I suspect that my father, Lee Doyle, knew the camera was aimed his way and chose not to acknowledge the photographer who was standing on the back porch. The photographer was probably me.
Dad rarely rested except when he was in bed. He was a foreman at Copperweld Steel in Warren, Ohio, and worked turns, as we called it: 5 days day-turn, 2 days off; 5 afternoons, 2 days off; 5 midnights, 2 days off; repeat the cycle. Occasionally there were long weekends but I can't remember how they fit into the cycle or how often they came. He was never off the same days of the week from week to week. I can only guess how working turns must have wracked his body.
In addition to working at the mill, he had a small business repairing watches, clocks, and jewelry. He was also the chief repairman, painter, plumber, electrician, gardener, carpenter, and mechanic at our house. If something was broken, he fixed it. If it wasn't broken but could look or work better, he maintained or improved it. In later years my mother used the term work-a-holic to describe Dad. I don't believe that's true. I think he had a very strong work ethic and a high standard for maintaining and improving his property and possessions.
We didn't use the picnic table very often but on hot summer days after several hours' work, Dad sometimes sat at the table with a cold drink or, as in this photo, actually stretched out on it. The apple tree gave welcome, cool shade.
In a previous post I wrote about my father's hats and said he wore a baseball cap to work around the house. Looking at this photo I remember he wore a flat cap, not a baseball hat.
You can see our driveway behind Dad. For many years it was slag, a cast-off product from steel production that was readily available in our area. The slag was hard to ride a bike on because it was very angular chunks of rock. I wonder now that it never pierced the tires on any of our cars. He eventually chose to put down black-top.
The picnic table sat in our side yard: our house is in front of and almost parallel with it. The window above the kitchen sink looked out on the apple tree and the driveway. Main Street was within view from the window, too, but less visible from the window because of the tree and a house which is just out of view.
You can see the tail of a car behind my dad. In the early 1960s he bought two used Fords, 1952 and 1953 models, I think. That doesn't look like either of them but it may be. The garage is to the right in the photo, directly in front of the car.
At the end of the driveway and on the other side of it you can see a tree. Sitting under the near side of the tree is a triangular rock. As a young child I thought that rock was huge. It wasn't on our property but was a favorite spot to play. You can see our street just beyond the tree and telephone pole.
And that was a few minutes' tour of our side yard on a summer afternoon while my father took a break.
If you have a few more minutes to spare, you can see other old photos and learn about them at Sepia Saturday.