My Dad, son of immigrants, hillbilly music fan, Nixon voter...and Dr Martin Luther King fanboy
Dad was the Dutchest looking guy...skinny, tall, angular, lipless (lol). He was a hillbilly wannabe, father of four, master mechanic, republican, proud union shop steward in the south suburbs of Chicago 50 years ago.
We could only refer to Dr. King as Dr King or Reverend Dr King in my dad's house. "Elehhhhna, this man won the Nobel Peace Prize and his own country doesn't respect him, but we do."
I was shocked to learn that this was not the norm in many white suburban homes at the time.
Anywho, when Dr King was killed (dad seemed to think the government was perhaps involved, maybe?), Daddy was shook. Half his co-worker co-union bros were African American. Said he hadn't seen grown men cry like that before, not even in Korea. He later had to tell off a few white co-workers and neighbors when they shit talked the Reverend, and if I recall correctly he shut a few the hell down by making them think.
He raised us to think of racism as weird and stupid.
Also, 50 years ago Republican didn't = @ssh0le.
And you're right, Republicans were different then. Today there is a pride in ignorance and intolerance that is both sad and frightening.
and contrary to the bullies who make a lot of noise, many folks think like your dad.
so he's been on my mind lately.
I love y'all.
Your father sounds like a wonderful man and a great dad! And yes, at one time, Republican was not synonymous with asshole. I hope those days come back.