“Happy Father’s Day 2014!”

Lion Father

Happy Friday, All … and a wonderful “Friday the 13th” to each of youse!!!!!

What could that mean … Friday the 13th … and then Father’s Day?! Nothing! Don’t be superstitious, gang! It’s just another day … In fact, I was born on the 13th … but of July!!! I am still here … so far!

Every year on Father’s Day, I have a different reflection. Yet, one quote that I have seen and used in my manuscripts periodically is this one: “A father is a thousand schoolmasters.” from Louis Nizer. I like the quote for different reasons … depending on the season. I might be thinking of my father, Isaac H. Cook (RIP); or I might be thinking of Coach Maurice Blake from St. Paul’s School who played a “father” to many of the “boys” at St. Paul’s School, Concord, NH who got involved in the athletic programs there. He was like the first male that I had extended interaction with when I went off to boarding school in August, 1969 where I lived and learned for three years. To this day, we remain in close contact! Happy Father’s Day, Coach Blake!

I could be thinking of my “Dad” who struggled with making a family in White Plains, NY with my mother Marietta after they had first left Florida for Harlem, NY … then migrated further north to White Plains to make and raise their family. I am the last of Ike and Mary’s “Mohegans” … the “baby of the bunch”! Still, I remember moments when my father struggled with his own life, let alone raising a family working in the Winbrook Projects as a Pinkerton Security Guard for several years. Yet, we seldom saw the struggle as I never questioned the “hand me down” clothes I got from both sisters … yep … and my brother, Hank (RIP). The tenderest moments between he and I came when I least expected it. I had “borrowed” his German made Volkswagon SUV circa 1960’s, drove to Rye Beach Playland with like 3 friends, rode with the emergency brake on the whole time … and when he discovered this the next morning … he did NOT whip me!!! Yep, I said it … he did NOT whip me!!! And I got many a “whipping” with Dad’s Pinkerton issued leather belt, …. or …. an ironing cord used to connect my mother’s iron to the electrical outlet!!!! Does anyone remember those days??? No one yelled “abuse” and it was quite common for a parent NOT to spare the rod on their children.

Two other tender moments came when he showed up at St. Paul’s with my mother on Parent’s Weekend my first year there and caught me by surprise. There were the graduations from both St. Paul’s and Princeton, where both of my parents were in attendance, in 1972 and 1976, respectively!! They were dressed to “the hilt”, as we used to say! I knew that Dad had driven with Mom from White Plains, NY to Concord, NH to see me … and … I knew that Dad had driven Mom to see me graduate from Princeton, too. She drove, too, but mostly around town locally … that’s the kind of man that my father was.

Other times, on Father’s Day, I think of my own struggles to be a good father … still working on it … wiping back tears …

Happy Father’s Day 2014 to all “da boys” who step up to play their part. (As well, to the ladies who are single parents!)

I’m done here … I’m done ….


John I. Cook

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