Marion Polka was not only Dad’s favorite uncle and his surrogate father/big brother, but he’s the one who gave Dad his nickname. Dad’s mom and most of his relatives called him Sonny, but almost everyone else called him Rip. Marion named him after Rip Van Winkle because Dad always liked to sleep and in his younger days, he was hard to get out of bed.
As conscientious and hard working as Dad was, he was hard to wake up, at least on work days. On Saturdays or holidays, he had no problem getting up early to go fishing or hunting or to kill a lamb before it got too hot. But on days that he had to go to work, it was another story. Mom would get all of us kids up and dressed for school, start breakfast and then try to wake up Dad. After a while, she got smart and began to take advantage of her load mouthed kids. She would send us in there to wake him up. We started out saying “Time to wake up Dad. It’s getting late”, but that quickly evolved into our favorite, which was “Time to wake up Dad. You better hurry up or you’re gonna get fired”. That usually worked. Two or three times of hearing that screamed in your ear by a bunch of load mouthed kids and you’d get up too.