Monday, 5 May 2008
Would have been seventy
Today my dad, Graeme Young, would have turned 70.
He would have, if he had not lost his life to pneumonia and cancer nearly 30 years ago. I wasn't yet four years old.
Because I was so young, my experiences and memories of Dad are very ... fractured. My picture of him has been formed through the memories of others, "you're just like your father" observations (good and bad), and photos.
In the photo I've chosen, dad was just 15 and starting out at what would be his career of printing. He left school - and eventually home - as early as possible. He and his dad didn't get on. At all.
Printing was his life for much of his twenties, until he realised he needed to extend his skills and make up for his lack of education. Aged 29, he completed his School Certificate by correspondence, and over the next few years studied to be qualified as an office manager.
One of my few full colour memories of Dad is a trip to the office he worked in at Wilson and Horton. When you're three, going on four, there's not such a strong sense of narrative, but there are pictures. Warehouses, shelves, offices, big phones, forklifts... it may as well have been Disneyland. It was the world of business, and I keep some of those feelings even today as I venture out in the big world of business. For that trip, I am forever thankful.
Happy 70th, Dad.