The thread about your most poignant memories of your DAD

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by seacatfish, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. seacatfish

    seacatfish New Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Florida
    My dad passed several years ago. Many times when I am reading or posting here, my mind goes to him and the things he did to start me out in life. I`d like to share an especially vivid memory. Then I`d like you to share one about your dad.

    Daddy was poor, dirt poor. He had a third grade education, the Amish were not big on schooling. When he moved the family to Florida, it was because of his rheumatic heart. There were 6 of us kids, one with Downs Syndrome. Daddy worked as a carpenter, leading a crew. He would come home after a long day, eat supper, and then return to the jobsite, off the clock, to do some more work to keep the boss happy with the progress. That`s how important that job was to him. He never considered aid of any kind. And he worried, man he worried. Many nights he would be up at 3am, worrying. Just couldn`t sleep, thinking....

    I never heard daddy say one word about finances, I had no idea we were poor. We were sheltered from all of that and a whole lot more. He did the worrying and protected us from all that. I never heard my parents say a cross word to each other, NEVER. Looking back, now that I am married and a father, how outrageously incredible that is.

    So, daddy was sensitive. He knew what made me tick. I would lay accross his lap in the long, boring church services of the Mennonites, he would pull up my shirt and get out his pocket knife and scratch my back for the whole service. This was not looked on with favor. There was a hierarchy in the church, and he knew he was not going to be in the upper echelon, ever. The church meant everything to him, but I was more important. I`ll never forget that.

    Anyway, here is the story I wanted to share. Even as a kid, I was a hunter/gatherer. I wanted to catch every living thing that posed a challenge. Toads didn`t interest me, I was after frogs, the bigger the better. When I discovered the bream we were catching were worth $.50 a frozen bag full to some of daddy`s coworkers, it was HUGE. So, one day I caught a striped neck turtle. This is a species that is not considered edible, even to the older African American guys who would pick up a freshly killed opossum from the side of the road on the way to work and put it in the fire to eat at work. But, daddy knew how important it was to me to sell that worthless turtle. There were more of them, and this represented a business! He carried that worthless turtle into one bar after another, in the 'black' section of town, This was unfamiliar territory for him, both the bars and trying to sell something. He had to feel uncomfortable. But, he knew how much it meant to me. And he kept going, through one rejection after another. I believe he finally gave the thing away, but only after hitting every bar and gathering place in the area. I`m sure he knew it was a worthless turtle after the first bar, but he knew how much it meant to me......

    That was my daddy, in many ways willing to be a failure. The most successfull man I will ever know.
     
  2. Tyme2fish

    Tyme2fish New Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Greenville,Indi
    Touching story. Thanks for posting.
     

  3. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    Seacatfish, I am gonna take up your offer for a tale about Pops, Pa's, Dads, Men. I just ain't got the time at the moment. Was gonna put it in Ramblings. You have changed my mind. Go put an English walnut by your keyboard when I tell you this story. See if you can do what he did. I could once, and it was luck. Some of you will be able to do it. I am thinking Zeeb can do it for sure. We shall see.

    Later, john.
     
  4. zeboman

    zeboman New Member

    Messages:
    2,883
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    Ahhh...The hands , I`ve been wondering about what you meant.
     
  5. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Dan,
    You're a very blessed individual to have a father like that. Unfortunately I cant say the same for mine. Only thing he ever did for me was to get out of the way and make way for someone who could raise me better. God works things out like that...My mom was also my dad in many, many ways. I remember that at one time she was working three jobs to make ends meet for her, my brother and I. She never once let on to us that the jobs were killing her with stress. One day my grandmother picked me up from school and told me that my mom was sick. We stayed at my grandmother's for a few days, thinking that mom was just under the weather and getting some rest. She'd actually suffered a nervous break down from all the stress. My grandmother and family convinced her to quit one of her jobs and that the family would look after us in place of child care. It killed her spirit a little I think because she's always been so independant.
     
  6. whisker maniac

    whisker maniac New Member

    Messages:
    2,712
    State:
    arkansas
    One of the biggest memories I have with my Dad was the first time I got to go squirrel hunting with him and my brother.

    We got up real early that morning, ate breakfast, and headed to the woods. We had not been in the woods very long when my dad raised his shotgun and shot a squirrel way up in the top of huge pine tree. As small as I was at the time it seemed liked that big tree was about 500 ft tall. Dad had hit that squirrel good but it just fell one limb and hung up by its front two paws and was just dangling there. It was still so far up it was impossible to throw anything at it to try and knock it down.

    Dad said "Shoot I don't want to shoot it again it'll just fill it with lead or tear it up".

    He turned to my brother who was carrying a bolt action .22 Remington and Dad said. "Swap guns with me son".

