Ruling the Roost (Dads’ Week)
Life with Father by Clarence Day, Jr is funny memoir about a persnickety, opinionated father in the Victorian age of the late 1800s to early 1900s. In this book, Day relays amusing stories of his father, a broker on Wall Street, and his attempt to control his family, staff, and everyone around him. He ruled the roost. He was an exacting, demanding man who got what he wanted. For instance, there was the ice episode. Mr. Day “strongly objected to spending one day of his life without a cold glass of water beside his plate at every meal.” Easier said than done. Ice had to be delivered in those days. One day the iceman didn't come—a true crisis. But if ice was what he wanted, then that’s what he got. He argued with the ice clerk until the poor guy was shaking in his boots and frantically agreed to hitch up the horses and bring him the ice right then and there. But Mr. Day wasn't done yet. He then went to the butcher and somehow procured a coffin sized slab of ice. Finally, he went to a store and bought a refrigerator with the stipulation that it be delivered before dinner and prestocked with ice. He covered all bases. That night he got ice in his glass and a mountain of extra ice sitting in the bathtub, just in case. That’s just one incident. Each chapter is filled with humor of his father’s grumpy exploits. I enjoyed this book and a look at an infuriating yet endearing man.
“And to make it worse he had no compunctions about any wounds he inflicted; on the contrary he felt people should be grateful to him for teaching them better.”
Clarence Day, Life With Father (Alfred A Knopf, Inc., 1935; reprint, Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 1993), 163.
“…he was imperious and when they displeased him, it made him snort like a bull.”
Clarence Day, Life With Father (Alfred A Knopf, Inc., 1935; reprint, Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 1993), 163-164.
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