For Father’s Day: Chester Felix Garstki, Dad

by Carol A. Westbrook

We think about our fathers during the month of June. Father’s Day is a time to remember these beloved men, especially those who have passed. We reflect on how remarkable their live were, and of so many questions we’d ask them if they were still alive. I’ ask my Dad what he would have done if we were living together at home during the Covid-19 epidemic.

The author, age 6, washing her hands thoroughly

Actually, I don’t need to ask him; I know exactly what he’d do. He’d have followed the guidelines to the letter. He would set the family rules: 1. Masks and gloves when we go out — and no more family drives for hot dogs, Italian beef, or ice cream cones. 2. Wash hands a lot. 3. (That’s me in 1956, doing the right thing!) Play only in our yard, and not with other kids–so no more wiffleball games in the alley, or running under the sprinkler on the front lawn. 4. Meals together, as usual. 5 Pray together as a family every night. For supplies, he’d take advantage of our well-stocked basement “bomb shelter” storage, pantry and deep freezer.

Dad would have obtained supplies for the lockdown using connections at his workplace, the Chicago Board of Education. In true Chicago style, he would call in favors or promise favors of his own, like a good word to a Department head for a city job. Or he could offer professional family portraits, or wedding photos. He also had gossip and information to share. Read more »