Phyllis Fricker's Memory Book
I never called him Father. I always called him Daddy. He was born in Port Dover, Ontario. He had one sister, Clara, and one brother, William (who died overseas in the 1st World War at the time of the great Flu epidemic), He had one step-sister, Hilda.
Daddy apparently had a rough time in school.
The schoolmaster was a sadist who took great delight in caning his students.
He was hated by all the pupils, who were terrified of him. It was a
bad learning environment and thank God that kind of discipline has been
abolished. In any case, my Father did something about it. One day, he
was out on the pier in Dover (I think he was about 15 or 16 years old)
and the schoolmaster was also on the pier. He and Daddy must have had
harsh words because Daddy just got mad and pushed the curmudgeon into
the lake. Daddy didn't wait around to face the consequences - he raced
home - threw a few belongings into a bag and hopped the first freight
train out of Dover. I don't know what eventually happened to the schoolmaster.
Probably one of the many drifters or fishermen who hung out at the pier
fished him out of the water. Anyway, my Father was long gone. He rode
the rails all the way to Utah, USA In Utah he got a job in a mining
camp as chief cook and bottle washer. What happened in the intervening
years I don't know - but he eventually returned to Dover.
My mother's Father
In Dover, he met the girl named Lena whom he subsequently
married. They moved to Detroit - where I was born. Lena's mother was
an old harridan of a mother-in-law who made life miserable for the couple.
She was always interfering and criticizing and generally raising hell.
Lena always agreed and did everything her mother told her to. Dad got
fed up with this and delivered an ultimatum, "Lena - either you
go with your mother - or you go with me!" Lena chose to go with
her mother - so eventually she and Daddy got a divorce. Lena go a job
as a dental assistant and, since she was working, her mother took me
back to Dover. Daddy was not happy with this situation. He returned
to Port Dover and resolved to do something about it.
Kenneth Brock | Valparaiso,
Indiana | Cadillac, Grand Rapids
& the Stock Market Crash |