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Ordinary Events Grow Into Great Memories Over Time

Things that don't seem special at the time leave a lasting impression.

I grew up with a father who did not have a 9-to-5 job; he was the golf pro at for most of my elementary school years. He worked six days a week during the golfing season with Mondays and the winters off.

In the summers we didn’t see Dad as often as a "normal" family. I was young and didn’t really realize that this was unusual. I look back now and remember things that we did together that were very routine but now appreciate those memories even more.

Our Monday mornings consisted of going to Foree’s, the restaurant on La Grange Road that is no longer there, for breakfast. We sat at the counter stools and always had the same waitress, although I can’t recall her name. This is where I learned to order my eggs basted, well done.  I was probably 4 or 5 at the time, but I can still see the inside of the restaurant.

A few years later my mom joined a bowling league that met on Wednesday nights. This was the start on the Wednesday night dinner with my dad and brother at Harvey’s, the restaurant the once stood where Boston Market is now at LaGrange Road and Plainfield Avenue. We always ordered the onion loaf, and recently I was dreaming about that delicious greasy delight. I have yet to find one that is as good as I remember at Harvey’s. If anyone knows a place that serves a great onion loaf, please let me know.

Golf was never in my future. This lefty was never allowed to play left-handed.  “No daughter of mine is going to golf backwards.” I can hear my father repeating. Sorry, Dad, but those were your words. Golf is still in my life thanks to another routine, but this one was more recent.

When we lived in Florida we would visit my parents who lived in the area and my father would take my son, Alex, to the backyard to hit golf balls. They lived near a retention pond and they would work on his swing. They started hitting in the backyard from the time Alex could walk. When we moved out of state we would come in and visit and my father and Alex would go to the backyard and start hitting balls into the pond. My father gave Alex a golf swing that he will have for life. Alex played his first 18 holes of golf at the age of 13 and shot an 88. From that point forward, golf was life to Alex. Simple time spent swinging a golf club in the backyard developed into a future career for my son.

These recollections have taught me that even simple everyday events can lead to fond memories in the future. Who knew that I would look back and dream about eating a Harvey’s onion loaf after all these years or that I even remember why I order my eggs basted, well done.

Hopefully in the future, my sons will look back at some of the simple events in their lives with the same fondness and appreciation. I tend to think all they will remember is me telling them to flush the toilet because that is definitely an everyday event around here.

Laurie Whitman June 15, 2011 at 06:15 PM
Such a great memory and story, Laurie. My dad, "Papou" to my kids, loved to tell stories. He was the guy you wanted to call if you were on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and got stuck searching for an obscure answer or the guy you called when you were in a bar someplace looking for that trivia answer to a sports question. When my son was in 4th grade, he was doing a report on major league baseball. My dad meticulously wrote out the entire history of baseball, starting with Mr. Doubleday, what each team was named originally, how the National and American Leagues were formed and also the changes, like how the Brooklyn Dodgers went to Los Angeles. My son still has my dad's handwritten letter to him - 20 years later.
leaine August 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Memories that were no ordinary event. As I have one of those life changing birthdays coming up I found myself googling a name that for years I would never think of wanting to find out any information. My search took me to this on-line news paper and your brief article. It put a smile on my face to see you have specail memories at Foree's restaurant from your childhood. I also spent a lot of my childhood there, as Don Foree was my stepfather. As I was in Chicago this past March and in this time of reflection of my life; I drove past (as I just found out) where Foree's used to be. I don't know why I was compelled to see this "dark side" of my past. A past with this person for me was the cause of so much pain. I guess being able to hear someone having good memories from a place that for me was not, proves to me how light can shine from even the darkest memories. God does work in mysterious ways. Leaine

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