I grew up with a father who didn't know how to communicate with his 6 kids. It was the rule in our home that kids are quiet, especially when it came to disagreement. We could never disagree with our parents. No discussion. And no validation from Dad. I was 30ish when he said for the first time that he was proud of me. Even though it was long overdue, it wasn't too late for me to hear it.
I think that a lot of those ways of thinking were typical of the generation, as well as the previous generation. Boys were raised to be tough, strong and never to cry. Emotions were to be kept inside.
When I had my children, I made a conscious decision to raise our son and daughter differently, and we have always had really close relationships. I'm far from perfect, but most of us are. Have you been able to develop a better relationship with your father? It's worth the effort.