Happy Father’s DayJune 15th, 2014 at 2:14 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Uncategorized
This is my father, John Steffen on his 70th birthday, July 22, 1983. He lived to five days shy of his 91st birthday, and always looked much younger than his age. Both of his parents were immigrants from the tiny country of Luxembourg. Dad was a percussionist and played harmonica. He actually started playing violin as a youngster. He played drums for the Grosse Point Band well into his 80s and marched carrying the bass drum in the Memorial Day Parade in Wilmette, IL until he was 86. He was in the Army Air Corps for over five years in WWII (flew in B-24s and B-25s) and then started working the line at Bell & Howell in Chicago for 75 cents an hour, working his way up to be Chief Liaison Engineer. He was the youngest of eight children and the 7th boy, growing up in Chicago on Granville Avenue (north side – Rogers Park, just a few blocks from where Betty Ford was born). He was the drummer of the band that Northwestern University put together to tour Europe in the late 1930s to show Europe American big band, swing and jazz music (for a taste of what that trip was like…rent the movie “Swing Kids”). He loved to play jazz because it was so creative, and you didn’t have to play it the same way every time. Happy Father’s Day to all. It’ll be a nice day weatherwise this Sunday, dry and pleasant for most of the day, with clouds increasing a bit and a chance of a shower or t-storm by evening (and especially overnight). This next few days will be warmer than average and more humid. We’ll be back to a wetter pattern with several rounds of (possibly strong to even severe) storms this week.