Monday, April 20, 2009

Dad's Two Easter Births

Today would have been our Dad's 85th birthday.

He always told us that he was born on an Easter Sunday, down in Oklahoma, in a sawmill camp, where his parents had moved so his Daddy could get some work. After a while, they moved back near Warsaw, Missouri, then to New Franklin where he spent most of his childhood & younger years.

He also always told us that he had two births on Easter. His actual birth day was on an Easter Sunday. And then on that Easter Sunday morning in 1952, he went to church with my Mom, to the little Church of God (Holiness), and was saved that day. He always made a point on Easter Sunday to stand up and testify to his conversion, and to his two Easter births.
He was a family man. He loved his parents and his brothers & sisters and saw them as often as he could. His parents were poor people, along with his Dad not being in good health, & I remember spending lots of Saturday's going to Grandma & Grandpa Brown's. On those days, he & Mom would do grocery shopping, run errands, haul a tank of LP gas--in the trunk of our car!--mow their yard, or whatever needed to be done. Later, when Grandma was in a nursing home, we spent many Saturdays going to visit her, Dad making a point to read a few chapters out of the Bible to her while we were there.

He also loved his in-laws. We lived in the same little town as my maternal grandmother and he would do any kind of chore for her also. He often mowed, raked leaves, cleaned out the garden patch, or other necessary tasks. He loved his brothers-in-law, often going on fishing or hunting trips with them. And he loved to tease the sisters-in-law.
But most of all, he loved the lady of his life and his children, and in later years his grandchildren. He was a great Dad! He took us on fishing trips, took us camping, spent time with us, made certain we learned about his Heavenly Father, took us all over Boone County & neighboring areas to Revivals, Fellowship Meetings, Youth Groups, & Church Camp Meetings.
He could take a cheap piece of pork steak & grill it up to taste like a delicious cut of meat. He loved to barbecue! He would have Mom stir up a bucket of banana ice cream & then he would freeze it in his White Mountain freezer. Many times either Steve or I had to sit on top of that thing, cover with a gunny sack, while he cranked away. I was very thankful when he finally graduated to an electric freezer! After he retired & was home more often, he became quite the romantic and would sometimes surprise Mom with a bouquet of roses from the grocery store. He was quite the bargain hunter & sort of took over the grocery shopping chore once he retired. Mom never knew just what he would come home with and their pantry was stocked well with his bargain purchases.
He was just a poor farm boy who had to quit school after the 8th grade so he could work & help support his parents. He went on to work and retire from Panhandle Eastern Pipeline, where he was able to get his GED, and then went on and took some college classes.
Jeff & his Grandpa Brown
playing Hillbilly Golf at Gatlinburg, Tennessee

From that little tent down in Oklahoma to his modest home in Kansas, I'd say he did a great job of living. He lived modestly, yet was generous to those who needed help. Our Dad was a great man! We loved him dearly and still have a vacant spot in our lives that no one else will ever fill.

Grandpa Brown & Parker

He was pretty proud of his first great-grandson!

Grandpa Brown & Carter

Carter had colic & I remember Dad rocking him, singing "Oh My Darling Clementine", and soothing Carter to sleep

This was Dad's last trip to our house...he knew he would never be back. He told me so when I let him out at the airport & it about broke my heart.


Karen Walden said...

What a sweet post about your wonderful dad and our awesome Grandpa! We have some great memories of our time with him! We miss him so much but know he's having the time of his life walking around the streets of gold with Grandma!!! Happy Birthday Grandpa! We love you very much!

Carol said...

Awwww!!! Nice job, Sister Blister! Thanks for having the energy to do this post. I miss him more than most would imagine...

Chandy said...

He sounds like a lovely, lovely man! I'm glad that you shared this post with us about him.