5. It’s pastels on a 18” x 24” sheet of charcoal paper.
I loved my dad and always liked playing tricks on him like filling his giant 14EE shoes with my marbles or stuffing my skeleton costume with pillows and sitting it on the toilet so that he’d be surprised when he opened the bathroom door. He never disappointed. I could always count on a big surprised reaction with his famous expression, “Cheese and crackers!!!”
This drawing was another surprise for my dad when he got home from working on the assembly line at Ford’s. My joke in this drawing was making fun of his big ears and nose and his bony shoulders (he was 6’4” tall and weighed only 178 pounds).
Dad would walk me down the 3 blocks to Patten Park holding my hand, swinging it both high and low all the while both of us singing “In the Good Old Summertime” and with my other hand, using a stick, I’d clang every fence post on the Widmere Cemetery iron fence.
In Patten Park, sometimes we’d fish for catfish with dough balls as bait. One time we brought back 16 tadpoles in a bucket for me to raise into frogs. Or sometimes I’d just roll down the hill that in the winter I’d sled down.
I remember, years later, when I was in the Army, the drill sergeant asked me if I had sore feet. I replied, “No, but my dad had sore feet and as a kid I learned to walk like him.” That’s how much I loved my dad. I wanted to be just like him!
Thanks Dad for hundreds of happy memories!