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My Father, Carl W. Pehrson

by Phyllis Pehrson Harritt

I would like to pay tribute to my father for a number of reasons. It is difficult to enumerate them because I think all children take so much for granted. Until they have had the privilege of going through the same experience of being a parent, they have no practical way of understanding the unselfishness and compassion most parents demonstrate toward their children.

My father was so good to his wife and children. We were never in need of food and the necessities of life. He worked hard–frequently twelve hours a day–six days a week. He also planted a garden every year and we enjoyed the choice vegetables and fruits.

He was also thoughtful and considerate of his widowed sister, Hilda. He visited her regularly and would take her to town to get her groceries.

I remember my father telephoning my mother nearly every evening before he came home from work to inquire if there was something he should get for her.

The Christmas before Calvin was born my father did the shopping. He went all out and I thought we received the grandest gifts. As I remember–I got a camera, and the twins received darling sweaters.

My father was so thrilled with the miracle of radio. I often wonder what he would say about the marvels of television today.

I learned about the beauties of nature from a father who loved the canyons and rivers where he could fish. How I loved to eat the fish that he caught! He would feel our foreheads and say we could eat a little more because our foreheads were still a little soft.

Dad always encouraged us in our musical endeavors. Money for lessons didn’t come easy during the depression. He never complained about driving Erma to the numerous places she had been requested to play her violin.

During his last illness he was patient and appreciative of the care he received. His last concern was for the welfare of his children.

We, his children–Phyllis, Ruth, Ruby, Erma, and Calvin–are proud to be heirs to his name.

—Phyllis P. Harritt

August 1969