    He took that .22 raised it up to his shoulder and took a deep breath then let out most of it then squeezed off the trigger. I watched in amazement as one of the legs dropped from the limb. Dad repeated his performance on the second leg and down the squirrel came crashing thru limbs all the way to the ground.

    I ran over and picked up the squirrel and looked him over. Dad had shot off both front paws! I couldn't believe it. He shot off both front paws!
    Heck the dang squirrel was so far up that tall pine that I couldn't even see it's paws on that limb and he shot them off!!!! And this was with a gun that had no scope on it!!!

    That amazed me and put wonder in my eye as how well someone can learn to shoot that well. I had never thought of it before. O sure I had seen all the old westerns and how cowboys did all that fancy shooting but I knew that that was all just pretend on the big screen and not real. But here was my Dad proving it could be done.

    It wasn't long after that that I found out that my dad was an expert marksman in the military and that he really enjoyed shooting pistols and won many competitions with a govt. issue .45 auto.

    He can still shoot really good and is approaching eighty years old. He bought a 9mm smith and wesson not long ago and with it being a smaller gun than what he was used to he didn't think he could shoot it accurately as well as his other guns so, he took it to the firing range and set up at fifty yards. He shot off ten rounds and 9 of them were in the ten ring.
    I think he still does just fine.:wink:
     
  7. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Dang! Sounds like an incredible shooter! Took me years just to get the hang of shooting an M-16! If the good Lord blesses me to see that age, I hope that I am still shooting well too!
     
  8. CuzICan

    CuzICan New Member

    Messages:
    1,751
    State:
    Fayetteville, A
    As most of my BOC friends know by now-- My father was a physician. Started out in Crutchfield KY in an old Willys Jeep making house calls. Got a call from an army buddy of his to come to Brinkley Ar and practiced there for 35 years.

    I remember how many friends looked at my Dad in awe thinking we were sooooo lucky to have a doctor for a dad....little did they know how stressful it was on him and us.

    One time one of them asked me was my daddy a good daddy. I had to say (I was early teens at the time) that I didn't know...but I knew for a fact that he was a good doctor.

    The thing I remember most about my dad is having to share him with every one in the community, and how he cared little for his own needs, but gave all for his fellowman...REALLY that's the way it was. I saw him work for quilts and tomatoes. He wrote off bills of the elderly in exchange for these things. Never charged another doctor or a pastor. ( that included the dentists in town)

    He had arrangements with technical folk, like the carpenters in town and other hardworking people that were the backbone of the community. He woulld treat them and their families and write the famous "NC ( no charge) --we butt heads over this bill". That meant that they would trade it out.

    He spent one Christmas with us without leaving the house that I can recall. He quit trying to go to church. Reason being he always got called out. He did still try on Easter but it never panned out.

    A kind of funny story I can tell was I remember one time I used his car and left it past "E" when I brought it home, and he got called out to ER and ran outta gas IN THE DRIVEWAY We only lived 2 blocks from the hospital so he RAN to the ER. He got chased by a pack of dogs that were a bunch of strays in our neighborhood affectionately referred to by our neighborhood as "the wolf brethren". On the walk home, the dogs got after him and he made it to the driveway and jumped up on top of the car. I heard the commotion and went out to the porch and he hollered and told me to throw some food in the yard away from the car so he could get down and get in the house. Dang I wished I 'd a left him out there that night :/ I got a whupping for that one. But on second thought the longer he stayed out there the madder he woulda got.

    I remember that he always did take 2 weeks in the summer and we went to his parents house after they moved to Florida from KY. He had season tickets to the Razorbacks football games and we would go to see them when we could, which was VERY seldom. Honestly??? He mostly gave those tickets away.

    He did get other doctors to watch for his patients for him and take us to things in Little Rock-- an hour away, and see the Harlem Globetrotters, and the Ice Capades and Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus.

    I do have a good many good memories of him, and the person he was. I've said it before and I'll say it again...if I could be 1/4 of the person he was, I'd be happy!
     
  9. smokey

    smokey New Member

    Messages:
    1,876
    State:
    Tennessee
    My dad passed when I was 7 years old, so I dont have too memories of him.One thing that does stick in my mind was when we had to move from the farm to town to take care of my Grand mother.I hatted the move, I didnt like town and got into trouble for taking the bus to our old house , and then playing in the woods untill my folks found me.
    Anyway my dad told me that when you lived in a small town you went to the movie every friday night.So every fri night till he passed we went to the movie.The best movie from that time was "To Hell and back" whit Auddy Murphy.
    smokey
     
  10. plainsman

    plainsman New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,187
    State:
    minnesota
    I got lots of good memories, and lots of painful ones. Dad died a couple years ago, I thought he would never die, he beat a lot of things in life. In the end he just got old and his body was worn out from thinking nothing could hurt him and all the damage over the years. He beat polio, poisoning, emphesema, copd, stroke, lung cancer, broken hip, diabetes, and a lot of stuff. In the end it caught up to him tho. He outlasted a lot of his friends,

    He took us hunting, fishing, taught me to skin muskrats, and being self reliant. If we were gonna do something do it right or don't bother. He was a good shot with his .22, and let me use his shotgun till I got my own. He had lots of kids and sacrificed a lot for them. He could do a good job on almost anything he did.

