In Loving Memory, John (Jack) Vernon Sadler — 1927 to 1996
Over the last few days, I have been trying to figure out what to say, and someone this morning suggested that I include a joke, because Dad really enjoyed a good joke…to be honest, I wish he was here now as we could all use one. Instead, we’ll just have to muddle through.
Awhile back I asked Dad to write out as much of his family history as he could remember, and he must have enjoyed doing it, because he filled 16 pages. Most of you know that Dad loved to tell stories to anyone about anything, and I’m going to share a bit of his story with you. It may even show where some of his traits came from in his descriptions of his early life.
Dad’s grandfather George was a baker, and he passed some of that love along to Dad. Most of us will remember the regular buns and cinnamon buns, although more special events called for wedding cakes or candy houses. George also loved dime western novels, and used to read them to Dad when he was a boy. Later, Dad always had a Western around the house or the trailer, and passed the same love along to me.
In the family history, Dad had a quote about his own father, and I hope he doesn’t mind my sharing it here: “It comes late in life that we finally realize what kind of parents we had. My Dad loved us kids and showed it in many ways, but not by saying it. He was a humorous man, but very straight-faced and you really had to know him well to understand his humour.” Our Dad also loved us kids and showed it in many ways, but not by saying it.
My Dad’s love of driving around on back roads must have come from his Dad. He was filled with fond memories of going to Cobourg, driving around town and stopping for ice cream cones, and driving out to Chemong Lake to cross the floating bridge on a stormy night. All things that Dad did with us kids too. Some of my fondest memories are going fishing with Dad at the lake…you didn’t have to talk, you just sat and trolled along.
Dad talked about his job at the Westclox with his Dad, other jobs at the Westclox, his time after the War, going back to school for awhile, and finally his job at the G.E. There were certain areas of his life he deliberately left blank, one of which was his courtship of Mom, as he felt the two stories would likely be far different. All he wrote is that it was “all for the love of a very pretty girl.”
A few years ago, Dad retired and I gave the “presentation” speech…Often when we had big moments in our lives, Dad would write a quirky little poem for us, and I did the same. It’s about the same quality as his, which is to say, not very good!
In the spring of ’51, shortly after the war,
Along came a wedding ring, to open a new door.
Sister Sharon, the oldest, was the first to greet.
But with only one baby, the house was too neat.
Don quickly changed that, but their time was still free.
They needed another playmate, how about Marie?
The three were anxious, they wanted a bike,
But no bicycle for them, instead there was Mike.
The house was getting smaller, it was beginning to fill.
One more couldn’t hurt, and then there was Bill.
Out at the trailer, having a ball,
One stormy night, and then there was Paul.
Spouses have been added, and grandchildren too,
Dad loved us all coming home, it was his own private zoo.
Which brings us to now. We will always remember Dad in different ways…as a husband, father, brother, Papa, friend. Always as someone who shared with us his baking, his books, his jokes, his trips, his car, his boat, and yes, even his poetry. But most importantly, he shared his stories with us.
I wanted to leave a final image with you, and I hope it comforts you as much as it does me. It’s not hard to picture Dad where he might be now. It’s not a sad picture, but a joyful one.
He’s out at Breezy Point. It’s 24th of May weekend, and the summer is just starting. He’s got the red cottage rented so he can put up the camper trailer and the tarp. The sun is shining and it’s really warm, but there’s a nice cool breeze coming in off the lake. Pat and Yvette are in the white cottage, Aunt June and Uncle Jack are next door. The beer fridge is hooked up already and there’s lots of ice-cold Red Cap in the fridge. The boat is at the dock, the worms are ready for the morning, and the pickerel are really biting, but only for those using worm harnesses.
Right now, he’s looking forward to the summer and he is getting everything ready for the company that will be stopping by…he’s hammering the A-frame together, he’s got a pencil behind his ear, a measuring tape in his pocket, nails in his mouth, a ball-peen hammer in his hand, a roll of black electrical tape and white fibreglass tape nearby, and the all-purpose staple gun is full of staples. In his head, he’s looking forward to all the things to do this summer. Maybe build a new shed, put in the horseshoe pits, build a new fireplace, tinker with the motor on the boat.
And he’s looking at that huge list of things to do, and he’s smiling…he’s smiling because he has lots to do, and when he’s done, he’ll have lots of new stories to tell us.
We will all miss you, Dad.