June 14, 2018

A father pays tribute

A letter from industrialist Henry J. Kaiser shares his support for his son, Edgar F. Kaiser during World War II.

Edgar F. Kaiser, president, Kaiser Industries Corporation and Henry J. Kaiser, founder and chairman of the board, in 1962.

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the bond between father and child. In this sweet telegram from Henry J. Kaiser to his son Edgar during World War II, he pays tribute to that bond. At the time, Edgar was in charge of the 3 Kaiser shipyards in the Pacific Northwest.

Dear Edgar:

A ship went sailing out, and at it’s helm — one lone young man, very young. He sailed his ship so very near the land, and on occasion ventured forth as a child might wade out and out just a little farther — to see how far he dares to go. This lone pilot went ahead, out and out — until one day he said "no man must go to sea alone." So first he added his first born — a little man — a character — who was destined to grow and grow. Then as to sea they went, another and another to his crew he added. As rough the sea became, he was not daunted — still another to his crew he added, and another. One more little man — to whom he gave his name. So all, they forged ahead never fearing. And so today when the sea is furious, waves high and going might tough; the captain cannot leave to see the little man receive Portland's highest honor.

And so tonite, when every light goes out — and you are left alone — just whisper "dear God, I thank you for my Dad, and it's a job I’ve done of which he's proud.” And then more gently say “dear Lord, guide me every day to make my city, Portland, proud of me."

Just me.

16R-S Henry J. Kaiser

A Western Union telegram from Henry J. Kaiser to his son, Edgar.