Dad

Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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He wasn’t daddy or papa or pop or father..just Dad.
 
Harry Lund would have been 101 this year and it’s 30 years since he died but I still think of him every day and see his face every morning in the mirror.
 
Like most boys of his era, Dad left school after the 8th grade to help out on the family farm. And even though he eventually bought a farm of his own, I don’t think his heart was in it and he developed his skills as a builder into a full time career in carpentry.  He is responsible for constructing many of the houses in Volga, including the one I grew up in.
Years and years of hard work from hoisting rafters and pounding nails all day, made him about the toughest guy I ever knew.
His body eventually gave in to my mother’s good cooking but in his younger days, he cut quite a handsome figure. I thought the old man..with his moustache..looked a lot like Clark Gable.
 
A tender moment with Dad and yours truly in 1946 with brother Denny playing in the dirtHe, like others of his generation, felt that mothers could afford to coddle the children. It was the father’s job to make the money, lay down the law and carry out the punishment if any of us broke that law.
Looking back, though, his bark was worse than his bite because..despite threats of beatings with a belt or a kick in the pants with his Red Wing boot, I don’t ever remember him hitting any of us.
 
Although he didn’t make a lot of money he could be full of surprises..like buying me a motorcycle when I was 13 and an electric guitar a few years later.
Dad also made sure to save enough for our annual road trip to far off places. Each summer we’d all pile into the Queen Family Truckster and head out to the Seattle Worlds Fair, Chicago, Lake Louise in Canada or around Lake Superior.
We never missed a day at the State Fair in Huron including a stop at the go-cart track on the way home.
 
Aside from an occasional beer or cocktail during pheasant hunting season, I never saw my old man drunk. His idea of having fun was in using his God-given skills as a craftsman.
After retiring, he restored two Model T  automobiles, collected antiques and built nearly 20 grandfather clocks in his workshop.
 
But those good times were marred by a lifetime of smoking Camel straights which led to sleepless nights from coughing, oxygen tanks, breathing machines and hospital stays.
 
It was when the family was trying to convince him to go to the hospital one more time that I finally blurted out, “Dad, we don’t want to lose you. We love you.”
It was the first and only time I’d ever said that.
 
I wish I could have said one more thing before he took his final labored breath that evening in 1977…
“Thanks for everything, Dad!”

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