Today would have been my father Fred Robert Slade, Jr.’s 84th birthday. The facts of his life are nothing special.
- Born August 7, 1928 to Fred Robert and Julia Mary Walsh Slade in Portsmouth, Virginia
- Graduated from St. Joseph Academy in 1945
- Served in the Coast Guard for a little over a year 1946-47
- Attended St. Bernard Academy in Alabama on a GI-Bill
- Graduated from University of Virginia 1950
- Attended law school but quit after two years when he decided he didn’t want to have to lie to people
- Married Mary Eleanor Davis
- Helped keep his father’s taxi business going by working as a driver
- Worked as an insurance salesman, department manager for Sears & Roebuck, realtor, concrete contractor, real estate developer
- Died of lung cancer January 31, 2009
Here are some things you won’t learn by looking at the “facts”:
- Daddy’s favorite songs were “Danny Boy,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” and “Ave Maria.”
- He read all the time. There wasn’t a subject he couldn’t talk about.
- He took us on week long vacations to all the battlefields in Virginia and Pennsylvania. We knew more about the Civil War than anyone else in class. We always stayed in a nice hotel that had a pool. He would have chocolate milk delivered to our room.
|Daddy playing with my sister at the pool in Charlottesville, VA|
Daddy could jump rope like Mohammad Ali. There was very little space between his feet and the floor, just enough for the rope to slip through.
He was funny. When I was telling Momma and Daddy about the young man I was bringing home to meet them, Daddy asked what he liked to do. I said he liked to hunt. Without skipping a beat, Daddy said, “Great. We’ll all hide and he can look for us.”
|Daddy talking with Coach Bell, |
no doubt imparting some advice on strategy
|Daddy and "First Child"|
He even attended a wedding he wasn’t invited to just to see the most beautiful bridesmaid.
Yep, that's Daddy.