Harold and Leah Smith - April 1996
There isn’t a day that I don’t think of you. I am reminded of the smile which you wore everyday! It was genuine, you were a happy person. You were a kind man who would give anyone the shirt off his back if you thought that someone else needed it more. A man who was fiercely loyal to his family, his parents as they aged and his wife and children as his family grew! As an only child, you display unwavering devotion to your father and mother all their lives but even more so after Grandpa became ill with Multiple Sclerosis. You taught me what genuine love and devotion really is. It was not easy going to
Detroit in the early hours of the morning to get your parents, finding assistances for lifting Grandpa, wheel chair and all into the van, and bringing them out to Romeo or for Father’s Day each year. Then doing it all over again in the evening to return them to their home. This was long before handicapped parking and wheel chair lifts in vans. You would hope for a close parking spot out in front of the Boulevard Temple Retirement Home. Sometimes you would need to circle the block for ten or fifteen minutes with the van doors locked until a spot opened up because the neighborhood was seedy at best. You did it for every holiday, every birthday and any other family event through out the year. Imlay City
Father's Day 1965
You taught me to respect others no matter what! When I worked for you in the Dime store, you taught me the sense of customer service which served me well through my career. It was something which my bosses almost always praised me on during my review and I owe it all to you!
In our small town we had many families who stopped at Dad’s store every Saturday. We had one family in particular which seemed to have much different personal hygiene schedule then our family did and by Saturday their aroma was pretty unpleasant. You would see other customers shying away from them as then wandered the aisles of the store. My sisters and I would scatter like flies when we saw them coming. We would do our best to find some other customer in need of help at that moment. I remember one Saturday in particular when you caught me as I was dodging the stinky customers…by the collar as I recall. Whispering in my ear, “ They are our customers too, so go help them!” I tried to protest, “ but Dad, they stink, I will get sick!” You told me, “ They come into our store every week and they spend their money buying things from us.” “And in turn you get to have a warm house over your head and clothes to wear! Go wait on the customer!” SO I did! And each Saturday, after that I waited on the customer with a smile on my face that was genuine. I did sometimes have to hold my breath but …
(Dad hanging a Grand Opening sign after doubling the size of the store in Imlay City.)
It was you who encouraged me to learn to sew…when I was eight years old. I am truly grateful for the wonderful life long hobby. And when I hear the sewing machine hum...I think of you!
So on this Father's Day I want you to know that you are thought of often not just on Father's Day but each and every day!
With a loving heart, Happy Father’s Day!