My father .....the non-dreamer
A simple life
My father was born in 1896, the first born son of a somewhat successful farmer, who as per the mythology of our clan was a stern, humorless disciplinarian. I have seen, when I was a young boy, pictures of my grandfather (he died way before I was born) posed with the rigid look of a contemptuous authoritarian, and my father beside him with the insipid look of a tremulous non-contrarian.
When he was 25 my father escaped the constricting embrace of my grandfather by conscripting in the United States navy (the Philippines at that time was still a U.S.colony). He returned 20 years later, a changed, but still simple man, but much stronger, secure and supremely confident about his place in his father's world , and serenely comfortable in his own skin. When he met my mother (who at the time was only 20 ) he told her he would marry her, and he did several months later in 1937.
Having retired from the navy, at age 45, he decided to buy, with the money he saved and the pension that would arrive monthly, 10 acres of farm land . Over the years, the 10 became twenty, then fifty, then over a hundred. A farmer to the core just like his father.
His aproach to life, I now recall with fondness, have always been the simple, practical, down-to-earth, no frills-no thrills style that the navy must have taught him. He lived his life simply, with no big dreams for his children to go beyond the farming life. I and my siblings (I am the youngest of 6) had other things in mind, because none of us ever took to the idea of being that close to the earth. It is to his credit that he did not resist our wilfullness to dream on and on and on.