Remembering dad on a special day of the year
Published 5:30 am Sunday, June 18, 2023
The swing was my Daddy’s favorite resting spot. You could find him there early in the morning when the weather was good or late in the afternoon. Otherwise he was busy.
It was there in the swing that he greeted me most afternoons as I came by on my way home from work. He would pat the seat next to him and say “Sit here and tell me about it.”
After chatting a little while, he would say, “Your mother is inside. Go on in and see her. She’s waiting for you.”
Then as I backed my car around and started to drive away following a visit, I made a habit of stopping the car, making eye contact with him and giving a little wave. He would wave back.
He was an outdoorsman and quite at home wearing his soft comfortable denim overalls, a long-sleeved shirt and his deerskin boots, although he was known to really dress up when the occasion called for it.
Daddy loved being outside and just enjoying the world around him. On cold days he would find a sunny spot to sit and soak up the warmth.
He welcomed the challenge of farming, especially growing tomatoes, his hobby for so many years. He always grew far more than he could use, so he put out a little sign and sold tomatoes. When everybody else was getting a dollar a pound at the beginning of the season, Daddy charged 50 cents.
“That’s all they are worth,” he said.
He thoroughly enjoyed talking to people, especially his regular customers. He looked forward to seeing them each year. With the price of plants and fertilizer, not to mention the hours of work, he made little if any profit. I think profit was not necessarily the point. He loved people.
He could talk at length about the ancestors of just about any family in Washington Parish who had been here for any length of time. He had stories about them that could keep one regaled for hours…stories handed down for generations.
When something caught his interest, he would learn everything he could about it before moving on to something else. He was interested in so many things and was so interesting to talk to.
The baby of his family, when he was young he wanted to learn to play the fiddle like the older kids and his dad. His mom would say, “Oh, no! Not you too!” and he would put it down. He never lost the desire to play his favorite instrument.
He delighted in hearing the fiddle being played. Late in life he taught himself to play, but as he aged he had an inherited palsy which made his hands shake. It interfered with his ability to play but he enjoyed it for his own amusement anyway.
With this interest, he began to repair and refinish old musical instruments. We all have at last one of his fiddles, organs or pianos. At various times, he collected antique bottles and arrowheads. His interests were many and varied and he always had something going on.
Daddy was a sportsman who loved fishing and hunting. He was a man of many talents and well liked. He retired as a civil deputy with the sheriff’s department. He was also a good family man. We were blessed to have such a good daddy.
Today as we celebrate Father’s Day, many of us will relive such moments with our dads who have passed on. Some who still have them will visit and take a gift…just to let them know they are loved.
When I think of my daddy, I see him outdoors in that swing. He has been gone from this world for 24 years, but we still miss him! If they have heavenly swings, he’s surely in one, enjoying his surroundings.
Happy Father’s Day to all of you!
Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.