Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Ode to Parents

1935 Northwood High School Football Team

Arleigh Holstad - 1935
Richard Holstad has written fondly of his memories of his dad, and lessons learned or passed along by him. In the photo above, Dad Arleigh is in the middle row, far left.  Click on the photo for a larger view, and if you look closely you will see a bandage over his left eye.  

His official game photo is on the left, and Richard speaks with pride of  Arleigh's athletic experience.  He even has Arleigh's old practice jersey, "tattered, faded and worn as it is."  Perhaps we all have memories of valuable lessons learned, like those Arleigh passed along: Every game is a lesson in life, and when the buzzer goes off, the game is over, with no chance for a replay, or second or third chance.  It's not about winning or losing, it's about playing the game.  It's a team sport, and though you may let your team down, or your team may let you down on occasion, there's no feeling to compare when the team comes through all at the same time, as a team.

Richard says he learned how to lose before learning how to win, and it's much more fun to talk about the wins...  As we all would agree.  Perhaps being a part of that 61-62 basketball team may have been extraordinarily rewarding, but for some of us with limited skill set such that the ball has a tendency to "clank" off the backboard as it would if a brick were thrown up, could only participate vicariously - from the bleachers.

In any event, how much guidance did we actually receive from parents?  And how much was ignored?  Richard has clearly taken Arleigh's advice to heart.  If you have thoughts on the life experiences gained from your parents, mom or dad, pass them along.  This could be a whole new avenue to stroll.

Few of our era are likely to say there was never any advice or suggest there was no direct supervision.  More likely we may hear:

  • They always knew what I was doing.
  • They really kept me on a tight leash.  (And you deserved it?)
  • They didn't say so, but I could tell they were proud.
  • Rarely did they come to my defense in a dispute with a teacher; if they did, they may well have been incorrect in their decision.  But I wouldn't object, of course.
  • Right or wrong, they didn't want me to be like so-and-so.
  • They didn't tell me what to do in life - they thought I should figure it out myself.

Share your thoughts.  This could be fun.


  1. I could not agree more with you on the direct supervision we didn't see much of in our formative years. I think we just knew it was there. Also, I believe that we did not just have 2 parents, we had 500 parents. The town watched over us and they all knew what we were doing or probably about to do even if we hadn't done it yet!

    My parents actually warned me I could not come home with a C on my report card or I would be grounded. In high school I could not drive until the next report card came out if I came home with a C. I remember being so shy in music that I could not sing a line alone and I would fail the class...I was so scared...but I still could not do it. Teacher let another student sing with me...whew and thank you Mr. Keyes.

    My father told me "the rope around your neck" is as long as you want it to be or you could find that it will start to strangle you...it worked 99% of the time. I know I often walked the line but that rope kept reeling me back on the straight and narrow when I was about to veer off.

    Would not trade my parents nor my upbringing for any other set of parents. They loved unconditionally and were so very proud of their three girls.

  2. Well said Merrilee,

    I recall so many times as a kid, if someone wanted to know who I was for some reason, I'd say my name .... usually that didn't pin down my identity. So they'd say "you Arleigh's boy?" I'd say yep. That was usually the end of that discussion.

    Why is it that, out here, when I volunteer the fact that I'm Arleigh's boy ..... it don't count for squat.

    One time Buddy Mounts had it out for me for some reason. We passed going opposite directions in the hallway and Buddy walked way out of his way to confront me. He had a snarl on his face. He slugged me in the shoulder so hard it spun me around. The he growled and said, "You better watch out or your gonna turn out just like your brother!"

    Like Beaver Cleaver I replied , "Honest coach? That would be just fine with me."

    I was smart enough to have back-peddled far enough to be out of range of his next punch.

    Merrilee, don't you think brothers and sisters stuck together back then too, when the chips were down?


  3. I sure do Richard. All through life we have stuck together with perhaps only a bump or two along the road but, we got through them and are there for each other. We all need somebody at sometime in our lives and there is nothing closer than family.

  4. "You Arleigh's boy" is so true. I have been "Bethanie's Mother", "Scott's Mother", "Michael's Mother", Now I am "Dustin's Grandma", & of course, "Connor's Grandma." This is who I am.


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