Today is my dad’s birthday. He would’ve been 67. A little while ago my mom let my and I know that she still had some of his writings saved on the computer. We were pleasantly surprised to hear of this bit of information and she sent us each a thumb drive with what she had. I decided that I would post some of what he had to say here on my blog and in honor of his birthday I am posting his birth story along with some family history.
Happy birthday, pops. I miss you.
The Things My Mother Told Me
It is said and I do find this true, as with any journey the most difficult is the first step or the beginning. I have found this very true, even with something which I feel might be interesting to those who might want to hear my story. So, as I try to pull the memories from their storage places and set them to print the complete accuracy of them is only to my reflection and recollection. I am sure that the time spent at this labor will most likely be more rewarding to me than the reader.
I would begin at the basic information which may or may not be known to those of you who know me, I was born on July 12, 1946, which I am sure was a warm day in Bradenton, Florida at the little Manatee Community Hospital at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was told by my mother that … at the time, the first reaction from the hospital staff was that my mother wasn’t pregnant. But she did deliver the proof that she was, especially at 4:30. I was just a little over five pounds [and] was considered rather small. My first crib was a dresser drawer and by my diapers were my father’s handkerchiefs.
It was and still is for the most part that parents naming a male child after the father was reserved for the first-born male. For our family this tradition did not apply. My older brother was named Steven. I am not sure why this was; maybe by dad decided he did not want to have a child named after him. So, when I arrived the name selection began again, but when they first saw me my mother noticed that I was a little duplicate of my father so they named my Don. Usually, Don is only a nickname or the shortened version of Donald. My dad did not want a Junior, he was afraid that, like many families, I would be stuck with Junior as a name. So, to solve this he decided that I would be called Don Irving Becker. Irving was his father’s name.
So begins the journey of Don Irving Becker, son of Donald Irving and Mildred Mardean Becker, brother of Steven Allen Becker and Gary Paul Becker. Grandson of Irving and Lillian Becker and George and Kathryn Eyer. The Becker grandparents resided in Fond du Lac and Sheboygan Wisconsin and are of German Ancestry, while the Eyers lived in the south part of Indiana in a small town of Oakland City. I do not, unfortunately, have any recollection of my grandfather Eyer who I understand died shortly after I was born. I was told that he was an accomplished cornet player and did, at one time, play for the Indianapolis Philomophic Orchestra. I believe he died from a long battle with cancer. Now, I do recall many visit with my grandmother Eyer and the Becker grandparents, for it was an annual family vacation to visit each of the grandparents.
My father was a Hotel Clerk in Bradenton, Florida after he was discharged from the Army Air Corp at the close of World War II. For some reason this did not provide what he and mom needed to live so he re-enlisted into the United States Air Force, the name did change from the Army Air Corp around that time. He then became a carrier Airman. Now for the next twenty years he would serve his country during several times of conflict and unrest. He began with World War II, and then was serving during the Korean Conflict, and he finally finished his career when he retired as the Vietnam Conflict was just beginning.
Well, lest I bore anyone I’ll end it there. #CLIFFHANGER (And yes, I did just use a hashtag. My blog. My rules!) I will go through more of my dad’s stuff and post some more at some later date.