My Dad: More Than Just a Railroad Engineer

October 15, 2014

By Administrator Kevin Weslaski

As a youngster growing up, my father, John James Weslaski, was an engineer for the Green Bay and Western Railroad. I cherish the moments of “riding the rail” in the locomotive with my dad at the helm. He was often “on the road,” spending nights in fleabag hotels away from home somewhere between Green Bay and Winona, Minnesota. But, when he arrived home, he always made time for me.

I remember countless hours playing catch with either a football or baseball with my dad. I loved playing catch with him! We lived only a few blocks from Lambeau Field, and it was very special to be playing with him before a Packer home game.

We also played ping pong together in our basement after supper. I remember always winning by the closest of margins. I could never be sure if he let me win or not. One night he did beat me and I remember being so mad!

I also remember when I was nine years old at Christmas time. We had a hockey rink directly across the street from our house. Santa came really late that Christmas Eve night, delivering me a pair of hockey skates. It had to be close to midnight, and can you believe my dad helped me put them on and let me go over to the rink all by myself. I was the only one on the ice, and I felt like the luckiest kid in the world!

Through the years, my dad and I continued to play catch, watch the Packers, and simply hang around together. That is, until May 8th, 2014, when he passed away. My dad was a nice man who never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He was a loyal husband and dedicated father. He was a giving man, too, volunteering as an usher at church and coaching youth sports. He once told me, “I was poor, then rich, then poor again, but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”

So, those of you with fathers in your lives, cherish the times, because someday those times will be memories and you will miss your dad like I miss mine.