Mom was always genuine and steadfast during good and sad times; she could be relied upon, often with Daddy at her side. The two of them had worked their business together for many years, leaving the two children to fend for themselves after school hours so that Mom could stay in the shop and greet customers while Daddy was off, hustling for jobs with contractors he’d grown up with.
Daddy was no longer the quiet, shy son that his father had known. Daddy had come into his own, marketing his business and trade with genuine regard and respect for a job well done. Staying in the same area, he drew from years old friendships and in the matter of repeat business, was often called upon many years later to again bid and lay new flooring in the same homes.
As an independent small businessman, Daddy was passionate, but not necessarily well read. He kept up with headlines and horse races; one line blips were far easier to digest than longer story lines. Daddy was good at math and a good problem solver in general. It wasn’t until many years later we daughters actually realized just how difficult reading was for my father. His mind was far quicker with mathematics; he could figure square feet in his head and this ability lent much to his station as a floor covering man.
Daddy had long ago changed his voting registration to Republican to vote for Eisenhower. For the most part, he relied on and trusted his own instincts. Daddy never looked back; not that he didn’t have to constantly defend his position. Some of his counterparts never fully understood Daddy’s change of heart. One of his closer friends was our neighbor; of Italian descent and a traditional Democrat, though he had long given up voting. He was so different from my father. They were both tradesmen, but our neighbor was a more cavalier, more handsome, (in my eyes, more gutsy) father figure; after all, he was a Democrat!!!
The two argued incessantly, rarely agreed on anything but a good glass of wine. Again, Daddy was passionate, but passion didn’t get him too far at his neighbor’s table. We could hear the two men arguing next door from our kitchen. When dinner was ready, Mom shouted through the kitchen window “Honey, Dinner is ready” and the discussion abruptly ended, Daddy returned home to one of his greater passions: eating.