Fathers Day

Today is Father’s Day here in the US. In Sweden it is actually celebrated in November (Nov 14 this year). I am thinking about my dad, who passed away in 2001.
My dad was a very intelligent person. He may not have had a fancy education and degree. As a matter of fact, he just had six years of school back in the 1930’s (he was born in 1926), then he had to start working. But he could build pretty much anything. He built us a summer house from scratch. He even did the design and the drawings/blueprints himself. At home he had a real architect drawing table. But he also repaired all kind of things down in the basement. He built his own tools, a powerful electrical motor and some pieces of scrap metal, and he had a lathe. When my sister needed a violin, he simply built one. And yes, it sounded great!
After I moved to the United States in 1998, he got a computer, and at age 70 he started learning how to use it and to send email.

image Working on the summer house, circa 1974

image Taking a break from the hard work.

imageBuilding a violin.

But my dad was not always working. Yes, he did work a lot, both to support the family and to (litterally) put a roof over our heads. But he also had time for me and my sister.
We went fishing, sailing (he got us a small sail boat and put me and my sister in sailing classes), and worked in the vegetable patch together with mom.

image At Midsummer celebration, circa 1976.

There are so many things that make me proud of my dad, I can’t list them here. But he was a great role model for me, and I hope my son Erik one day will be able to think at me in a similar way. He was also, for a very brief time, a grandfather. He died in March 2001, but not until after he got to see and hold his first and only grandchild. Erik was born in August 2000, and he (together with my sister) visited us in early November.
I was told that he printed out the pictures I mailed him, and was showing them to all his friends. He was so proud! I wish he would have lived a few more years so he could have seen Erik starting to grow up.

image Holding his grandson Erik, Boston November 2000.

image One more of the proud grandpa.

image Funeral, April 2001.

Thank you for everything, dad. I will always miss you.
Stig Martinsson
1926 – 2001


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