Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day, 2010

A major technical glitch occured at BlogSpot over the weekend, thereby preventing the publication of a Father's Day tribute on Sunday. Here is the belated item:

Frank Albany Morvan
September 26, 1909 - June 5, 1993

Well, there he is! The short stop for the Esmond Mills Textile League, c. 1930, at the precise moment of ball-to-bat contact. In my earliest memories of my father, he's in his baseball uniform. Family pictorial archives over-flow with images of me, sleeping in my pram behind the back-stop, while Dad strode to the plate and (from all accounts) could be counted on to put the team in a winning position with his youthful confidence and graceful skill, a consistent string of singles and doubles comprising the basic staples in his talented bag. He was a popular man in town, and we were all very proud of him. Good-looking chap too (or Claudia wouldn't have given him a second glance), he loved baseball and the Boston Red Sox all his life, and I inherited his depth of devotion.

He loved the popular music of the day, and when he chose to join us in a chorus or two of some familiar ditty, his vocal quality very much resembled Bing Crosby's silken croon. He was a gentle, smooth man himself, who enjoyed the outdoors, and the solitude of fishing for perch on Georgiaville Pond. He taught my sister how to bait a hook with a night-crawler harvested from the back yard in the wee small hours of the morning (I never quite got the hang of this particularly gruesome activity myself), but he praised us when we got a bite or actually landed a ferocious blue gill. (He would have baited my hook for me).

He liked the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Peggy Lee, four-part harmony groups (especially The Mills Brothers), and confessed an admiration for Gene Autry's Texas twang even though we teased him about it. He also loved the sound of the U.S. Military Academy Choir and their rousing renditions of patriotic songs.

My mother packed him off in the family sedan at Christmas and Thanksgiving during WWII to the USO station in downtown Providence. His orders were to invite as many as would fit into the car to join us for a feast and some genuine family holiday fun. Lots of young men from many far-away states became our friends, and Mom maintained a correspondence with them through the remainder of the War and beyond. One of our gifts to them: A free long-distance call to their families wherever they might be.

Dad liked to listen to a baseball game and drink a cold one in the back yard on a hot summer day while spluttering and howling about some stupid error committed by the Red Sox. A favorite beverage was the locally-brewed Narragansett Beer which is currently enjoying a huge renaissance in New England. Miss you Dad. Hope the brewery's open where you are.

Preserving the tradition of fair and unbiased journalism, SloaneView directs you to this site for our Mother's Day, 2010 article.

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