The name of Loudon Wainwright’s last album was Older Than My Old Man Now and I bet that title fits many of us Baby Boomers! Yes our fathers worked hard and died young. My Dad was 60 years old when he died of a heart attack in 1984, his younger brother Arthur was only 55! His father was 53 when he died from his third heart attack in 1953!
The reason that I bring this up today is that today is my father’s birthday. Wow, has it really been almost 30 years since he died, I guess it has, Nick and Andrew were just infants when he died and obviously he never got to know Peter or Elizabeth, but I know he would be proud of all four of them!
Like I said, he was a hard-working man. In his early years, he worked on the farm with his father and brothers. Then after his father passed he went to work driving a truck for Beaunit Mills, through many of the my early years I would see him maybe once a week, between trips he made to North Carolina and to upstate New York. After that, he drove locally to New York City, and finally in the late 60s hje went into business for himself. He worked for a local broker who handle produce for many farmers around Burlington County. Through these year I worked with him, as we picked up corn, peaches, beans, cherries and other produce from local farmers. Most of the time, he would take the produce to New York’s Hunts Point Terminal Market where he had to wait until early morning to unload, then come home and start all over. In addition, we delivered corn crates, peat moss and Christmas Trees all of which came in on freight cars, so in the summer those cars got a little hot!!
In his later years, he worked for Cumberland Farms picking up milk at various farms throughout South Jersey. It was a job he loved, he got to be around farmers and talk farming all day!
So Dad, Happy Birthday, and thanks for all the hard work that put me through college and all that you did for anyone else who needed a hand! You did it all with a smile and a kind and gentle nature! But I still do have scars from being sent to the Auto Parts store to get say a carburetor, only to have the clerk ask a question that I could not answer, and then have to trudge back home to find out the answer!! But you are forgiven for that, and I hope you and mom are having a nice day wherever you are!
Oh, by the way I will be 62 in October. Anyway here is Loudon Wainwright performing the title track from Older than My Old Man Now.