As Father’s Day quickly approaches, my mind has been filled with lots of wonderful memories of my father, the late Herman P. Jackson Sr.. He was truly a unique guy and well loved by our community. The thing I remember most about my father was his sense of adventure.
Looking back, I realize, we grew up having most of what we needed and a little of what we wanted. My parents had a way of making it seem as though we were wealthy and so I didn’t realize the struggle until I was a grown woman. I believe one of the reason’s things seemed so rich was my father’s sense of adventure. He could make a trip to the corner store seem exciting. For example, in the summer sometimes, my mother would give my brother and me our baths and then help us put on our pajama’s. My father would then, put us in the back of the car and drive us up 95 North to a rest stop not too far from where we lived and buy us a canned soda. Now, that may not sound like much, but my dad had the ability to make that ride up the road the The Hot Shops seem like a trip to New York.
I remember one year we had a big snow storm which wasn’t uncommon back then up north. Once the snow stopped, my father helped us put on our snow suits and boots and we walked to a 5 and 10 Cent Store about five or six city blocks away. The snow was too deep for my brother and meto walk on the sidewalk, so we walked in the street. Along the way, my father stopped and spoke to neighbors who were clearing their sidewalks or digging out their cars.
During the school year, my dad took us to school and picked us up daily. He was involved in the PTA and any other activity our school had. Back then, we had Homeroom Mothers. They were the mother’s of a student in a particular class, who usually didn’t work outside the home. Well, I didn’t have a Homeroom Mother, I had a Homeroom Father.
My dad was a barber by trade, and the owner of his shop. On days we had field trips, he would close the shop for the day and accompany us on wherever we happened to be going that day. Now, my father not only did these things for me and my brother and older sisters but he was a mentor to other children in the neighborhood as well.
I have fond memories of Saturday and Sunday outings to local parks. My father would load up the car with as many children as he could fit (this was before seat belt laws) and take us to the park and play baseball or kickball or some other game. The children in the neighborhood affectionately called him, Mr. Herman.
Young men in the community who didn’t have the means to pay for a haircut got one at no charge. My dad did not like seeing any man child not looking their best, especially during the school year.
Many years have passed since my father’s death, but he was and will remain my hero. As I said earlier, he was well loved and well respected by our community. His death not only saddened our family but extended family and friends as well, even our teachers were affected. The day of his funeral the church was at standing room only.
My brother and I have tried to pass on Dad’s sense of adventure to our families; I believe we’ve done a good job. I hope I’ve given you at least a small glimpse of the wonderful childhood my father created not just for his children but all the young people who came in contact with him.
If your father or grandfathers for that matter are still living, enjoy Father’s Day with them, give them a special Father’s Day gift. As for me, I plan to do something adventurous to honor the memory of my dad, that will be my Father’s Day gift to him.
Savannah J, she adds a little sass in every page.