Today, in addition to being Father’s Day, would have been your 102nd birthday. You almost made it. This week while I’ve been down in the Hamilton area, I thought about what we’d have done if you’d still been here — things you always enjoyed no matter how limited your mobility and stamina became.
So my first stop was the harbour where we used to go for family picnics, brunches at Williams’ Café, watching the boats (especially the sailboats) coming and going, splurging on ice cream, and taking the trolley ride out to Princess Point and back. It was a gorgeous day. The thermostat hit 35°C but there was a lovely breeze and it was actually extremely pleasant in the shade. There were at least a dozen sailboats on the bay and the Harbour Tour boat was offering a special Father’s Day cruise. I took the 90 minute trolley ride again like we did two years ago, took some pictures, and enjoyed the beautiful summer day (although it isn’t officially summer for about another 24 hours). I loved seeing the sculpture again where we got this great photo of you kidding around.
After a bite to eat, I took our usual drive — past where the American Can used to be, down Wentworth St. where Mom lived when you started dating, past Uncle Hugh’s, Livingston church, where Hodgson’s Florist used to be, and down Gibson St. where the Hodgsons’ homes used to be right behind the florist shop and greenhouses. Then I headed down Main St to Maple Ave. past the Stewart’s where they used to have that long double row of evergreens, the Clark’s home, and Neil Webb’s place, then down Park Row past our house. There were two nice lime green lawn chairs on the porch and the place looked like it was being enjoyed and cared for.
Then I drove up Kenilworth past Auntie Bessie and Uncle Davie’s house and up along the Mountain brow where you always loved the view of the city. I could see all those sailboats I’d been watching while enjoying the harbour atmosphere. It was a perfect view — no smog, hardly a cloud in the sky, and a clear view all the way to Toronto. It was a perfect day, Dad. Sorry I had no-one to share my final drive through Hamilton but I felt like you were there with me. Miss you, Dad!