Today I am wishing a Happy Father’s Day to my dad, Stan Dahlgren. Since his birthday was always either on or near Father’s Day, he would have been turning 97 this week.
This collage contains pictures of my father from not long after his birth on 19 June 1915 until shortly before his death on 23 September 1984. Included in the top left vew is his mother Thora; he must have been only a few months old. To the right of that view is one of him at about one year of age. In the middle of the top row he can be seen sitting with his sister Ruth, five years his junior, on the porch of their house in Evanston Illinois. I’m not certain, but I suspect that when this photo was taken, his mother may not already have died. She succumbed to tuberculosis when he was seven, and the following view appears to have been taken after that time. On the far right of the top row he is seen as a teenager. After he graduated from high school, he set out on a cross-country odyssey, visiting all but 2 of the contiguous 48 states.
The bottom row starts on the left with a view taken in 1943 during one of the first sails on the 30′ ketch, named Thora after his mother, which he had spent the previous seven years building. The next two views are cropped from photos with my mom and me, the first when I was about one year old, the next somewhat later. The final two were taken in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the latter not long before his death.
Happy Birthday and Father’s Day, dad.