Sunday, January 11, 2009

In Memory of Dad

I was blessed to have two wonderful parents. Both of them were talented, mom was a great cook, quilter, seamstress, gardener and also crocheted. Dad was also a cook, particularly known for his pork shoulders cooked on the pit. Down south, that's simply known as barbecue. Thanksgiving and Christmas it was his cornbread dressing. Then there was his hush puppies, spring rolls, barbecue chicken......oh, how he loved food and loved to prepare and feed people. I could talk for hours just on dad and food. For as long as I can remember he had a big garden which you can see part of it in one of the photos, in their backyard just steps from the covered patio where the pit was. He had alot of creativity. I recall his snow person in our front yard before I was 6 years old. He didn't make a snowman, he made a statue! That was one of the few big snows in my lifetime. I recall watching him work on the bust of Lyndon Johnson at our kitchen table, mostly remembering that he used toothpicks some on it. The only one he ever did that I am aware of. That table is where I do my painting's a story in itself for later! He did all the wood carvings in the photo while he was a night security guard when I was very young. During his last year of life he told me he read through the bible twice during that job. The photo was taken for an article on them in the base newspaper. I found the drawings as we were cleaning out their house, I don't recall seeing them before. Obviously, the colored pencil one is of President Kennedy and the other is of a General but I don't know who he is. He didn't draw or paint that often. He did pencil drawings of my two brothers' baby photo. He used it in various ways. I've been that way myself even though I have an art degree. In the 70's when macrame became popular, he did that-I still have a purse he made, with a wooden handle. Made jewelry from old mercury dimes for each one of my mom's seven sisters and one for her and I to share.

Dad was in the service during the Korean Conflict, he and mom got married on a weekend pass. Next time she saw him he had been severely injured in the back by shrapnel and was in the hospital many states away for a year. They thought he would be paralyzed. During that time he made some items out of leather and the copper reliefs. He learned to cut hair in the service too and had a barbershop where he worked Thursday evenings and Saturday when I was growing up. His real job was with the government and was on the base, where he started out as the security guard. He wasn't an educated person and he had his job to provide for the family but lived to do all the other things he enjoyed. He had a quick wit and usually a joke, he enjoyed being around people.

Our childhood vacations were spent at the lake an hour or so away, camping in a school bus he had totally renovated. He worked on it in the evenings in the backyard. I would go out and sit with him to keep him company while he worked. It had built-in cabinets, sink, an icebox, he made a booth to eat in using two of the bus seats and a table...just behind the driver's seat. There were two sets of bunkbeds in the back and a couch that folded down that could sleep two. Mom made curtains and he put them up all the way around. Yes, there was room in the very back for a porta-potty! He had it painted blue and white on the outside. There were tables attached to the side of the bus that folded down....the place for the gas grill....and all that cooking. He loved to fish.

He retired the first chance he got and sometime later had a building built in the back of the house that had his barbershop and a workshop. He then began building furniture. He built gun cabinets, entertainment centers, bedroom pieces. He made cedar chests that some of the granddaughters have. VolleyGirl has a sweet babydoll crib. OK, I could go on and on, but you get the picture. He socialized with his friends in his shop working together with some of them on his and their pieces.

The last photo is dad and my two kids in 1999. Today is the fifth anniversary of his passing. He is still greatly missed but he sure made an impact and left a tremendous amount of memories.


  1. This is a wonderful tribute to a very loving man. You were really blessed to belong to him.
    I also had a wonderful father whom I lost in 1982. He was only 53 and I was only 30. I miss him every day. My thoughts are with you now.

  2. Wow what a talent he had. what a lovely tribute of your Dad. mine died five years ago last October and I miss him terribly too.
    You come by your talent naturally I see. We need to see more of that talent. :))

  3. i read this and then forgot to comment, so am back...this is a very moving post about your dad (in the third photo he looks like jf kennedy). m.h.d.s.r.i.p.
    (my fuse is too confused to blow!)

  4. Enjoyed reading about your Dad, it was lovely and moving. Your words are very readable and compelling - do you write as well as paint? Thanks also for your sweet comments on my blog, you asked what medium I use to illustrate in. I hand draw the pics then scan them in to the pc and use art packages to colour and enhance. I must try to write more - I stick a picture up and that's it !! :) xx

  5. Thanks Anjou for dropping by again...I appreciate all that come back!!!! Your kind words are appreciated about my post on dad. I don't write, I enjoy it and try to make it real to those reading it.
    Thanks for sharing how you do your illustrations, my son has done alot of art with pc art pkgs for his classes in college.

  6. Your father would be so proud. So very proud.

    Thank you for the visit and the kind comment.

    Like you, I was lucky to have great parents. Like you, I pay them tribute with everything I do in life.

  7. Your father was a very talented man, and he would be very proud of this post.

  8. Your father was a great American, and a very talented man. Your love for him shines through this post.

    An Arkie's Musings

  9. First let me say congrats on post of the day, and for crafting such a loving tribute. I feel as though I could have very well known him. I too, grew up in the south, (south Ga), and so many memorys flashed though my mind as I read your story.

    This is the second tribute to the loss of a father I have read this year. both very moving and touching. My girlfriend lost her father last year and wrote series of post that helped her get through the the first anaversy. You can read it if you like at

    I aslo love art and look forward to coming back to read your blog in more detail.

    All the best,

  10. I still have tears in my eyes... What a great tribute. I lost my father last year and think of him everyday, and yesterday was his birthday. Events in our lives like this make you stop and enjoy the little things in life and the people you have to share it with. Thanks for giving me a peak into your life with your Dad.

  11. A beautifully written and moving accolade to a wonderful, talented and loving father. Thank you for sharing that lovely tribute.

  12. what an amazing man, and what lovely memories you have of him...

    (over from David's)

  13. Your memories of such a rich childhood, peppered with the real things about his life that formed the man into who he was, makes this both an eloquent tribute to a hero of a father and a loving story of a daddy anyone would treasure.
    Over from David's. Congrats on the POst of the Day Award

  14. What a wonderful life, thanks so much for sharing your dad's story with us, it is very touching. What a talented man, in so many ways.
    I love the sculptures and the furniture they are beautiful!