From left to right: My Dad “Moe” playing at one of the TV telethons in North Bay, My father-in-law Omer; the man with the big smile and always a twinkle in his eye, and My Stepdad who we all call “Poppa Rog”.
Both Dan and I don’t have our dads with us on Father’s Day but we certainly have a lot of fond memories to remember them by.
My Dad, (Maurice, better known as Moe) was an interesting and multifaceted man. People were naturally drawn to his warm and inviting personality. He had a beautiful smile and laugh, was very creative and artistic, loved kids (and they loved him!) enjoyed fishing with his dad and the boys in Algonquin Park. He was also born to entertain, and he was happiest with a guitar in hand singing country music.
Daddy was always center stage for any family gathering; the annual picnic at Uncle Dory’s on the lake with all the cousins; birthday/anniversary celebrations; and lots of kitchen parties at our home, where we kids got to play the spoons and dance up a storm while he treated us to some toe taping tunes.
It’s no wonder that most of my memories of him center around music, from sitting at the record player and listening to the latest songs over and over again to write out the words for him, and the fun times when he would bring us kids with him to sit backstage at the local TV station and listen to his band perform for telethons.
This musical gift also proved to be a heavy burden for him in life, because being a supportive husband and the dad of 6 kids was not conducive to a life of playing music at venues into the wee hours of the morning. And since most of the venues were bars, there was plenty of alcohol widely available and drinking between sets and after the gig was over was often the norm for most entertainers back then.
This lifestyle eventually led to the end of my parents’ marriage after 25 years, and sadly, contributed to his death at the young age of only 67.
I hope he knows he left me with a valuable lesson that has served me well in life; if you don’t do what you love and makes you truly happy, you will always be swimming up stream and against the grain.
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