A Father's Day Tribute
By Donna Kay Malloy
In 1952 when my mother was pregnant with me, my parents were down to their last $10 bill. Making a house call, "Doc" Watson suggested that my dad paint and wallpaper their house to calm his nerves. Dad's construction project ended with him knocking down a partition wall to enlarge the family dining room.
Born on a farm in Meshoppen, Pa., my dad was the first and only family member to attend college. He enrolled at Villanova after he returned from World War II and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Finance, a head of white hair and two children and a wife to feed. He was 29 years old.
My father served in the 102 Infantry Division, Ozark Division and was selected to the Army's Special Training Program (ASTP) to study engineering at the government's expense; an honor bestowed only to men with high I.Q's.
My parents met briefly before the war and for the next several years corresponded only once a year. When my father was on furlough in 1943, he visited my mother and asked if she would write to his mother. They were engaged in August of 1944 and married on February of 1946.
Although employed at three jobs, his primary job was selling space and transportation. His dream came true when in March of 1966 my father built his first warehouse in Pennsauken, N.J., made possible by the grace of the Delanco Savings and Loan Board who exonerated their monthly mortgage payments for one year. (Years later my dad served on the Board of the Delanco Savings and Loan to show his gratitude.)
I can still recall the household tension as the warehouse sat empty for 3 restless, relentless months until Campbell's Soup became his first client. DuPont, Rome & Haas and Yamaha were soon to follow.
Years later when I would ask my dad if he enjoyed the warehouse years, he never hesitated in his reply: "I loved it-it never felt like work."
Six children and ten years after my father started his first warehouse and transportation companies, my parents started traveling and enjoying their waterfront homes in Florida and New Jersey. Not bad for a man who used to tell his wife that they would "never be able to own their own home."
A few weeks ago, my 33-year-old daughter said to me: "Mom, you taught me to be fearless." That's the part of the American Dream I learned from my father.
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