Dedicated to my Father.


This is my father.dad1

Really, my daddy.

He was 71 when he died in September, 1998.  It’s the phone call in the middle of the night that you don’t ever want to answer.  Paula, Daddy died.

momdad

 

 My mom says it was such an honor to be married to him.  Soon after they married he had to go to Korea.  His training was at Camp Roberts in California.  Mom went out to be with him until he left for Korea.  After basic training he was able to leave the camp at night and be with Mom.  She said she would go to pick him up and every day when he walked over the hill towards her, her heart would pitter-pat.  He was tall and handsome and had the cutest smile.

 

 Somewhere there is a picture of my dad and his schoolmates in front of a one-room schoolhouse.  He’s probably about 10 yrs old.  He’s wearing overalls and no shoes.  I asked him why no shoes.  He only had one pair and he couldn’t wear them out going back and forth to school.  Later, we went to the falling-down remains of the house he grew up in.  There were no closets.  He said that was ok because he could hang everything he owned on a wire across the corner of the room. 

 dad2

 From that came a man who became president of the school board and the hospital board; who became an elder at church; who was instrumental in getting a chapel built at the prison; who worked hard to preserve county history; who worked a 40 hr week, then went after work and on weekends to build fences and take care of the cattle he so enjoyed.

 He had a gentle spirit, was kind and fair, yet he had a quiet courage.  When he worked at the gas plant, after he came back from Korea, he asked the men in the office to take down their girlie calendars.  And they did.  He was responsible for keeping candy supplied in the same office.  We went to the wholesale candy store and he bought the candy. He was so honest.  If we ate a Hershey bar or a Chick-o-Stick, we paid for it.  He could have just taken the candy out of the box and who would have known the difference.  For years he counted the Sunday contribution from church.  We started collecting pennies and nickels, putting them in little coin displays.  We studied all the change in the contribution bag, and if we saw any that fit into our set, he replaced them with his own money.  He was a life-long student of life and continually added new interests and skills. He taught Sunday school many times.  When I watched him studying, he always had a dictionary sitting beside him.  When he didn’t know what something meant, he stopped and looked it up.  My little eyes saw all of that.

 dad4

 

 

 

As I got older, the lessons and generosity continued.  One time I missed the bus to Midland to compete in a band event.  When we drove in the parking lot and saw that the bus was gone, he just exited the parking lot and drove me to Midland.  No fussing or martyrdom.  He made sure I attended the college I wanted and I walked across the graduation stage with no college debt.  He and mom drove to Lubbock so many times to see everything I was in.  One Saturday during my sophomore year in college he and mom surprised me.  When I opened the door of their car to go to lunch, I noticed a brand new white Ford Torino sitting next to the car.  It had my name on the paper tag in the window.  Best car ever!   He went through the Dale Carnegie course when I was young, and he thought it was important for me to take it and he paid so I could go.  He also paid for my brother to go and he is now paying for his daughter to go.  When I would come home, he would take my car to the shop and get the oil changed for me.  I’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg trying to describe what and who he was, but until the day he died he looked for ways to serve me and our family. He always made me want to reach higher and be the best Paula I could be.

I was a daddy’s girl. 

Still am. 

So Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.  I’m always honored to be known as your daughter.

All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.

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21 Responses

  1. Paula: What a great tribute to your dad! Very touching and heartfelt. I am sure he was very proud to be your dad. Thanks for sharing. Lee

  2. Lovely, Paula. I have a giant lump in my throat after reading your loving tribute to such a dear father.

    How the world could use more men like your dad! We need them badly…and we need them now. If only the students I teach had a man like this in their homes at night! The thought of so many of the kids at school with no fathers, neglectful fathers, and the worst of all–bad, mean fathers…well, it’s reduced me to tears more than once over 22 years in public education.

    P.S. What was your dad’s name?

  3. Paula, you are such a talented lady! I see that you look like your dad. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story about such an honest Christian man. We can see that his caring and good works were passed on to his daughter.

    P.S. I remember your white car.

  4. Paula, I just read your tribute to your dad. Appropriately, today is father’s day. Daddy died suddenly in 1997 as you know. They were both honorable, good men. You helped me remember my dad today. Thank you and I am so glad I had several years to get to know your dad. Such a kind and gentle man.

