Sunday Nights With Dad and Disney

The way we were back in the 60's.
The way we were back in the 60’s.
Sunday nights in southwest Kansas were quiet fifty some years ago. A relaxed feeling came over our house as the weekend came to a close. We all went to church Sunday mornings without question. But Sunday night’s church was optional. Mom would always go but Dad liked to stay home. And my two brothers and sister and I could choose. Sometimes I went to church to see a friend but I also liked to stay home with Dad.I usually had arithmetic or geography homework I was ignoring. I always told myself I’d do it right away on Friday nights, but by Sunday nights a worksheet of long division problems or chapter and study questions from my geography book would still be waiting. I had the marvelous ability back then to ignore such things like homework. And it didn’t bother me.Dad would be ignoring things too. He didn’t want to think about work on Monday morning or the chores he didn’t finish on Saturday afternoon. And being a quiet, introverted type he enjoyed the break from being around a lot of people. And besides, Sunday was a day for relaxing. Late Sunday afternoon Dad was in good spirits. He would have plans to make himself a sandwich. And he liked to watch “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” on TV. Even though we had only a black and white television set it didn’t make any difference to him.If I stayed home I not only got to watch something fun on TV, I got to be with my Dad when he was the most fun. He liked the Disney’s shows even the cartoons. He enjoyed his sandwich making, which to him was an outlet for his artistic expression. And he would comment while we watched the TV shows. If, the TV show showed wild animals acting like tame ones, my Dad would point out that it wasn’t really real. And he would tell me that when the cowboys kept on shooting they should have been out of bullets long ago.He seemed to enjoy my comments too. He laughed when I complained that there were never any pretty girls in the Disney movies. And when I’d ask him why people were upset about things like taking game out of season or killing a doe with a fawn he’d have some wisdom to pass along.Both Dad and I have trouble with allergies. And we both love animals and nature. Many boys learned about life by going hunting and fishing and camping with their fathers but Dad passed on a lot of his wisdom munching on his intricate sandwiches while watching Disney shows with me.He loved to make sandwiches from different kinds of cured and smoked meats mixed with different kinds of cheeses and condiments. And he was health conscious too, adding a sprig of lettuce or slices of tomato and onion. I learned about summer sausage, pimento loaf, salami, corned beef, liverwurst and braunschweiger and about my Dad on those fun Sunday nights.
Still enjoying a bite to eat.
Still enjoying a bite to eat.
To liven things up he would have me dare him to drink the salty brine out of the pickle jar, or he would dare me to drink a glass of buttermilk. Laughing at our antics together it was like spending the evening with my Dad when he was a young boy.But Walt’s Wonderful World of Disney would be over way too soon. We’d clean up our dishes and Mom would come home from church. Somebody would ask if we had our homework done and the weekend would be over.Sighing, I would find myself sitting in my room trying to stuff boring math or South American landmass facts into my mind wishing I had done my homework on Friday night. But inside I would be happy and contented, remembering my Dad’s face as he laughed with me not so long ago.