Since today is Father’s Day, I thought it would be an appropriate time to blog about my dad – the side of the family the “artsy” genes came from.
For as long as I can remember, my dad had a drawing board on his desk. He was an astronomy professor at West Chester University since I was born but always managed to get art into his life. I remember one year when he did a cartoon star chart and we sat around the dining room table rolling the posters to be shipped. He wrote a weekly column – “Naked Eye Astronomy” – for the local paper and told people what they could see in the night sky each well. Guess what was always a part of the articles? You guessed it – cartoons by dad.
I remember sitting and talking to him while he would draw and think I could NEVER be as good as him! He was the end-all be-all with a black pen in my eyes. He would tell me how he learned to draw by copying cartoons from the Sunday paper when he was younger and how he did cartoons and different projects in high school and then college. When he went to college, he considered art school but loves to tell us how he “had heard of starving artists but never starving scientists” so he got a degree in Physics and then went on to specialize in Astronomy. (Forgive me dad, if I’m getting any of this confused!)
My dad didn’t have the easiest of childhoods – losing a brother and both parents by the time he was 14, then raised by an aunt and uncle with 6 kids of their own. He was the first in his family to go to college. I was talking to him the other day and he told me he decided to go because of working in a grocery store – there were college students who worked there and opened his eyes to the possibilities…
I was brought up to believe that I could do and be anything I wanted to be. College was a given, not an option for my sister, brother and I and thank you dad and mom – it was paid for. They didn’t want us to have to work at a grocery store like he did and miss much of the “college experience”. Being his daughter I know him as the man and father he was – often forgetting what he had to overcome to get there. Another guiding force in my life for going for your dreams, staying positive and trying new things.
Thankfully he encouraged my creative side and I didn’t give up on art and drawing. His influence can be seen in some of my art but he loves to point out how I don’t quite cross the eyes the same way he does so he can’t sue me! 🙂 (All in good fun of course!)
So on Father’s Day I wanted to say a very public “THANK YOU” to my dad and Happy Father’s Day to any dad’s that may be reading this post. If you do 1/2 as good a job as my dad did, your kids will grow up and blog about you too!
P.S. The cartoon next to our picture is Isaac Newton – by, you guessed it, my dad, George Reed.