Like Father, Like Daughter?

Jun 15, 2014 | 1 comment

My dad was the photographer in the family so it stands to reason that he left behind a gazillion photographs of the rest of us but very few of himself. I had to hunt for a while this morning find one to use in this Father’s Day remembrance. The portrait of him that I’ve chosen was taken about the time he and my mom were married. “William Woodworth Little, 1932” is says on the back.

William Woodworth Little, 1932

William Woodworth Little, 1932

The young man that looks back at me from this photo is the ‘Daddy’ of my earliest memories – dark hair, serious looking but with a twinkle in his eyes. His eyes were blue – a better blue than mine, I always thought. He was near-sighted, one of the less enviable traits I inherited from him. I was amused to realize that I am wearing glasses almost exactly like his of eighty some years ago.

He taught me to ride a bike, took me for long walks on the beach, set high standards for me in all ways (but especially with respect to school.) It was usually Dad who carefully looked over report cards and questioned me about the subjects that were marked ‘B+’ instead of ‘A’ or at least ‘A-.’

Like Father, Like Daughter?

Like Father, Like Daughter?

In some ways, he was the polar opposite of mom. She often said he was an “introvert” and, while it is true that he was contemplative and enjoyed solitude, he also enjoyed and felt at ease with all sorts of people. He was curious and a good listener and his natural instinct was always to see the best in others. I still think of him as never having met a person he didn’t like.

Career-wise, though, I don’t think dad ever felt fulfilled. He was a manufacturer’s representative and there was always that aspect of his personality that the next sale would be the one that would “get us over the hump.” One of my most vivid and ongoing memories of him is of him pacing the floor while he listened to classical music and worried about family finances.

It wasn’t until he and mom retired to Oysterville and he became involved in the restoration and preservation activities of the village that he finally came into his own. He was a tireless promoter of Oysterville, often describing “that special feeling” that rounding the bend and arriving ‘home’ always gave him. He remarked more than once that his retirement years here in Oysterville were the best years of all. I know the feeling. Me too.

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    My goodness, Sydney, you ARE your father’s daughter in looks and passions! A lovely remembrance of the man who helped shape the amazing person you are.

    Reply

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