Memories of this photo and The Rest of the Story:

Every year as Dad’s birthday (Dec 1st) approaches, we all start reminiscing and talking about him more and more. There are so many family stories and inside jokes that exist in this one single photo that I had to share a few of them with you. Here they are in no particular order (as remembered/written by Anne M Bracker):

1982. This photo was taken in 1982 – you can see the beautiful besequined (is that a word? sequin-laden maybe?) calendar hanging on the wall behind him. Mom and our neighbor across the street (her best friend Juanita) would buy these calendar kits that came pre-printed with little bags of sequins and beads and colored thread to embellish and personalize the annual calendars. Mom would carefully stitch on the sequins and add special sequins or beads to mark each of the birthdays in the family. My memory is a little hazy on this, but I think she did one for our kitchen and one for each set of grandparents. Each year for at least a decade or two. No wonder she now needs reading glasses! But back to my original point. 1982 is the year that Bracker’s-as-a-ceramics-supply-company was born. Based on the fact that the photo was taken in my maternal grandmother’s house and Dad is wearing a heavier, long-sleeved shirt, I can reasonably surmise it was taken when we visited for Christmas in 1982. That means Bracker’s was about 6 months old. I was 10 (almost 11) and Cindy was 6-1/2.

Velour. Dad LOVED velour and wore it any chance he could, as you can see in this photo. Our go-to gift solution for Dad was anything in velour, in almost any shade. Velour shirts. Velour track suits. I loved hugging him because his shirts were just so soft. He also loved velcro. And vegetables. Plus he was always asking me to turn the volume down on my stereo when I was a teenager. I wonder if it was a fascination for anything that started with a V? I don’t think we are descendants of Vikings…

Sandwiches. At first I thought about cropping out the sandwich in this photo but then I decided to share with you that nearly every single dinner we ate as a family was a golden opportunity for Dad to make the food we were eating into a sandwich. It didn’t even really have to be something you’d typically consider sandwich-worthy. Spaghetti and meat sauce… Add a couple of pieces of garlic bread and Sandwich. Beef and vegetable stew… Two slices of warm-out-of-the-oven bread and Sandwich. Pizza… Stack one piece on top of the other and now it’s a Sandwich!

“The rest of the story…” Dad listened the AM country channel in our region (61 Country) and Paul Harvey would have 3 different segments on at various points of the day. News and Comments would be on early each weekday morning and an additional segment sometime after noon. The Rest of the Story was a more in-depth story about some topic with a key element of the story (usually the name of some well-known person) held back until the end. The broadcasts always ended with some variation of “And now you know the rest of the story.”

And now, clay friends… Now you know THE REST OF THE STORY (at least about this photo). Happy birthday, Dad!

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