Dick Summer Connection

Lots of your Christmas stories coming in. (Please send yours to Dick@DickSummer.com) And check out what this is all about at DickSummer.com/podcast Here’s an especially important one from Proud Podcast Participant Bob Conklin.

Hi Dick

I am going to attempt to put this set of memories to paper. It is not a single story per say but rather a collection of what I remember. I say attempt because I suffer from that affliction that I suspect most of us Louie Louie generation men suffer from, the one that tends to cause excessive moisture to collect over the lens of your eye blocking the ability to see the text clearly. Here goes:

My dad was a firefighter for the City of White Plains, NY where I was born and raised. Being in that job meant that there was more then a good chance he would have to work on Christmas as well as my birthday, New Years day and any other holiday you care to mention. As an aside his birthday was December 24th so that meant he generally had to work his birthday too. Dad made sure the 3 kids and mom, my older brother and sister then later on my baby sister who never made it to her first birthday, always would go to Christmas Eve services. Our church held a true midnight service, where the Christmas story was told and at the stroke of midnight Silent Night was sung with the pipe organ quietly playing along. We held candles and sang our hearts out. Our church used real candles on the alter and in the pews. As I grew older I remember that the city told our church that in order to keep using real candles they would have to have a Firefighter in church to monitor the service. I can still see my dad working his magic to arrange his shift to make sure he was at church for the service before heading back to the station so finish out his shift. Dad never let on that it was he who would request that assignment because for as long as I can remember he was the dispatcher and that was a job that not all firefighters could do. Looking back now that he is gone, I am saddened that I never said thank you to him for doing what he could do to be near us even though he was working to serve our city. (There it is that affliction I mentioned earlier) On the rare times that he did not have to work, he would still wear his dress uniform and take us all in the old Chevy to church and secretly smile to the firefighter that was on duty while dad would hold my hand.

Damn its hard to type through the tears that always come.

Merry Christmas Dick!

2 Responses to “Dick Summer Connection”

  1. Bill Killeen says:

    Great Memories Bob, thanks for sharing, your dad was Special and then some !!!

  2. Carole says:

    Bob, thanks so very much for sharing those cherished memories. Your Dad was obviously a very special person – and one for whom family was most important.