FATHER: Armine Walker Laughton--JIM
Connie Campbell | Jun 16, 2014, 6 a.m.
My father was the greatest man that walked. I idolized him. As I was growing up, I saw very little of him. When I was young, he was gone every summer being a counselor at Camp Madomic in Maine. Mother and I stayed in Newton Center, Massachusetts. When my brother was born, naturally, he stayed with us. In the winter, Dad taught school and on the weekends he taught skiing and speed skating. That did not allow much time for his family. When I was learning to roller-skate, I’d see him coming home, so I’d yell, “Watch me!” and immediately fall down and scrape my knees. He’d take me into the house, clean me up, and put on an impressive bandage. My day was complete because I had spent the rest of the day with Mother. After his ministrations, I went out to play…again.
We moved to Newcastle, New Hampshire, for a new chapter in our life--the Second World War. I hardly ever saw him; he was overseas for about two years.
Norfolk, Virginia: I rarely had any time with Dad since he was Headmaster of Norfolk Academy where he was busy raising and teaching other family’s boys. He taught during the week and went to school games on weekends.
Then we moved to Oakland, California, and he went to war again, the Korean War. I saw almost nothing of him until we moved to San Diego and then not much because I was in college and busy myself. My father was a figurehead to me, but to my mother, he was her man of destruction: If I did anything wrong like sass her, all hell broke loose when he came home. The lecture on respect was taught again for the millionth time or “thou shalt not make your mother angry” because Dad was sick of doling out the punishment every night. One thing about my father, he dealt harshly with one hand and loved me with the other. At least I had a father, and I know he loved me.
Connie Campbell: An aspiring writer— long time member of the Write about Your Life class at Greenwood Senior Center—who has lived in Wallingford with her husband for fifty years.
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