Friday, June 13, 2008

Here's to You Grampa.....

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There is nowhere to start when you are going to talk about my dad. The funny part is now seven years after his passing there is no ending either. Now more than ever this very strange man remains very much the head of our family. Something gets done on the farm like the lake we put in in the pasture this year and my son said, "Mom, grampa would be so proud," and I know that he is proud.

My dad was born in 1919 and grew up during the great depression in a log cabin north of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. They had a little farm. Just a back woods hillside that was never going to earn it's keep. They had a big old mutt dog named Teapot and one milk cow named Bessy and life was good considering the economy. He was one of three kids. Aunt Dorothy went on in life to become a very respected teacher in St. Louis. Her brother and my dad were very close and were always referred to as "buds." Probably co-hearts in crime would have been a better description. Though the family was so poor, education was always at the very top of the list and Uncle Jack and Aunt Dorothy had the I.Q. to make it and my dad was always a" wantabe." He made it through high school and went to work while his brother, enlisted in the service as a pilot only to crash right after receiving his wings. My dad or his mom and dad never got over that loss and my dad spent the rest of his life, and his mom and dads life, trying to be his brother, Jack.

I was always daddy's girl and though at several periods in his life we really clashed, I remained his little girl and he was proud....I can remember me saying to my brother in the later years of my dad's life, that if I turned out like him, do everyone a favor and just shoot me. Guess what in my "ol age" I have turned out to be just like him......We differ in to major fields. Both of these major quirks were brought on by the depression. The first was saving anything. Down to the plastic salad bowls from Wendys', or old wheel rims or bent fence posts. The second was saving money and did over time accumulate a small fortune around him....BUT in my family you don't inherit money you inherit the possibility to make money with a lot of work involved.

I have a plague on the wall that says"If all else fails......how would grampa have done it?" Well, he survived with some very strange ideas but he believed in God and family and the last week of his life at 82 he was still cutting trees down for fire wood and stacking it...He had Myacinia Gravis. If he was in the yard the old trusty metal lawn chair was never far behind. At trying times in his life he was known to write a poem or two and liked to hear stories and could tell quite a few real stories.

"Here's to you grampa " as you were called in later years. You didn't always do it right but you "Got-R-Done" and you enjoyed the farm you died on and I really did love you afterall.......POKIE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pokie,
I love your ode to your father. I called mine Daddy cause we are from southern Illinois you know. We lost him to cancer after a long long fight about 10 years ago. He was a quiet man, but very commanding with just a look. My mother did not want to go on after he was gone and kept telling us she was ready to go. She is gone now too and we 3 daughters feel abandoned at times. It is amazing how after losing the core of a family things are never the same again especially at holidays. Enough yaking I enjoy your site very much I found it today. keep up the great writing.
Sass.

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