This week in April is one full of memories for me and my family. My dad’s birthday is April 21 and he would be 94 years old on Tuesday. He had Alzheimer’s Disease and passed away several years ago. I think of him, around this time every year and his connection with Earth Day and Save the Whales Day ( if such a day was ever designated for this cause, I don’t have proof).
My daughter Maia is a born environmentalist. Be patient, I am getting to the point. She loves the great outdoors, the woods, the beach and especially visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm in upstate New York. Most of her passion came from wonderful teachers she had in grade school in the Northampton, Mass. area.
During the mid-70’s education was all about the environment and it seemed like everyone was on board.
In kindergarten, her class studied about the plight of whales and built a huge paper maché whale that was hung in the Southampton Elementary School’s library. It even got press coverage and Maia was in the photo.
Back then we were big celebrators of Earth Day and involved each year with various “Save Our Earth” projects.
Dad was an outdoors man who cherished the wildlife and the land. He never spent many waking hours indoors. Even on Summer evenings, when it rained, he would perch himself on the porch swing and listen to the frogs sing their praises to Mother Nature. Dad would relax knowing the vegetation was being nourished. The thing I admire most about him is his lifelong dedication to take care of his tiny spot on the planet.
So, let me boil this down. In the late 70’s, when Maia was eight or nine she started feeling sorry for grandpa, because grandma’s birthday was also the first day of Spring. So she informed him that April 21st was “Save the Whales Day.” I think it was more like a commemoration sometime in April every year, back then. I can’t find out much more than that online, and it is celebrated all different times of the year, nowadays. Here is a link: http://www.savethewhales.org/
Actually Earth Day, was closer, April 25th, and a few years later she told him she got mixed up. It didn’t matter to him as he appreciated her intentions. Here is a link to Earth Day: http://www.earthday.org/
Besides, he was happy to celebrate both days, He always made a big deal out of his birthday being special because of Maia.
This week I will pay homage to my dad, to our Earth, the whales and beautiful, thoughtful children.
I need to carve a whale stamp. In the meantime, enjoy these samplings of my work: