The Man My Daddy Was


     By now we all know, if we didn’t before, that Sunday is Father’s Day.  I asked myself if I should jump on the wagon with everyone else and write something with that in mind.  The television is blasting about how great dads are and how we should be grateful to and for our dads.  And I know there are those that wish the day would just come and get it over.  Some never knew their fathers and some would have been better off if they never knew theirs.  Then there are those like me.

     I lost my Daddy when I was in my teens.  My Mom completely forgot what day it was and he was buried on my fourteenth birthday.  Happy birthday to me, right?  It didn’t matter because I was certainly in no mood to celebrate.  After that every year as I got older the day brought sad memories instead of time for a celebration.  Until I got old enough to realize it was a time to celebrate; not because Daddy died but because it was his graduation day so to speak.  He is in Heaven and no longer has to face the trials and hard work of this old world.

     He worked two jobs to make sure his family did not do without anything we needed right up to the day he died.  Both jobs were at a sawmills, he did what they regularly do at a mill from twelve-thirty to five and four or five nights a week  and/or weekends he was a night watchman (now they would have called it security) at another sawmill.  When I smell the clean, sweet scent of fresh-cut lumber I think of my Daddy.  That and Old Spice Cologne are the scents I relate to Daddy.  

     Sometimes when he worked weekends I would ride my bike out to the mill and stay with him.  It was a huge place and I tagged along beside him as he made the rounds making sure everything was secure. If it was in the winter he would build a fire in an old rusty drum and cook coffee in an old coffee can and heat soup for us on top.  As we drink and ate he told me stories about his youth.  I could not picture him being young because he was fifty-five when I was born.  When it wasn’t cold he would break out bologna, mayo and bread from the large cooler he carried.  We made our sandwiches on top of the cooler then sat on the huge logs and ate as he talked.  He gave me advice on how to live a good life.  One thing I remember was: ‘Whether a job is big or small do it right or not at all.’   That was his philosophy and how he lived his life and I try to make it mine.

       I’m well aware there are dads out there who could never measure up to the man my Daddy was.  Oh yes, some of them have more money because it’s a fact we were not rolling in the dough.  They buy their kids all kinds of expensive gifts and send them to the best private schools.  However, they are so busy chasing the almighty dollar that they never stop and sit on a log, eat a bologna sandwich and talk to their kids.  There are others who are such monsters they have no right to be called ‘Daddy’.  And there are those who are simply sperm donors.  When I look at them all I know God truly blessed me with a wonderful Daddy and I would not trade the time I spent with him for all the gold in China. 

     So if you have a good daddy go visit him, maybe make a sandwich and sit on the equivalent of a log and listen to what he has to say.  Remember God didn’t promise us tomorrow. Until next time God bless.


One response to “The Man My Daddy Was

  1. Marcie Ann Curby Green

    Aunt Gwell,
    I just barely remember Paw Curby, but he was one of the greatest daddies any girl could have. He worked long, hard hours and then would sit on the front porch and talk to his grandchildren for hours on end. My mother, God rest her soul, loved him with all her heart.

    I can remember the time that the stove caught on fire because Bobbie Jean was cooking peanuts. She didn’t pull the stems off them and they caught on fire. Aunt Malvis and Paw ran all the way up to the house and literally took the stove outside to the front porch before they opened it and found the pan of peanuts. Then, bless them, they could not lift it to take it back inside. The old stove was too heavy. Daddy had to wrestle it back inside when he got home from work.

    Yes, I remember Paw and that he loved us all.

    Marcie Ann (Bugg)

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