A compilation

Today would have been my Daddy’s 92 birthday if he’d been lucky and lived a bit longer. All of you who know me know how much I loved him. I talk about the things he tried to teach me quite often. I’ve compiled a few stories that I’ve written over time to say “Happy Birthday” I know we will meet again someday on way or another. I love you.

The Golfer- from 2018

Sitting here and watching the Masters golf tourney this Sunday afternoon, and thinking about how much my Dad used to like to watch this tournament. My Daddy was a sports fan, and golf was probably his favorite sport in which to participate.

He bought my first set of clubs for me when I was 13, an old set of second handed, left handed Kroydons. I got to where I loved that old set of clubs. It’s the only set of clubs I owned all the way through High School. No telling how many rounds of golf I got out of that 30 dollar set of clubs. I can’t count the good memories that came out of that old set of clubs. Great memories. I guess I probably played more rounds of golf with my Dad than with anybody else I know. Walked many a mile with those clubs slung over my shoulder at the golf course in Trion.

I can’t remember if I told him “thank you” for those old clubs, but he knew I was grateful. He couldn’t help but know, every time I hit a good shot, or made a putt…I could hear those “attaboys”

Tomorrow the “old man” would have been ninety, and even though it’s been almost eight years since he passed, I can still hear the echoes of those “attaboys” when I think about those rounds of golf we played.

From 2016

My Dad’s birthday is tomorrow, but as it is a Saturday, I walked to the old Trion cemetery today. He would have been 88 if he were still here, but will have been gone for 6 years come May the 22nd.

There isn’t a day that goes by in which I don’t hear him telling me something. As a matter of fact, when my phone alarm went off this morning I was dreaming about being in a meeting at the mill with Dad, Harold Peek, Herbert Bethune, and Mr Whittington…and I hadn’t come prepared! After I woke up, I was glad the alarm went off when it did cause I wasn’t looking forward to “splaining” whatever it was that they were unhappy about.

Fact is, I was in some meetings with those men for a very short period of time in the seventies. It’s really weird how your mind will turn your dreams in a certain direction at times. I wouldn’t mind being in a meeting with those men now…cause they are all gone, but I wouldn’t even mind being in hot water just so’s I could talk with them all again. They were all a pretty straight up bunch of men.

So I guess I will try and do something this weekend that’s constructive, and I won’t say I can’t cause my Daddy would tell me “Can’t never did do nothing”. (What is that…a triple negative…quadruple maybe?)

Miss you Dad.

Some Treasures are Memories

I usually go to Trade day on Tuesdays. If it’s a nice day, I have junk I need to sell. If it’s an “iffy” day like today, then I go around and look for “bargains” It’s kind of a fun thing. Like a treasure hunt.

Yesterday morning I thought it was going to be rainy, so I just went “treasure hunting”

The biggest treasure I found though, was in the form of an 88 year old man. His name is Mr. Sizemore and he used to be a loom fixer in the mill back in “the old days” He’s one of the few left. One of the few men who can personally tell you about fixing a “Dobbie” loom, or an “X1” One of the many men who worked there who I can remember as a child. One of the hard working men. The white t shirt and sweat soaked men you could see leaving that mill at 4 pm every day.

Mr. John talked with me over 20 minutes about my Dad and how he had worked for him when Dad was a supervisor in the mill.

He told me of a particular incident which he remembered when my Dad had asked him to fix a loom which wasn’t on his “upkeep” because he was the only man who could do it. Mr. John said he got it fixed and Dad told him how “super” of a fixer he was. That was my Dad’s big talent. Being able to get folks to do the things they were best at, even if it wasn’t their “upkeep” I’ve had a lot of people talk to me about how much they liked working for him. I know there were some who didn’t. Some who didn’t like him. There’s always that, no matter what you do.

That 20 minutes of talk with John Sizemore was the treasure I found yesterday.

If my Dad had lived, tomorrow would have been his 88th birthday. Same age as Mr. Sizemore.

Dad wasn’t much for Trade day, but I bet he would have been up for some fishing if were here. I know he would have been.

Memories of Dad- from 2014

Tomorrow is April 9th. My Daddy would have been 86 years old if he
was still here. It’s hard to believe it will have been 4 years this May since he has been gone.
We all have Daddys. Some of us have great relationships with them, some don’t. My relationship with my Dad was a good one. He taught me a lot. He was not a perfect man by any means, but neither are any of us.
Daddy taught me an important lesson back when I was about 10 years old. We went fishing down in Gore. I was trying to catch bream, and Daddy was “bass fishing” He was using some kind of “shyster” plug….with three big hooks on it. I was just down the bank from him a little bit and I caught a little old bream. I went running down to show him, but didn’t holler or even say “hey” Dad was in the middle of a cast and as I ran up behind him he drew the rod back to where I was standing, and one of those hooks caught me in the right ear. Went plumb through my earlobe. If I had known he was gonna do that, and knowing what I do now I would have just asked him to drive me to the jewelry store and let me get a gold stud. It would have been kinda’ weird for 1960 though.
As it was, once Daddy knew he had hooked me, he hollered quite loud at me and then dropped the rod and grabbed me to access the damage. We ended up going to see old Dr. Clemens who cut the hook with a pair of wire cutters and pulled it out. “Boy, you gonna’ need a tetanus shot” he said. I hadn’t cried a lick the whole time with a shyster in my ear, but the dang tetanus shot hurt like mad and I cried like a baby.
Dad felt bad about hooking me…though it wasn’t his fault at all. I was the one that had snuck up behind him. I did learn to stay out of the way of a man casting a line with a baited hook on it that day. I also learned that parents can be scared too, especially when they accidentally hurt one of their kids. Dad reacted in the moment by hollering, and then by hugging. I’ve done the same thing over the years with my children. The initial scare…..and the startled reaction of hurting someone you love, and then the empathetic reaction of seeing they are hurt….but ok.
Dad took me fishing many more times after that, but I always got the exhortation at the start of our trip “Stay out from behind me when I’m casting son!” he said. “I will Daddy, I will….”

So, another year is quickly passing. Next month Daddy will have been gone for a decade. A lot of things have happened in that 10 years. New great grandchildren he would have loved to have known. A heart bypass for me that he could have told me about from first hand experience. Politics On which he would have had some of his own unique opinions. Now, this pandemic.

I have dreamed of him and Mom and my grandparents a lot lately, and I am always comforted by those dreams. It’s like they are all telling me things will be ok. That really helps especially coming from them. See you all again sometime.