Posted by: Betty | September 1, 2011

September 1st

Herman Flocken circa 1925


Herman Flocken was Paul’s father. He loved a good party. Paul claims he may have had short man’s syndrome.. 🙂

He immigrated from Germany in 1926, coming to America as a very young man, to live the American Dream. He learned English and became an American Citizen. Throughout his life, he was an extremely proud American. He helped fight for unions back when they were breaking heads of the protesters (so I’ve heard)   Herman met Marie Lutz while they both worked for a rich doctor in NYC during the late 20’s. Marie was a maid and Herman was the Chauffeur.  They married on 12/23 in 1932 (or was it 1933)

They lived in NYC for a while and eventually lived through out the United States, LA, TX, Indiana, then on to CA where they settled.  They lived in the Mid West during World War II and told those who asked, that they were Dutch. Herman worked as a pipe fitter for most of their life. They had four kids, Paul was the youngest.  By the time I met Paul, Herman had had a brain Aneurism which left him unable to speak and unable to walk without the aid of a walker.

He was a great talker, I hear.  One story told often was about Herman at Paul’s sister’s party.. Dancing, he broke his foot.. Not being deterred, he hobbled off to the bedroom and wrapped his foot up.. Then he came out  and danced some more.  He’d sit outside in the back yard, while two of his daughters, snuck a smoke in the bathroom as teenagers — not realizing the smoke was flowing right out the window.. He didn’t mention that for many years… My husband and Sisters in law claim that the Grand Father their kids had was NOT the same man who raised them.  His grand kids could make all the noise they wanted to and behave poorly in car.. Once while driving with his three oldest grand sons in the back seat – a burning paper flew up at him.. Turns out the kids had been playing in the back seat and stuck a piece of paper in the cigarette lighter.. When the paper caught fire, they threw it up into the front seat.. Now his reaction – as a grand father was NOT the reaction it would have been as a father.  He Laughed. His Grand sons, now in their forties, still remember him with love and still miss him.

Herman, Marie and friends on their wedding night - 1932

A Family Meal circa 1954, In either San Diego or Texas


I met Herman in 1978; He took my hand and kissed it, smiled and said “OK, OK, OK”.. His speech was limited then. I loved Herman and wished I’d known him before his stroke.  He had Methosemioma (spelled wrong) from his years as a pipe fitter – Asbestos .. His death was difficult as were his final days.  I was with him at the hospital, alone, one afternoon when a hospital employee, smiled and said.. He’s so cute.. Whaaat?  His was 73, he’s was no longer a child, he fought with others for unions, he raised four kids, he struggled to put food on the table and he enjoyed years of plenty. He built his house in Orange and built a map of california for his patio.. He enjoyed his grand children and was a great man.. HE WAS NOT CUTE..  I was 28 then, and wanted to smack her in the head..  today at the ripe old age of 59, I might have.

Dancing with Herman at my wedding

Herman died 31 years ago tonight. Finally at peace, without pain.. During those first few days, I imagined him telling the Angels jokes, finally able to communicate again after many years..  I was 2 months pregnant with Lyndsey then, and regret that she and her younger brother, Ricky, never met papa. I’m pretty sure, he passed on his strong personality to Lyndsey.

Herman… THIS post is for you…..




  1. Awww, so nice to here about him. I bet he was a wonderful man! He raised some pretty awesome kids!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: