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Thursday, June 19, 2014


My father would have been 81 years old today. He was born June 19, 1933. His name was Robert Emswiler, Bob, but he was known as Augie. The story I heard was that when he was growing up there was a jockey named Augie, who my dad looked like, being as my dad was small for his age, the name stuck with him.<p>
Augie was a very friendly guy, and growing up it seemed everyone knew him. He played in 3 sports at school, the big 3, football, basketball, and baseball. He used to say he was the 4th string quarterback on a team with 3 squads. He spent some time in Germany as part of the US Army occupation forces. My uncle Ed went to Korea to fight, but due to the fact that in WWII an entire family of boys died in battle, my father was not allowed into battle, so that there was always a son to carry on the family name. He came home, after learning how to operate heavy machinery and became a crane operator.
He also started a family with my mother SaraJane. Between 1957 and 1967, 3 boys, Robert Jr, David (that's me), and Rodger, and 2 girls, Judy, and Linda. We grew up in a sports minded family, playing little league baseball, and midget football. My dad coached, my mom worked in the refreshment stands, and coached the cheerleaders (not sure if coached is the right word here.) We played sports, we played games, in spite of the ups and downs it was a good time growing up.
Where ever my father went he probably left a friend. Between his coaching baseball, and football, and running a high-school-and-
up basketball program at our church, he was active in the community. He was a member of the Friendship Fire Company in Royersford, driving the ambulance for a time.
I had a contentious relationship with my father, he was a very strict man, and I tended to not listen as well as others. I did my own thing, and occasionally got in trouble for it. Sometimes it wasn't so much in trouble as 2 hard heads butting together. I remember in May of 1989, something happened, I forget what it was, I just know I was mad at him, and didn't want to see him or visit. Of course when his birthday came up in June, I was probably going to cook again on Father's day, the Sunday either before or after his birthday, or occasionally the day itself. He was the one who got me started cooking, and he bought me the wok, which I used to make sweet and sour pork, fried rice, and pepper steak. My brother Rodger's wife Cindi, had just given birth to a little girl, Tabitha, so that was the first time some of us would meet my new niece. Things were good.
Just over 25 years ago, on a Monday morning, my father was heading to a job, and a man in another van, I seem to remember the man was carrying mushrooms, but I may be mis-remembering, hit a dip in the road, and drove through the middle of the road and head on into my father's van. Due to the severity of his injuries, he was flown to the Chester Crozier Trauma Center in Chester, Pa. For 2 weeks, he lay there, obviously in pain. He died on the morning of his 56th birthday. June 19, 1989. 25 years ago today.
As I said, my father had left friends where ever he went, and his funeral was standing room only, filling 2 rooms and probably going out into a 3rd with all the people who came to the service. If we lived in a country or a time where wakes were more prevalent, I am sure his would have lasted for days.
When he died, the family was small, us 5 children, and Stephanie, Judy's first, and Tabitha, plus Kenny, Kelly, and Jason, Cindi's children. He missed as the family grew with Judy having 2 more, Jessica and Kaity, Linda's whole crew of John Cory, Cassie, and Logan, and my twins, Ben and Erin. He would have loved having them visit and enjoying the pool, and I'm sure they would have loved visiting him.
25 years has softened some memories, and hardened others, but I still think of Dad, and remember.

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