April First has always had a special significance for me, as it happens to be my father's birthday. He often makes light of being born on "April Fools Day," though if we look to the historic significance of the day, it really isn't all that foolish, just a tad amusing.
The origin of April Fools day is mysterious and disputed. While the most common belief tells us that it has some connection to archaic New Year's Day celebrations, April 1st was never the first day of the year for anybody. March 25th was the first of the year for much of Europe during the Middle Ages, and for England until 1752. The most common connection made to April First and the antiquated New Year is the custom of some French communities that celebrated New Year's week, ending the festival on April 1st. Maybe it's just easier for people to "round up" to the first day of the next month, rather than call it March Fools Day on the 25th, or perhaps there is a totally unrelated explanation that has been forgotten in the annals of history.
Getting back to my father's birthday, he is 66 years old today, and if asked he'll tell you that he refuses to be called a "senior citizen." If he's in good spirits, he'll joke that he "graduated a long time ago," using a play on words about the whole senior thing. If he's in a sour mood, he'll throw in an expletive.
Anyway, 25 years ago, my grandfather Ray Ingham sent my father the following birthday card in the mail. It is a hand-drawn postcard, something that I found kicking around a while back. It was wrinkled and forgotten, but I managed to get a sharp scan of it, and preserved this one of a kind item created by my now deceased paternal grandfather. So, here's another little piece of family history.