The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

Remembering Our Father

on June 23, 2020

A few days ago I read in a newspaper that “Fathers Day” was coming soon. Because I was so proud of my father, Jack, and my younger sister, Helen, I wanted to write about both of them. Since I only remember a small number of the important events of his life and good treatment of his children, I will describe them today as best as I can.


Me and my father at the beach

Although my father has been gone from this world for many years, I still remember him often and feel proud and happy when I do.  He was polite and kind to everyone, and worked hard all his life. Also he never complained to others about the behavior of anyone in his family.  If I was troubled he always made me happy again, and he gave small gifts to my sister and me at the end of every week.  Most of the things he gave were comic books or toys, but a few of them were games that he made for us in his spare time.  In addition, he was always loving and helpful to our mother, even though she was pretty cool to him.  I think she had hoped for a wealthier and more powerful husband, and was disappointed by his job as the owner of a small food store.

What made me appreciate my father so much were the times when he read to me at home or took me with him to visit places outside that I had never seen before, such as a professional baseball game. What I liked even better were the small toys he made for both of us kids and the comics he read to me every evening before I knew how to read myself.  Unfortunately, my father lost his business during the Second World War because the meat he needed to sell was very expensive and the customers who bought it were very slow to pay him.  Finally, my father had to close his store and get retraining to be a machinist working in a factory. 

Much later my father went back again to a job as a butcher in a supermarket where he would work for his brother.  Although he didn’t make much money then my sister and I went to Bradley Beach that summer, staying in a large rooming house with other families. And later our parents joined us every weekend. Around that time my father got birthday gifts for all of us, but they were usually second-hand items because he didn’t have much money anymore. Later he bought used bicycles for us because we didn’t have any, and our friends did. In order to make the bicycles good enough to give us,

he had to repair and repaint them. When we finally got the bicycles we rode them and loved them for many years.

Unfortunately, our father died from cancer in his late 70’s.  He was a cigarette smoker over a long period of time, like most other men were back then.

Near the end of his life my sister and I, who were both married at that time, visited him in the hospital for the last time.  When we saw him he told us that he was getting better so we wouldn’t worry about him, and we pretended to believe him.  

All we could do after visiting our father was to go down to the hospital laboratory and donate our blood. Afterward we went back to our homes and our families.  But we never forgot our father or stopped trying to be like the wonderful person he was.  Although I’m not as kind or noble as him, I keep remembering him wirh love, and I still try to be one of the two daughters he was always so proud of.


My mother, my sister, my father and me, at my wedding


3 responses to “Remembering Our Father

  1. Helen Kapner says:

    What a beautiful tribute to our father!


  2. Andrea kraft says:

    Joanne, this is such a beautiful story about Uncle Jack. It is so honest and loving. What a wonder dad you had. Much love, cousin Andrea Goldberg Kraft


  3. Frankey Jones says:

    I love your voice and how clear it is in this piece. Wish I had known your father. Love to you,


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