My best guess is that this photo of my dad was taken in the summer of 1929. Adorable, happy little guy with two parents and three older sisters who were teenagers all living together on Omaha’s south side.
By early in September of that year the Dow Jones Industrial Average would to a record high of 381.17, reaching the end of an eight-year growth period during which its value ballooned by a factor of six. (Thanks Time magazine for the details.) The bubble would begin to burst just after little Jimmy’s 1st birthday on Black Thursday, October 24.
Before his 4th birthday, he will have lost his dad and a few years later, his mom would also pass. Part of my story is his story even while my own experience as a wee child was dramatically different than his. He spent a good bit of his first decade of life amidst instability, including being passed around between birth parents, a step-dad, sisters, foster parents etc. I had the full attention of both my birth parents until I was well into my 30’s when Mom got sick. Both of them invested themselves generously in my living and created for me a world that felt more stable than the world probably was in the 60’s. And while we were never wealthy, we always had more than enough.
This Father’s Day, many of my friends are missing their dads. For now, my dad lives with me and I see him every day I’m not traveling. I’m grateful.