Page 93 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneA Matter Of Love And Respect“Much of what you are or ever hope to be, you owe to your parents.” - Hugh W. PinnockMy father had a sternness in his voice and a look in his eyes that brought my immediate attention and yet, he reminded me years later that he only spanked me once in my entire life. His word was my command. In addition to that he always told me that I should respect my mother and do whatever she told me to do. Whatever differences they had between themselves never influenced the relationship that I had with either of them. Actually, I loved them both equally throughout their entire lives. They both served as sources of love and counsel whenever I needed them. I was fortunate to have had such loving parents. An event took place in my father’s life that changed my life so much that I can only look back and refer to them as My Golden Years.In 1945 my father told me that he could no longer be a roofer as his back had given out after so many years. He gathered enough money to buy into a gasoline filling station. The station was located on 61st Street one half block East of Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago. It was not a large station as it only had two islands for gasoline pumps and a two car bay for greasing. Initially, he had a partner by the name of Harold. Although Harold was a certified mechanic, they did not offer any auto repairs; only in an emergency.It was during these years that I had the pleasure of working along side of my father and where I had the advantage of learning many facets of life which helped me on the way to maturity. It was there that he taught me people skills and most importantly some of the high roads and the low roads of life. It was during this period that I learned how brilliant he really was and it was as if his mind had no limitations as well as his creative skills. The best part was observing him converse with others and, no matter their station or calling in life, it was like watching an age old tree take on new blooms. The way he defined it was, “The ability to engage in conversation.” It is in that regard that he told me that only ignorant men swear, because they do not know of any educated words to use. “Swearing,” even though he, himself did it at times, “reveals the person behind the words.” I marveled at the number of friends that he made. I came to the conclusion that had my father had a formal education, he could have mastered any profession.93

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