My father William

This is a blog about my father, William Foster Gillian and the legends he created during his life. We, the children have such great memories of an amazing life, because of him and my mother, Virginia Rose Gruszka Gillian. I want to tell of the stories and folktales of my family, for we have no next generation. I hope I can do justice to my father, for he was an amazing story teller. Thank you for your precious time spent reading this blog!

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Friday, February 25, 2005

The Boulevadier

I am back finally, after vacation and yet another round of antiboitics for sinus and bronchitis. Vacation was San Deigo--rain, rain, rain, rain, etc. You get the picture.

Well, onto my father William. When I was little, I was a curious child and books were always a GREAT attraction to me. I will tell you the "Playboy" story later. There were several large photo albums, with pictures of many lovely ladys, of varying ages and looks, in my parent's bedroom. I asked father about them, and he replied we were his date books. I was shocked! My father went out with women other than my mother! I was appalled by it all! I then let curosity get the best of me again, and I asked about them. Some were classmates, and others were from the neighborhood. Some were friends of friends, yet others were blind dates. One picture of a older woman, who I remember as being very beautiful, was a teacher of his. There were so many. I was in awe of my father. WOW! I then asked my mother where her Books were (note: plural), and she showed me only a few pictures of the small crowd, who had courted her. I could not believe it. I was stunned by the vast difference in their experiences. Oh, how naive I was!


These days my father would be considered a "player", but back then he thought of himself as a "Boulevadier". A man of romance. A snappy dresser, who was light upon his feet. He told me he asked every girl out. He said it was surprising, when the pretty ones would tell him, that they did not get asked out much. He saw a "No" from a girl as simply a "no", and not a personal rejection. He believed in showing a girl a lovely time, and respecting her. He never tried anything with anyone of them. He told of one girl, who cried at the end of a date, for she was always treated like trash and used. She had never been shown such respect and kindness by any man before. He told me of going to seven proms one year, for his mother fixed him up with friends' daughters, that could not get a date for some reason. These were at various schools thoughout the region. He said he enjoyed each outing, and made the night special for each young lady to remember. One of his favorite song lyrics was :"I'll make you a day, like no day has been or will be again...". These were the ideals my father bought me up with, making me one of the last of the hopeless romantics. I hope to tell of some of his romantic gestures thoughout this blog.

It was after WWII, and my father was a fit and handsome young Marine. He was full of vim and vigor. My mother was a shy 20 something, working in her Aunt's clothing store in downtown Hammond, "Carrie Long"s". It was High couture for back then, alligator handbags, and designer coats. Items the other stores did not carry. (At this time, Hammond was the second largest city in the state, and a thriving suburban community.) I guess I will continue this from my mother's point of view. She was working a counter, when a good-looking young man walked into the store on a friday afternoon. The shop was for women only, so she asked he if needed any help. He replied he wanted a hankerchief box for his mother, though he had made no purchase. This stunned her, and she explained she could not give him one. The banter went back and forth for few minutes,when my father announced he would see her tomorrow. My mother was flustered at this point, and stared at him, asking what he meant. He replied "I am your blind date for tomorrow, and I just came by to check you out, to make sure you were not a dog." With a smile and a wave, he walked out of the store leaving my mother literally beside herself in shock. My father had an amzaing sense of humor, and my mother came from a world void of it.

Mutual friends of theirs had set them up for a blind date for saturday evening. She was a wreck, for she never had experienced anything/anyone like my father before. I can still see her face, as she told me the story of their first meeting. Oh, the smile and the flush in her cheeks, just as it must have been on that fateful day. My mother came from a Polish Roman Catholic family--her grandparents from the old country. She had led a pretty sheltered life until meeting father. He changed that for good.

Well, I think I will leave you hanging here for the first date story--there are a couple side stories to it and the second date/chance encounter is tied in as well. I do not want to make these posting too long, because you might not read them then.

21 Comments:

Blogger Judi said...

Happy belated birthday!! I love your stories. What year was your Dad born. Sounds alot like my Dad. Lied about his age, joined the Marines and then the Air Force. Look forward to reading more about your family and your Dad. My Dad died 12 years ago this May. I still miss him but have great memories like you.

6:30 PM  
Blogger SimpleKiwi said...

Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I blogrolled you! ^-^ And Happy Belated Birthday, too.

Have a nice one!

(You know, I love it when people have stories to tell. :P I don't have many that have passed through my family, really. We don't keep track of things like that. But hey, it's nice to see that some families actually cherish stories!)

(For some reason, that didn't come out right. :) )

4:17 PM  
Blogger Müzikdüde said...

Great story. Reminds me of my Grandfather (Who is still kicking at age 92)

I share your bronchitis and sinuses too.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Jugglernaut said...

Hi, Muzik sent me via his Mystery Box. Happy belated birthday!

11:44 AM  
Blogger Mamacita said...

Any friend of Muzik's was bound to be cool, but your blog is even cooler than I expected. Hammond is up north and I live down in southern Indiana, but it's neat to meet a fellow Hoosier, via a friend's recommendation.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Goldie said...

Muzik sent me - wow this is an amazing blog! Such a great idea! I'll be visiting you again.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Wickwire said...

Muzik sent me, I like your writing style, it flows easily. Interesting too.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Muzik sent me, glad he did. Lovely blog :)

5:11 PM  
Blogger Ms. Vickie said...

Great story---wish I had met a few like your dad when I was growing up for I was always without dates. Muzik sent me over as you are his Mystery blog. I am glad he did. Love your writing.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Ms. Vickie said...

Great story---wish I had met a few like your dad when I was growing up for I was always without dates. Muzik sent me over as you are his Mystery blog. I am glad he did. Love your writing.

6:38 PM  
Blogger se7en said...

cool post dude, my grammy is 92 and she kicks ass!!

=) blame muzik duuuude for my presence LOL

7:18 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

Happy belated birthday. Thank you for your suggestions, but my mouth dryness isn't that bad, at least not yet. I think as long as my other salivary gland stays intact, I'll be okay.

I did have swelling and pain in my neck, under my ear, after today's treatment, but a couple of Advil liquid gel-caps took the edge off.

I do appreciate your kindness and your lovely flowers.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surfing in from Muzik's to wish you a very happy belated birthday!

(Liz @ This Full House)

10:14 PM  
Blogger Chaotic Serenity said...

I love your blog and can't wait to read more! I found your blog through Muzik's mystery blog button. I hope you don't mind but I blogrolled you. Hope you are feeling better soon. :)

This is my second attempt at leaving a comment. The first one disappeared into cyberspace somewhere!

10:28 PM  
Blogger FTS said...

Nice blog :) The Muzik Dude sent me!

1:02 AM  
Blogger Arethusa said...

Hahahahaha, that was a great story! I'm sending it to a friend who I think will find it familiar (as her father is a bit like that).

Muzikdude sent me!

1:31 AM  
Blogger Hope said...

John sent me, too. That was a very touching story about the young woman breaking into tears because your father was one of the few people who had not treated her horribly. I thought of the scene in The Graduate when Benjamin behaves boorishly to Elaine throughout most of their first date. She begins to weep quietly and he is filled with remorse and tenderness.

I can see why John likes your blog. It is fun to visit a place that uses the word, "boulevardier." Sweet account of how your parents met. You write very well! He certainly was a charmer!

Hope

6:16 AM  
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9:23 PM  
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10:40 PM  
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8:57 AM  
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