My Father’s 105th Birthday

My brother, John, posted a great remembrance today on Facebook marking our father’s 105th birthday. He’s allowed me to share it here.

Today would be my father’s 105th birthday. He died in 1998 at the age of 83. August 22, 1915, was a Sunday. World War I was in full cry but I cannot find any other events of historical interest on that day. There isn’t even an Episcopal saint on August 22! His death date is easy to remember, however, because it’s Cinco de Mayo. When he entered into eternal glory, I like to think that his arrival at the gate in the pearly picket fence was accompanied by a mariachi band. What could be more American?

It’s hard to believe he has been in the nearer presence for 22 years. That’s about his age in the photos I’ve attached. Judging by the black auto (an Olds sedan, I think) they date to 1940 or ’41 when Dad was in his mid-20s. They show a picnic on Cocoa Beach, Florida, for guests of the Brevard Hotel in Cocoa, which my grandparents had opened a few years earlier. Dad is in dark glasses. The young African-American man working with him is John Rhett who became the Brevard’s maître d’hôtel and long remained a family friend.

May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Title image is our parent’s wedding picture taken in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, on October 4, 1941.

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