Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was black as ink.
It chewed the paper off the wall and spit it in the sink!”
“Mary had a bicycle and it’s a well known rumor
She ran into a barbed wire fence and tore her new silk bloomer!”
These are two of the rhymes my father used to recite to me, along with the following:
“There was an old woman and what do you think? She lived all her life on vittles and drink. On vittles and drink she lived all her life long. Vittles and drink kept her healthy and strong.”
Many people remember words of wisdom given to them by their fathers, but I remember silly rhymes. Dad was a soft-spoken man of dry wit and wry observations about life and people around him. There is much I don’t know about my father, and since he’s been gone for many years, I’ll never find out. Of all the things I might want to say to him or ask him if I could, there is one burning question I’d love to have answered. I’d like to know the story behind a certain picture that my youngest brother found among some old slides when we cleaned out my parents’ house. It’s my father, a young man, standing in front of a wall-papered wall that none of us recognize. He has his pipe sticking out one corner of his mouth, a serious expression on his face, and a lampshade on his head. There are no other pictures with that wall-paper in them. I assume he was at a party, but as far as I know he was not a drinking man, I never saw him drink anything besides coffee, juice, soda or iced tea, and the occasional milk shake. Where was that, and what was the occasion? I guess we’ll never know. At any rate, Dad was a man who loved to laugh, and he passed that on to me along with the love of silly rhymes, a dry wit and the ability to make wry observations about life. Thanks Dad!