Besides photos (I had a hard time finding one of just Dad)
make a recording of him (and Mom too).
Many years after they are gone the sound of their voice will bring out memories or emotions.
It was a total accident that I got these recordings.
These recordings were made circa 1963 on a home 1/2 track mono reel-to-reel
with a cruddy ungrounded microphone and 60 cycle hum.
Dad singing SleepyTime Girl, 850KB, 80kbs mp3.
Dad playing harmonica. 2.4MB, 80kbs mp3.
Dad singing in a church Easter Service, partial clip. 570KB, 80kbs mp3.
The above recording is from the Clifton Reformed Church Choir, year unknown.
The Clifton Reformed Church no longer exists, but if anyone has a bulletin from that Easter Service
I would like to get a copy.
Dad normally sang in the choir at the First Presbyterian Church in Carlstadt, NJ;
people who heard him paid Dad to sing at their weddings.
wire recorder, circa 1947, Dad singing The Lords Prayer. 815KB, 56kbs mp3.
He seems to have driven the microphone or the wire-recorder into distortion.
Dad tried to sing other songs but either the machine was defective or Dad did not use it properly,
the radio was being recorded at the same time as Dads singing,
whichever was louder won out.
wire recorder, circa 1947, Dad? playing the piano. 510KB, 56kbs mp3.
I really don't know who is playing, but Dad went to Band Instrument Repair School in Indiana,
had a lot of instruments in the house, and seemed to be able to play all of them.
circa 1947 classical music recorded off the radio with a wire recorder. 450KB, 56kbs mp3.
I believe the 'slurring' of sound at the beginning of the recording is the wire-recorder getting up to speed.
Dad recorded about 3 1/2 spools off the radio, most of unexpected quality for 1947 cheap equipment, and off the radio.
There is also one of a lady singing "Go to Sleep little Baby, Ride a Shiny Little Pony".
Dad was in WWII, in the Army; he went through Normandy on the seventh day (12 June 1944),
and fought all the way into Germany, to Hitlers 'Eagles Nest';
other than two minor stories, he never talked about it.
Dad was in Europe until 17 December 1945.
Unfortunately all his military records were destroyed by the fire at the records center.
Dad collected European HO Trains: Dads train stuff
Dad had an upholstery business in his mothers garage in Clifton, NJ, until the garage burned down.
When he later acquired a 66 key piano that had been in a fire in New York City (after 1955)
he upholstered it to hide the damage: