Since He Never New Exactly When His Birthday Was!
If he were alive, today we would be celebrating my father’s 116th (?) birthday. Perhaps December 12th was his birthday, but perhaps not since no one, including him, ever actually knew what date was really his birthday.
When he was born in 1900, the government had not yet gotten their noses into keeping personal records on its citizens. Instead that record keeping was left to families who recorded important dates in the family bible or to the churches who kept records of baptisms, weddings and burials.
My father’s mother, who certainly knew the date of his birth, died before my father could find out that exact date. His father was also of no help. He was an engineer on the old Reading Railroad and would often be away from home for days, if not weeks, at a time hauling coal from the mines in up-state Pennsylvania to the factories and steel mills in other parts of the state. Frank’s father was born while his father was on one of those trips and Grand pop Fleming was really not one to have time for trivial things like his kids’ birth dates.
As a result my father (Francis Richard Fleming, Sr.) grew up never knowing what date was really his birthday. He knew he was born in early December and was baptized shortly before Christmas. That was all. When he got old enough to celebrate and /or had to give his birth date to employers, government bureaucrats, etc. he simply picked a date and DECEMBER 12th seemed as good as any other day.
So, as a result of his decision that December 12, 1900 would thereafter be considered as his birthday and was the day when his family and friends would always celebrate his birthday.
So Today I Wish My Dad
Francis R. Fleming, Sr.
A Happy 116th Birthday
WHENEVER YOUR BIRTHDAY MAY BE
Posted by Frank Fleming 12/16/2016
In Loving Memory Of My Dad
1936 – 2016