  5. Paula, I think your daddy and mine could have been twins. Growing up in the depression made them thankful for what they had, yet they wanted more for their children. I loved reading this and I feel I know you just a little bit better for it. Thank you so much for sharing so many personal memories.
    Debbie

  6. What a heart warming tribute to your father. I’m sure he is smiling in heaven, knowing that his daughter is loving her son so deeply.

    Blessings to you, Paula.

  7. Your father was a very honest and hardworking man. You have grown up to be the same. I am sure he is very proud of you.

  8. Paula, I so enjoyed reading about your father. My eyes are misty as I finish and realize just how much you miss him. I am so glad that you have all those wonderful memories of your daddy. You are the special friend to me because of your daddy and how he provided for you. God bless and love you

  9. I enjoyed getting to know your father through your words! My father also served in Korea and he too would have done anything for his family and those around him. We were both very lucky girls! Thank you for sharing your very special story!

  10. what a beautiful tribute! HAPPY BLOGGING!

  11. Well, young lady, aren’t you smart, all blogged-out and all. Good for you! I’ll happily add this to my list of blogs that I enjoy.

    I remember going to your daddy’s funeral and hearing the long list of wonderful acts of generosity and unselfishness that he had accomplished. Even though I knew him some, I respected him even more after. He stacked up so high. What a good and great gift a father of noble character is to his children.

  12. I was so touched as I read your thoughts on your dad. The love for your dad flows through your words.

  13. What a great post! I enjoyed reading about your father. It is such a blessing to be able to brag on family members like that. It sounds like he had a huge impact on your life. Thanks for sharing!

  14. DEAR (PAULA), WHAT A LOVELY SENTIMENT! THANK-YOU FOR SHARING THIS WITH ALL OF US. YOUR (DAD) WAS INDEED A GENTLE AND LOVELY PERSON! I FELT THE SAME WAY ABOUT MY (GRANDFATHER/DEWEY EVERETT, SR.). OTHER THAN (CHRIST), (GRANDADDY) WAS MY BEST FRIEND IN THE WORLD. STILL AFTER (28) YRS., I SO STILL WISH THAT HE WAS HERE TO CONTINUE SHARING HIS LIFE WITH ME IN PERSON. EVEN THOUGH OUR LOVED ONES ARE NO LONGER WITH US IN PERSON, I FEEL SO PROUD TO STILL BE ABLE TO EMBRACE THE WONDERFUL TEACHINGS THAT SUCH ADMIRABLE MEN PASSED ON TO US AND THE OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE TO PASS THOSE TEACHINGS ONTO THE NEXT GENERATIONS. UNTIL WE SEE THEM AGAIN, MAY WE ENCOURAGE OTHERS THROUGH THE BLESSINGS THAT (GOD) HAS GIVEN TO US THROUGH SUCH AWESOME MEN AS (G.A. PARKS) AND (DEWEY EVERETT, SR.)….(GOD) BLESS YOU & YOUR FAMILY (PAULA)!….BEN~

  15. Paula the older, a great commentary on a wonderful man. I think we were both blessed in the “parental department”. have already put your blog on my favorites list and I am looking forward to reading more from you. Hope to see you in October.

  16. Paula…What a great 1st post and tribute to your Dad. Brought tears to my eyes and a pain to my heart. I lost my biological Father 2 years ago, and my other Dad almost 30 years ago. Still feel the hurt…and wish I could say what they mean to me as eloquently as you did. Welcome to blogland…you have a great start. *elaine*

  17. Debbie sent me! That was a beautiful tribute and a heck of a first post! Welcome to the world of blog.

  18. Wow, leave it to you to break into the blogging world! I didn’t even know what a blog does. Now I know, it affords you a platform to honor great people! From one Daddy’s Girl to another, understand what a void Father’s Day presents. Splendid way to memorialize your Dad, know he would have counted among his greatest legacies, his little girl who grew to be so much like him.

  19. Paula, That is such a sweet tribute to your dad.

  20. I loved reading about your dad. What a wonderful man. Love you and thank you for sharing!

  21. Hi, just visiting from Debbie’s blog! I loved reading your heartfeld tribute to you dad, makes me wish I had known him.

    Have a great day!

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