"A Tribute to My Father" -- by John House
Written for Father's Day ~ 2001
When I look back over the years, I know I was blessed with a wonderful and understanding father, Charles House. He came from a musical family and his father and grandfather taught him the violin at a very tender age. At 14 he was playing professionally and some years later became the provider of the family of his mother and two younger brothers as his father died at an early age.
Later he became acquainted with a Professor Sudds who was a music teacher and also operated a music store. He sold my father a copy of the Stradivarius violin and was told it was quite old. The violin is still in the family so it must be very old now.
When my father was three years old he had typhoid fevel which in those days was almost a death knell. A Rev. Crokett who was a retired missionary came for visits and prayers, and my father became converted. His faith from that time on was so strong that he never played professionall again which was mostly in dance halls, etc.
His father-in-law was a small contractor so my father worked for him, and after a time went into business for himself and remained that way for the rest of his life. About that time my father brought home two baby foxes and made a hole for them with wire mesh over the opening, and it was my job to take care of them such as feeding and watering them. I thought it was great.
When I was five years of age my father brought home a pair of ice skates and I was on my way to be a skater until I was 85 years old. Being the only boy in a family of seven kids, my father and I were very close playing sports and going fishing in a flat-bottomed boat that he had made. He was a very good craftsman and always made most anything out of wood and such a hammer handles and axe handles, and even made a violin at one time.
When the new church was built my father devoted many hours helping out. Our minister and he were great friends, going fishing together among other things. When I was growing up, on some Sunday afternoons my father would play hymns on our pump organ and he loved to improvise. On other Sunday afternoons he and my mother would take us to the cemetery and point out various people they had known, especially the Civil War plot wher two of our great uncles were buried.
I had a paper route from age 10 to 17 to supplement my spending money and father encouraged my in this very much. After my public schooling I enrolled in a two-year art course of illustrating design and cartooning and worked for him during the summer, which I think were the most enjoyable years of my life.
He would tell me many stories of his youth especially during the gay nineties. He alwas said that was the way it was with hardly any restrictions, like it is today. I only had my father for 32 year because of a heart attack in 1940 and he lived only five days after that. I always thak the Good Lord my wife and I were with him at the end.
On this Father's Day, may we pray to our Father in Heaven for creating lovable and generous fathers of our own with may blessings for all of them.