This is Skins. That’s what we call him anyway. My brother’s friends gave him that nickname. His name is Leonard. Skins is derived from Lynyrd Skynyrd in a way that only my brother’s friends could conceive.
He’s probably 41 or 42 in this picture. He turned 90 last November. He served in Korea. He raised five children. He buried his wife nine years ago. The two of them were married in 1957. It was a great year for cars, and apparently a pretty good year to start a family.
We didn’t always get along, he and I. Usually my fault I’m sure. But as much as my personality was shaped by my mother, my moral compass and my sense of responsibility came from him.
My love for photography came from both of them, but my love for the camera itself, the technical aspects, getting the exposure right, lighting, filters ... that was all because of him.
My mom said at their 30th wedding anniversary (after a few glasses of wine) that her children had many traits. Good ones that we got from her and bad ones we got from our father. And she loved us all very much, mostly for the traits we got from him.
This will be the first Father’s Day in many years that we don’t hang out at my sister’s with our family and hers. Dad doesn’t feel comfortable being around that many people right now. After growing up through The Great Depression, serving in a war, raising a family of five and making it to his nineties in relatively good health, he doesn’t want the ‘Rona to be what finally gets him. So I guess he’ll have to settle for having his kids pop over unannounced, masks on, perhaps with a nice bottle of wine and some good conversation. Hopefully that will suffice.
Happy Father’s Day, Skins.