    He was a part time policeman, and was at least respected for being fair and not harrassing people. He was able to explain where laws were broken and why they were.
     
  11. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    We all have our stories. Most good, some bad. Some of the real good stories some of us don't know how to write or some of us don't want to or we don't think them important enough to be telling someone else.

    This is a description of a part of my Dad. When I want to remember him I always think of this one thing amongst many. Somebody in another thread awhile back asked me if I ever thought about my Mother's hands after a story I had written about her. I don't look at women's hands. I look at their faces, especially their eyes. If I don't like their eyes I don't care what the rest of her looks like. With men, after the introductions, I look at their hands. A man's hands tell me a lot about the man. Hands aren't as important nowadays. It doesn't take much of a hand to sit at a desk all day, daydreaming about whatever. At one time a man's hands indicated at least he knew how to work. There is a man here I have gotten to know a little. he is known as Zeboman, I call him Zeeb. Zeeb has had a variety of avatars. The first one I saw was of him holding up a c.a.t.f.i.s.h. and I noticed Zeebs hands. I didn't give a damb about the c.a.t.f.i.s.h, but I noticed his hands. Big hands, hands used to working out, developed hands. Hands not used to pick his nose all day, but made for work.

    My Dad grew up in rural Iowa in the 20's and thirty's. He was given his first cow to milk at the age of five as one of his chores. By the time he hit seven he could milk the whole string. Twice a day, everyday 365 days a year until he was 35 except for a stint in WWII he would milk cows amongst the many other physical things he was responsible for. From then on until long after reaching manhood he used his body physically day after day. A boy growing up and working has his hands grow with him. My Dad's hands and upper body grew with him. Muscles attached to those bones, thickened and bulked up. The palms spread, the fingers coarsened and calloused, one finger turned at an angle from nearly getting cut off in a sickle mower, one crushed from an implement falling on him. Not pretty things those hands. His fore arms and upper arms and torso matched his hands. About 5'9' and 205 lbs without an ounce of fat he was an impressive man. A man can have the best build in the world but unless he has a good set of wrists and hands attached to them he is useless.

    Some of the things I saw my Dad use those hands for.

    Put 5 of us through college with his hands and brain. No desk job or white shirts and ties. Just common everyday work like a lot of us.

    He could use a Hondoed lariat and bring a running calf to its knees like a quarter horse with a rope around its pommel.

    He could change the diaper on an autistic Grandson like he had surgeons hands.

    He could stand in a potato house in Maine and throw 165 lb Ash barrels of potatoes up to a man on a sky walk above all day.

    He could grab you by the back of the neck with his hands and put you on your knees in a second guaranteed, no belt necessary.

    He could put a spanner on a nut and bolt and three things happened. The nut would turn, the bolt would twist off or the implement would move.

    He never knew how to say "I love you", but when he was happy with you and he ran his hands through your hair or slapped you on the back with a grin you knew he was saying I love you.

    He could put a set of reins of a team or four up in his hands and those horses or mules would just relax. They felt the power transmitted down that leather.

    He could take an English walnut out of a Christmas bowl of nuts and crush it between his forefinger and thumb or close his fist on it and crush it like you hit it with a hammer.

    But he couldn't shake hands. He had the most limp wristed handshake of any man I ever knew. One day in one of those rare candid moments a son and Father have I asked them why he didn't have a firmer handshake, because it bothered my a lot. "I am afraid I am going to hurt them" he said. That's all I needed.

    And that was some things about my Dad.

    Later, John.
     
  12. Mike81

    Mike81 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,231
    State:
    Alabama
    I have tried but have never been close to my dad. My parents were divorced when I was like 2 and I saw my dad often, but I guess I never have felt important to him.... He has another son, my half brother who he's done everything with,,built cars, bought every kind of motorcycle and 3 wheeler when younger and I always just seemed to be a visitor who got to take a turn.... I won't ever treat my kids like that, they are everything to me....
    My grandpa on the other hand, I grew up with him as the main male presence in my life until my mom remarried, my step dad is great too but my Papa as i call him will always be special to me, he is an ex Marine who was in Iwo Jima, golden gloves boxer, a master carpenter and tough as nails.... he took me everywhere with him and when I was young he took me fishing a million times!!!! I can never repay him for the time he spent with me or the thing he taught me!!!
     
  13. zeboman

    zeboman New Member

    Messages:
    2,883
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    PB I missed this one , great story though.