Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Family History

I went to visit with my Dad's wife; well, she was his wife when he died. Anyway, she sent me home with two boxes of Dad's things. Included were a few pictures like the above, that I had never seen before. Dad only went to college for two years before he joined the workforce. That workplace was Kenworth Truck Company, which later became known as PACCAR. He worked there for over forty years. He retired from Kenworth/PACCAR. When we were little we took a lot of car camping vacations, and we would always cheer when we saw Kenworth trucks, and jeer when we saw Mack or Internationals; oh, and yes, we also cheered for Peterbilts. We all could recognize them by the time we were four. We also got to test ride one at around age three. It made the time fly a bit faster when we four kids were cooped up in the old station wagon headed for a state park. Needless to say we all have fond memories of Kenworth. I still find myself identifying them on the highways. I have no real idea when the above photo was taken, nor why. I believe the three men with Dad are very high up in the organization; likely one is "Mr. Piggott" whose father or grandfather started KW. The trucks in the background appear fairly old (as in dated, but brand new for the time) and it was the old plant on Marginal Way in Seattle, which was closed many years ago. I can only imagine how excited my Dad would be to be stepping into that Rolls Royce. I LOVE this picture!!
Also included were some tiny tea cups and saucers which belonged to my Grandmother. She had passed away before I knew her. Some of these are dated from the 1800s. I am so glad this stuff was kept at my step Mom's house rather than at his house in Hawaii, as it likely would have been destroyed when Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai and wiped out his house. (The tupperware, not such a big deal; this stuff would have really been a loss.) The idea is to pass this along to the Great Grand daughters at some point. I think I will be researching it prior to dispersal.
I also got a scrapbook of his time in Japan. It is really quite interesting. It seems that his job was to inspect the schools. There is a lot of paperwork to that effect, some of it written in Japanese. There are two pages of currency as well.
All of this is history that I never knew about. I have discovered a whole other part of my Dad's life. One where he was "John" and not "Dad." I was in grade school before I ever knew that my folks had real names. To this day I cannot recall their ages without looking up the dates. I say Dad was always 19; my sister says he was forever 22.
There are a lot of Scotland books that will go to the grandkids. Haggis, anyone?
The most touching thing was the little white scotty that I had bought when Dad was in Hospice. He had his hands clenched tight and I worried that his nails might puncture his hands. I got him the dog to hold in the hand that was the worst. He had that pup tightly in his right hand when he passed. I sure miss him!
Family history holds many surprises. I got a couple wonderful boxes full today.

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