Honoring Their dads in their own words
June 15, 2019
My dad was a good guy even if he got grumpy.
Always, I worried he would die. In elementary school in the early 1950s, he was old, in his early fifties when most of my classmates' dads had served in World War II and were still in their late twenties or early thirties.
Pop turned 41 right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He's been dead 51 years and he worked hard, drank hard, prayed hard, and claimed he had a bum elbow, which meant we never saw him wash a dish.
Hey, Pop, here's to you and the other dads on their special day.
Aaron Rose is the son of Larry Rose, who along with his wife, Donna, runs Nelson's Cafe.
"I'm his only son as far as I know," he said with a smile.
"Dad's worked hard his whole life, and he's taught me about hard work and dedication to the job," he said. "I probably caused him a few gray hairs. He's a good father and a good role model."
Take you fishing often?
"No, he never had time. He'd get up at 5:30 in the morning, work until one or two, take a nap and then head back down there until 7:30 at night and then come home and help us with homework and then go down and do his book work after we went to bed. That was pretty much what I remember growing up."
What did you call him? The old man?
"Now, I call him the old man. It used to be Dad. He's 67, maybe 68," he said.
"Every once in a while as a kid, he used to chew me out, but he was a pretty laid back guy. He never got on me too hard. Mom would be the one who cracked the whip," he said.
Jill Geroy is the daughter of Percy Erickson out in the Pencer area.
"He was a hard worker and he's the reason why we all sing. Because he was a singer, we sang in the barn all the time," she said, adding that it would be country western - Tom T. Hall and Johnny Cash.
"He taught us how to work hard. how to have fun, and he was a good provider." she said.
Did he have nicknames for you and your siblings?
"I was Skeek, Skeeky, Skeeker," she said, laughing at the memories.
"My sister Dixie was Cookie Dook, my sister Julie was Bug, my brother Jack was Lars, and Bert was just Bert."
Was he the disciplinarian?
"Yes! Dad was the disciplinarian. Mom was the person we went to for a hug."
Maybe your dad didn't want to spoil you.
"No, he was too busy hunting."
In the summertime?
Yes, if he wasn't in the barn or in the field, he was hunting. In the fall and the wintertime, he trapped a lot of beaver. A big part of his income was furs."
Did he ever take you along on the trapline?
"I don't remember that, but I do know how to flesh a beaver. We would take the beaver hide and we would tack it to a big piece of plywood and scrape the hide to get all the fat off," she said. "After it dried, we'd remove all the little tacks out and put it in a pile, and Dad would have dozens and dozens of them stacked up."
Next, Jill Geroy, a Roseau school bus driver and a baker, wanted to share another memory.
"Dad was good at bringing home wild animals too," she said.
They were dead by then?
"No, he brought home a baby bear one time, he brought home a baby fox one time, and we had two raccoons for pets," she said, adding that the bear and fox weren't pets.
A pretty interesting guy, old Percy. How old is he?
You have a nickname for your dad? Like Daniel Boone or anything?
"Nope," she said.
You're a pretty lucky girl.
"Oh, absolutely! I am lucky to grow up the way I did. I'm glad I grew up on a dairy farm and baled hay and milked cows, and took care of calves, you name it."
She grew up the right way.
That's for damn sure!
Shar Peterson's father was Frank Przekwas, who died in the mid-1980s.
"He always gave us good concrete advice and had a real high IQ," she said, adding that going to college was out of the question during the Great Depression.
"He was a very hard worker but on Sunday afternoons, we did things. We went swimming in Warroad or went fishing in the river. Dad took all seven of us."
Then she chuckled.
"He was very easy going," she said, adding that he might have been a little tougher on the boys," she said. "They needed it!"
She was the fifth kid and couldn't have asked for a better dad.
"Dad liked kids and liked being around them," she said. "I would say he was a textbook father. He worked hard, he provided good, and even though we didn't have a whole bunch, we didn't really know it. He just rolled with the punches," she said.
Which makes sense. Frank had been a boxer in the service.
"We could do things and he'd shake his head sometimes, but he let you kind of fail so you would learn from it," she said.
The late Mr. Frank Przekwas served in the Navy during World War II and was stationed at Pearl Harbor after the attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941.
Amy Olson, 27, is the older daughter of retired educator Jeff Olson.
What's special about him?
"He's one of the most selfless and caring people that I know. He's always trying to do things for other people," she said.
Does he have nicknames for you and your younger sister?
"He calls Grace 'Grace Bear' and calls me 'Aimster' or 'Ster'" she said, and happily recalled favorite memories of the man she calls Dad.
"I feel like I had a really unique relationship with him because, obviously, he was my dad, and he was very involved in what Grace and I were interested in. But he was also our coach and teacher. I would wake up in the morning and take his Zero Hour class and start my day with him. We walked to school together. After school we'd go to practice together and eat together."
Pretty neat, she said.
"I feel like I got to have a really cool relationship with him that maybe not a lot of kids have with their parents," she said. "We did get to spend a lot of time together, and I think we are very similar in that we are very stubborn and hard-headed so when we have an opinion, we will make sure that it is known."
Ms. Amy Olson then touched on what has meant the most.
"He is very gentle, and he's good to Mom. Grace and I would think, 'They always want to spend time together.' It's modeled what we look for in a relationship because they really enjoy spending time together. They're each other's best friend. He adores her."
"We're very lucky," she said.
You have a nickname for your father?
"I just call him Dad. Even in the classroom, he let it slide that I could call him dad."
Dad is just a three letter word but when you're the dad who means the world to your kids, you're the best.