|My father Isaac (third from left in front) with his brother Ed and my cousin Bud during a fishing trip at Cape May, New Jersey - 1957|
I am the oldest of his three sons. I think at first he may have been vaguely interested in the novelty of having a child but when he found out I favored my Mother, he quickly lost interest in me.
The best I can say about my father is that he never abused me, either physically or sexually. Thank goodness for that. I've heard horror stories from others whose fathers did abuse them, both sexually and physically. Oh sure, we got "whippings" (with a belt, but no buckle) but no serious damage was done. The "whippings" were more to get our attention and a staple of raising children in the Fifties.
My father was indifferent and often annoyed by his three sons. However, he did favor my youngest brother. Brother John was "the pet." A fact I greatly resented when I was growing up. Those feelings of regret faded away after I became an adult and Brother John and I became friends.
My second youngest brother, Isaac, was the classic Middle Child. I received most of my Mother's attention (and probably was considered her "pet") and John was the Favored Child of our Father.
We all called my father "Pop." Not "Dad", or any other common nickname for a father.
One thing I always regretted was that Pop never took me anywhere with him. Correction, he did take me to a fishing rodeo when I was ten years old. He took me with his favorite brother Ed (my father had ten brothers) and his son Ed ("Bud"), Jr.
|Me and my cousin Ed "Bud" Tipton Sept. 1, 1951 - I won the Chester County Fishing Rode0|
By a fluke I won that fishing rodeo by catching the biggest trout of the day, 13 inches. My win was featured in our local newspaper. I had my picture taken with my cousin Bud, who was and is the same age as I am. That was the last time my father ever took me anywhere with him.
He never attended any of my school events, including my graduation. I will never forget my humiliation when my family didn't attend my graduation from Army Basic Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. I think I was the only recruit whose parents didn't attend that ceremony. I've blotted out of my memory what I did that cold, gray, bleak day in March of 1960. I could understand him not attending any of my high school events (I was in band and chorus and track) but somehow, his absence from that basic training graduation really stabbed me to my heart. I became numb to his feelings for me after that.
|Me, Army Recruit - Alone (again) - 1960|
When I was in the hospital, off and on for six months before I joined the Army, near death from a staph infection, he never visited me once. I expected that but by not attending my graduation from Army Basic Training, was different. Being sick wasn't something I "accomplished" but graduating from Basic Training was a big accomplishment for me.
The photo above is of my father and his favorite brother Ed (and my cousin Bud) during a fishing trip they took in 1957 at Cape May, New Jersey. While organizing my photos about an hour ago I came across this photo and it triggered all those bad memories of my growing up with a distant and disinterested father. A father who didn't want me. Is that why I'm gay? I've often wondered.