Sunday, April 1, 2012

An April First Birthday

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.


  1. Hi Martin, Happy Birthday to your Dad and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the A-Z Challenge. You can read mine at

  2. interesting A
    here is mine

  3. Hi Martin - Happy Birthday to your dad. Isn't scanning wonderful? I picked your blog at random and look forward to more. Here's mine

  4. Interesting tidbits of history -- and I love the postcard. Clearly there is artistic talent in your family tree. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    I followed you here because you commented on my post: Glad I came!

    1. My grandfather actually tried to be a cartoonist for a while, but just like his fiction writing he could never sell anything.

      While my father seems to have inherited his father's artistic talents, my own never developed. Oh, well...

  5. Hi! I'm hopping over from the A to Z challenge. Happy birthday to your father and what a lovely way to capture a piece of family history in the birthday card from your grandfather! Good luck with the challenge...

    Donna Martin

  6. I love finding old cards, letters, etc. I rarely throw them away. They're a cool piece of history.
    Happy Birthday to your Dad!

  7. Great card! Happy birthday to your dad.
    I never knew that about April Fool's Day.

    welcome to me

    yummy stuff

  8. How wonderful to have such a memento preserved. I have two friends sharing your dad's birthday today. Nice to "meet" you.

  9. Interesting info, Martin. Don't know anyone born today. Cool that you have a memento from someone now gone.

  10. Hand made cards are the best! Hope your dad had a good birthday!

  11. Hey, that's a pretty neat drawing. handmade cards are better because they are more personal.

    A good April Fool's joke is to put mashed potatoes in an ice cream cone, then sprinkle it with confections. lol

  12. Hi Martin .. what a lovely surprise to find - something so special from the past - must give you all great pleasure .. Happy Birthday Dad .. 66 is a good age - cheers enjoy the challenge .. Hilary