The long line of cars provided a caravan of respect as we took Daddy back home. This was his first ride in a long black Cadillac. He would have laughed at this. Daddy was a Chevy man. He said a Cadillac was for preachers and politicians. Daddy had no use for either.
Daddy was a quiet man. He didn’t talk much but when he did people listened. They sought him out for advice, friendship, and to ask him for a helping hand. He had no use for church but he made sure that we went Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. He taught us to be respectful and kind to others and to give of ourselves, to share our knowledge and skills. I can remember him working all day in the fields and then driving fifty miles to help a friend work on his car or take a neighbor that was having a run of bad luck money knowing he would never see it again.
Daddy believed in doing. He was not one for talking. I spent a lot of time with him in the fields and later riding with him when he drove a truck. He taught me about life by showing me and being an example and testament to what he taught. I learned by watching and listening. I think the one thing he said the most was to use common sense.
It has been 44 years since I rode in that long caravan of respect taking Daddy home. I can still see him out in the fields with our old dog and a little boy trying to walk in his footprints. I often try to see myself through his eyes. Sometimes I would share an idea with him on how to do something and he would just smile and say, “Let’s see how it works out.” He never said no. He always encouraged you to fail or succeed and take the lessons learned from it. All in all, for a quiet man Daddy said a lot.
After we took daddy home so many people have said to me, I knew your Daddy and he was a good man. I have set many goals in life, and I have certainly done things my way. However, I have always been influenced by a quiet man, a simple man, and someone that always made time to help others. When I reach that long caravan of respect the one thing, I would wish for the most would be someone to walk up to my sons and say I knew your Daddy and he was a good man. In life what we say and do is how people remember us. If we help others and give back, if we listen to others and help them grow, we too will grow and learn. In our business and our personal life what we are willing to give unselfishly, that is what we leave behind.
These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories they are deeply rooted in.
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me.