My dad was one of the very best dads ever. He only had one very annoying habit and that was smoking. Being a popular Latvian poet and working as a newspaper editor he was always full of nervous energy and his work gave him the craving for cigarettes. When my parents got married in the DP Camps in Germany it was a tough time and sometimes to get things like meat you had to trade things which the local people really wanted. One day my mom was wondering what she and my dad had left to trade when she discovered that dad has a whole trunk full of cigarette packs. He was, of course, unhappy to give up some of them but cigarettes could be a good trade for many items.
When I came along it’s odd because I don’t remember my dad smelling of cigarettes all the time but mom says she would wind up emptying full ashtrays and being really upset that dad didn’t give up this habit. It is in fact the reason why we lost my dad so early. His arteries had begun to narrow and he really needed a bypass operation but in the 1960s these operations were just in the experimental stage. Dad would have been more than glad to be experimented on to give him a chance to live but it all came too late.
And he would have not been around today anyway since today April 23 would have been his 115th birthday being born in 1905. However, he could have at least been around 10 or so more years just to see me grow up and I would have been able to talk to him as an adult.