Sunday, June 19, 2011

Moe Howard, Pat Buttram, Charles Coburn, Jean Arthur, Frank Borzage

On this Father’s Day 2011, I want to write and reflect on the most important and influential man in my life, my father, Thomas F. Barry. He was born on February 25, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois and was the only child of Edmond and Nell Barry. Thomas graduated from Marmion Military Academy in 1956 and then enlisted in the Marine Corp. He spent two years on active duty and six as a reservist and he always looked back on his years in the service with fondness. My dad was a man’s man; he was a tough Marine with a heart of gold. He worked hard, had many friends, had a great sense of humor, was always the life of the party, was ready to lend a helping hand at a moment’s notice, and loved his family. In his late 30’s, he was diagnosed with a debilitating disease that took away his body and strength but never his mind. He suffered in silence for almost a decade and died on August 4, 1986. As I set out today for Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play the Yankees, I will reflect on the many summer days in my youth that we spent together at this beautiful old ball park. I can sit in the same seats that we use to sit in and journey back with great fondness to bygone years. It is hard to believe that he has been gone almost 25 years and he has been missed every single day since. I am proud to be his son and often long for one more game of catch in the back yard. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.

Born on the date:

Moe Howard (June 19, 1897 – May 4, 1975) - Best known as the lead stooge in the “Three Stooges”

Pat Buttram (June 19, 1915 – January 8, 1994) - Best known as the side-kick of singing cowboy, Gene Autry.

Charles Coburn (June 19, 1877 – August 30, 1961) - Won a best supporting actor Oscar for 1943’s “The More the Merrier.”

Who died on this date:

Jean Arthur (October 17, 1900 – June 19, 1991) - Comedic actress who appeared in numerous Frank Capra films. She was nominated for a best actress Oscar for 1943’s “The More the Merrier.”

Frank Borzage (April 23, 1894- June 19, 1962) - Director who won a best director Oscar for 7Th Heaven (1927) and Bad Girl (1931)., author of "Fade to Black: Graveside Memeories of Hollwood Greats, 1927-1950"

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