17 June 2012

Happy Fathers' Day!

I'd like to introduce you to my Daddy.   Everybody, this is James.  Daddy meet everyone out in cyberspace.  Not only is my Dad a father, a grandfather and a great- grandfather, he is, without a doubt, the most intelligent man I've ever known.

He's smart, witty and has a tendency to talk your head off.  I say that in love Daddy (daughter smiling).  I received the "talk your head off" gene from him.

Some other things about my Dad....

His mother died in 1933 when he was only 8. It was tough back then for my grandpa to raise 4 young children by himself. The youngest, Aunt Wanda, was sent to live with their Aunt Nettie and in 1934 Daddy was sent to Hollis, Oklahoma to live with his cousin George Gould. One of Daddy's and George’s playmates was Darrell Royal. They would play ‘WW I in the trenches’. One day “Darrell got his teeth loosed [sic] and was eating dirt for 6 days”.
Grandpa re-married in 1937 and Daddy & Aunt Wanda returned home to be raised by their step-mother. Daddy was in elementary school during the Great Depression and the Oklahoma Dust Bowl. Every hour the teacher and all the students would have to wipe their desk tops clean of all of the dirt that would settle on them. Each day Daddy would go home from school with red dirt all over his shirt sleeves. His step-mother would say, “Isn’t there any way to keep your shirt clean?” and my daddy would reply, “well, I have to write”. I wonder if that was considered sassing back in those days?
Daddy served in WW II, graduated from the University of Arkansas, married my mother and here we are!
I can actually remember looking at photos of him when I was really young and thinking, "my Daddy's so handsome".
One year he was traveling so missed my birthday. He typed me a birthday letter on the hotel stationery and brought me a little stuffed figure that was about 6” high.  He was a “Prisoner of Love”.

I still have him.  He's been doing time for almost 50 years now.
Our 4th of July's were always fun as kids.  When we were real young the only fireworks we were allowed to set off by ourselves were sparklers and snakes.  During those years Dad would put on a fireworks show for us.  He got a 4’ x 6’ plywood board and covered it by nailing pinwheels all over it and lit them all at once. Another thing he did for us on the 4th was create a chute for us to set off our pop-bottle rockets.  He took a six foot 3-sided piece of aluminum tubing and buried about a foot of it into the ground, at a 45° angle.  We would place the pop-bottle rocket in the tube, the long, delicate stem resting on the ground.  Then we’d light the fuse and it would shoot out of that tube like, well… like a rocket!!

He taught me how to write cursive.  I can remember sitting at the dining room table and he would place a piece of paper in front of me tilted to the left at a 45° angle.  He'd then give me a pencil and have me draw ovals, tracing them clockwise over and over; just to demonstrate the correct slant I should have on my cursive.
I remember him chasing me upstairs with the belt because I sassed him.   Yes, he eventually caught me and gave me my due.

It was probably Dad who made me take Algebra II in my senior year of high school.  I did not need to take the course in order to graduate.  I do recall Dad did not want me to drop the class.  Did I mention I did not get my Dad’s ‘smart gene’?  One night we sat at the dining room table until 1:00 in the morning; Dad starting at the beginning of the text book explaining it all to me.  I still didn’t get it, but thanks for trying Dad.  Oh, and by the way..I dropped that class... wouldn't be good to have an "F" on my transcript....sorry.  And, just as I expected...I did not need that class to get through life.

My love for cooking and food largely came from my Dad.  My allergies and hay fever come from my Dad.  And did I mention I got the "talk your head off gene' from him?

Happy Fathers' Day Dad!
Love you!!


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