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  • chrisbpirate

Nuts Blizzards and Penn's Woods

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

In a nutshell this is me your instructor and the creator of "How to my Dad." NIce to meet you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions.

In 1971 when I was born my dad was 30 years old. At that time he was married with two children both girls. He owned a home with my Mom in West New York, New Jersey. As I recall his telling me the story of that time in his life he was working in Jersey City or somewhere along the banks of the Hudson for an entity called Sea Train as a diesel mechanic.

He and Mom had been vacationing for a couple of years with my sisters northeast of where they lived up in the woods near the Delaware River in Sullivan County New York.

I recall them mentioning that they had been on vacation in that area during the summer of 1969 when the Arts and Music Festival known as Woodstock and named for a town that it didn't take place in actually took place in Bethel, New York a town only 13 miles away from the spot where he would build a house that Mom still lives in today 50 years later.

So to my knowledge my Dad graduated from high school and then spent some short amount of time in a business school associated with IBM where he was learning how to work on punch card computers. The story goes on at Dad couldn't stand going to be in a classroom all day and at the time he had to wear a shirt and tie that he did not like very much and so he made the transition from that school to being a mechanic which was something that seemed to come naturally to him.

It was after he was working as a mechanic for a while and had taken a 1940 Ford Coupe thrown in a Pontiac engine and made a hot rod that he painted metallic cherry red that he met my mom while he was driving it down Kennedy Boulevard one Friday in Union City, New Jersey. I'm told that first meeting started out with Dad asking from the car what Mom was doing on Saturday night and suggesting that she wash her hair before driving off very quickly. Somehow that turned into a marriage lasting more than 50 years.

The house that Don built was a kit house. All of the lumber and other materials was sold in a bundle along with the architectural plan. The foundation was not included. So my parents hired a contractor that excavated and poured the foundation for the house. After the foundation was poured the kit that contained the material to actually build the house was delivered to the site. It's my understanding the cost of the land and the kit for the house was just a little north of $17,000. And so with that $17,000 and the sweat of the brow of my Dad and Mom and I believe some of his family on weekends for the next year a home was born. Three months after I was born just in time for Thanksgiving and the Blizzard of 1971 we all moved out of the city into the northeastern most part of Penn's Woods.

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