The Saga of Tarp

My Dad’s nickname was “Tarp”. His friends and brothers gave him the name because he used to catch a lot of terrapin turtles when he was a little kid. It certainly wasn’t because he was slow. J.W. Greenwood was Dad’s good friend when they were young. He once told me that Daddy was the “quickest” man he ever saw, and also the most accurate rock thrower he ever knew.

My Dad told me himself that he had beaten many a big bully by “rocking them” then running away….then rocking them again. They finally gave up and ran when they had too many knots on the noggin’ to count….and they never caught him. If they came around the house where my Daddy lived, they risked getting their butts kicked by my Uncle “Curly” or by the oldest brother Robert…who everybody called “lightning” because he could hit so hard and so fast. Fighting was a pretty common pastime during the Great Depression.

My Mom had three different versions of my Dad’s name. When she was just commonly addressing him…she would just say: Tarp

If she wanted something, as in getting him go to the store it would be: “Tarpie will you go get us some frozen yogurt?” Mom loved that frozen yogurt.

The most fearsome of the versions was when we….my brother and I, were kids and did something wrong. Then it would be: “Tarrr…up! Come and give this kid a whooping.”

Strangely enough, that happened more often than I needed it to up until I turned 13, after which Daddy said I was too old to whup anymore. I guess he figured I could be talked to, and have some “privileges” taken away….with the same effect.

My Mom, on the other hand, continued to chase me around be the house with the wire handled fly flap!

Ahh..the memories.