My Dad, George Drinnan, was a Dad who was there through thick and thin. He disciplined me when I was bad, but was always there for me. Dad played baseball with my brother, sister and I, which he referred to as “my three sons.”
He introduced me to the woods, which I grew to love. When other families went to the shore, Dad took the family camping. I am the oldest. When I was little, Dad used to take me for walks in the woods in the Lorraine Gardens section of Somerton, PA, which, in the late 50s, still had woods, with Rusty, our cocker spaniel. It was a magical time. I remember walking past the forts where there were big kids (ten years old and up). I had no fear of them; a bigger kid was with me. Abandoned railroad tracks seemed to magically appear in the woods, as if that’s the only place they were.
For the longest time, Dad told me the story where Rusty used to swim in the pond at Fisher’s Pool, where ducks also swam. After the ducks got used to Rusty swimming in their pool, they let him swim with them. Rusty became an honorary duck. He was the lead duck, the point of the V.
My Dad was a character. On one occasion, when other campers were making noise after campground quiet hours started, Dad cupped his hands and announced something like “Quiet Hours Are In Effect; So Quiet Down.”
Like father like son. Dad was a church elder. On one occasion, my grandfather introduced himself as “George Drinnan Sr.”, father of the elder Drinnan.
Although I rebelled against the Christian faith, Dad continued to bring me up in the faith, not just by word, but by example. He never presented himself as being perfect, but as a sinner saved by grace. Dad lived his faith. He was committed to my Mom and us kids.
My Dad was principled. On one occasion, as church organist, he had a problem with the pastor cutting a verse in Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress”, which he said left the devil in charge. He stopped playing the rest of the service. A visitor, who happened to be a man of means, thought the organ broke down and donated money to the church.
Today I continue to grow in the faith. Dad planted the seed. Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. When I viewed Dad to pay my respects, he looked peaceful.
When a friend asked me if my Dad feared death, I said no because he knows where he is going. For my Dad, death had no sting! He has returned to the Lord.