June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

All the Moms got their tributes, so now it's the Dads turns!

We don't have many pictures of RL's dad - probably because he's the one behind the camera at all the family get togethers! Hmm, what can we say about RL's dad. The kids all call him Popo and for some reason I do too. Here are some things I personally know about him. 1) He started counting down to his retirement probably about the time he turned 60. You could ask how much longer and he would tell you almost down to the minute! 2) He had to quit school when he was in the 12th grade because his Dad died suddenly and he had to help support the family. 3) He's the second to the youngest out of five. 4) He went back to school to get his GED when he was in his 30's - which, to me, sets a great example to his sons that you can finish what you started, even if it's been years. 5) He has three boys - I was going to say at least one terrific daughter-in-law, but as I went to type it, the keyboard shelf fell off the computer table! RL asked if that was karma or a faulty computer table. I'm sticking with the faulty table! Back to Popo - 6) He has four grandsons and three granddaughters. 7) He appreciates a person with a sense of humor and loves to pick on someone - mercilessly! 8) He's been married to the same woman for 53 years and has worked hard so she could be a stay-at-home mom. He worked in a body shop by day and drove a diaper truck by night! 9) He has been enjoying his retirement by leaving every May in his motorhome with Momo and not going back home until late October or early November. It's a rough life! 10) He gives everybody nicknames which make no sense to me whatsoever! Just ask Scooter, Pop - who is 17, Petunia and Luther.

Now on to my Dad. I know a little more about him than I do Popo - so here goes. My Dad is the second to the youngest of six. His Dad had three children when his first wife died shortly after the birth of their third child. He met my grandmother and they married and had three children together. My Dad is the middle of those three. I never knew all my aunts and uncles weren't by the same mom because nobody ever made an issue of it. When my Dad was just a little guy of 12, he was very much into photography. He hopped a bus to Nashville - which is roughly an hour from where he grew up, by himself, to pick up an enlarger and then rode the bus home. Why did Ma let him do that? There's NO way you could do something like that now! He was always a snazzy dresser in high school and once wore white shoes to school in the middle of winter - earning him the name 'Summertime Sam'. (I love that story!) He worked his way up from being the low man on the totum pole to an Assistant Principal Engineer when he retired. While working on the Space Program in Florida, he was a wedding photographer, pilot, avid hunter and gun nut - making his own ammunition and building his own black powder guns, computer nut, furniture builder - I can't remember what else! It seems like there was always something he was into. While Daddy worked at Cape Kennedy, he met Gus Grissom. He was even working the night the space craft caught on fire on the pad and all those poor astronauts died. What a helpless feeling they all experienced that night. Daddy has always been an excellent provider and Mom was able to be a stay-at-home mom the entire time my sister and I lived at home. He is also an excellent source of positive thinking and a great Christian. I know he's helped me through some rough emotional patches in my life and still does. Daddy had an accident a few months after he retired and has been paralyzed on the left side since. Although his physical life has drastically changed, I don't think of it as defining him. He has just had to find a new way of doing things. R & L keep him quite entertained with all their antics!

Although I have some current pictures of Daddy, I LOVE this picture! He still looks like this to me - add some gray hair and a beard and there you have it!

Okay, here's another picture. This one was taken when L was just a little bitty thing. We were staying at Disney and L was explaining something to Daddy. I love this picture because Daddy is really giving L his undivided attention.

Happy Father's Day Popo and Daddy! We love both of you!


Knit Picky said...

Lovely tribute!

Anonymous said...

What a great gift for the fathers of both Randy and you! Makes me very proud that you can express it so well. Thank you!
We also enjoyed our "Day with Father" at your house...along with sweet kids, good food and lots of fun. It was good to talk to Kelly too, as she called with wishes for your dad. Also good to hear the news about her guys!
I love you, Mom