Happy birthday Dad!

The Sepia Saturday prompt for this week is a photo from the 1930s. While the girl in the prompt photo is shearing an angora rabbit, I am taking the decade as my inspiration for this post.

Ok, honestly I was hoping that the prompt would be something to tie into my theme. January 7th is my dad’s (Bert) 80th birthday! He was born in 1932, so the prompt photo conveniently ties in to the time frame.

Hennie & Bert 1932

Here’s the little guy as a newborn. Awwww.

Bert 1932

First portrait, maybe 6 or 8 months old?

Bert maybe 1936

Growing up, maybe three or four years old here. I think this might be at the family farm.

High school graduation

Fast forward to high school! The photo was dated 1949 so this is his senior portrait.

Looking dapper!

There is a whole series of the family dressed in white taken in the 50s. My dad was the oldest of three, with a younger sister and brother behind him. To this day, he is still very close with his siblings even though they live 3000 miles away. Before email and free long distance, they made ways to stay close to one another and that is a family trait I think my sister and I are keeping up with.

Bert & Alice engagement

Bert & Alice August 25, 1956

He and my mom have been married for 55 years and through that time they have been an example to me and others of making a marriage work. My dad travelled a lot for his job, but he never missed our birthdays or holidays, and when I was in sports he was at nearly every game. Now that he has retired, he still likes to fish and golf (two four letter words if I ever heard one!), and in recent years has been completely captivated by his granddaughter – can you say wrapped right ’round the little finger? He still helps us with our Civil War reenactment set ups and if we had only found that hobby 20 years ago, I’m certain he would have been happily “dying on the field of battle” along with the rest of the boys in blue.


Here’s Melody and her Papa. It’s a love affair unparalleled by any other.

Happy birthday Daddy!

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17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. usermattw
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 00:22:44

    What a treat to see the age progression in these photos.


  2. Little Nell
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 02:22:15

    A lovely and loving tribute.


  3. IntenseGuy
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 06:36:17

    Beautiful tribute to one of our unsung heros…

    He obviously loves his family too – you can see it in every photo where he isn’t alone –

    Happy Birthday Bert!!!


  4. postcardy
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 07:33:38

    That is an interesting series of photos. His baby photo looks a lot like his recent photo, but he looks different in between.


  5. Auntie Kat
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 09:23:59

    Love this. Happy Birthday Dad! Love, Kathy


  6. Bob Scotney
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 11:13:46

    Interesting to see a man progress through his life. Hope there’s many years to come.
    Is there more you can tell us about USS Dewey? I’m so glad I enlarged that lst photo.


    • Mrs Marvel
      Jan 07, 2012 @ 11:25:56

      Hi Bob, the USS Dewey is a destroyer escort I believe. The ships commissioning took place not too far from where we live, and I obtained tickets for the family to attend such an historic and once-in-a-lifetime event. It was impressive! However, my dad was Army, not Navy, we just thought it was a great opportunity to see. Once all the political speeches were over, they called for the ship to come alive, and come alive it did! All the crew were dressed in their black uniforms, and they literally ran onto the ship, took their stations and started up their equipment. Every horn, whistle and bell was blaring, steam coming from the stacks, and then they lined every inch of rail on every level, standing elbow to elbow and proud to be part of the moment. It was truly awe inspiring!

      Here’s a blog post I wrote about the commissioning: http://melodygibbons.com/blog/2010/03/14/225-USS-Dewey-DDG-105-Commissioning

      and here are some photos: http://melodygibbons.com/gallery/album/58-USS-Dewey-Commissioning

      As I recall, there has been some form of the USS Dewey on the ocean for about 100 years.


  7. Jo
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 13:56:48

    I hope Bert had a happy birthday – lovely photos of a handsome man, and aren’t your mum and Hennie pretty? Melody obviously appreciates her Grandpa :-) Jo


  8. Liz Stratton
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 16:48:52

    Great tribute to your father. Please pass along my wishes for a happy birthday.


  9. Karen S.
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 06:58:54

    Oh you are so lucky to have your dad looking so well and happy! What great photos of his life too, darling little toddler and he became such a handsome young man…great wedding pictures too…nice birthday presentation for your dad!


  10. tatteredandlost
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 12:31:08

    Younger than my dad by close to a decade, it’s nice to see an old Navy man still smiling. Happy Birthday to him.


  11. Wendy
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 14:52:56

    Happy Birthday to your handsome dad. Even in his younger days he was quite the honey-bunny!


  12. Alan Burnett
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 04:14:27

    Indeed, happy birthday to a fine looking gentleman. And congratulations on bending the theme to your own needs – that is what it is all about. Great photos.


  13. Far Side of Fifty
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 13:19:53

    Lovely old photo..and a Happy Birthday to your Dad he sounds like a very special guy..and grandkids are for spoiling..it is a rule! :)


  14. Mike Brubaker
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 08:23:37

    A wonderful tribute. So much better than a card and cake.


  15. Nancy
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 15:10:37

    I’m late with my Sepia Saturday viewing and hence, late with my happy birthday wish for your father. I hope it was a happy one for him.

    I always enjoy looking at photos of people when they are young and then older to see how they changed. This was even better because we were able to see him grow up and then grow older. I think these would be fabulous to illustrate a biography written with more detail (or he could use them to write his own personal history). Very fun.


  16. isabella.richardson
    Oct 27, 2016 @ 13:46:54



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