Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day First Day of Summer

family photo
Cecelia, Barbara, Alfred, Flicka in yard of A.L. Keeling
Calvert High School in background
HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all you fathers out there.
Daddy liked to barbeque on holidays in his later years. Fathers Day was one of those days. I don't remember that we particularly celebrated Fathers Day in the past, other than to let Daddy barbeque, or we might have had our usual Sunday family dinner with red roast and red gravy, for all the fathers and men in the family. Of course, this was after church at Sneed Memorial Methodist Church in Calvert.
Daddy had his own way of barbequeing and wasn't about to change. The meat was kind of heavy on the lighter fluid and burned on the outside. But he was not about to let those coals burn down some before he put the meat on the grill, then added more lighter fluid when the fire burned down. We just scraped the charred part off the outside, and ate plenty of bread, corn on the cob, and Coca Cola to wash it down-or else! We didn't dare to complain about it much.
Daddy would place the little barbeque pit outside the back door, and park himself on a camp stool beside the pit. He wore his khakis, hat, and boots, and grinned a lot while he sweated in the sun, occasionally turning the meat. Mama boiled corn and sliced tomatoes in the kitchen. Sometimes she added deviled eggs and potato salad to the meal. (I didn't like those, though, so I got charred meat, corn, tomatoes, and bread and lots of sop!)
The photo above is of Daddy with the horse he bought for us, Flicka. Barbara is in his arms, and I am the one with the cap pistol in the holster. I wanted to be a cowboy and ride the range with Tim (Holt) when I grew up. It's kind of funny that I have my cap pistol, and am wearing a skirt-not a cowgirl type of skirt, either. (We couldn't wear boys jeans either. We had our own girls jeans with a side zipper, if we got to wear jeans at all.) Maybe this was after school, and I came home and strapped on my "gun", hoping to ride the horse.
I don't think we ever did get to ride Flicka. (Poor ole horse!) When Daddy bought her, she had a cut foot from trying to jump a barbed wire fence. The owner was starting to break her, but the foot healing was going to take a while. Daddy had to doctor that foot for a long time. Poor old horse even got screw worms in the wound. Daddy put some kind of thick, gooey black stuff on the wound several times a day. And then there was carrying hay to the pen and dragging a hose to put water in a wash tub for Flicka.
At one point, Daddy had to have foot surgery and was on crutches for 2 years. So Mama had to take over taking care of Flicka. During one snowey, icey spell, Mama came in the house and realized she had lost the diamonds from her rings in the hay! She was most distressed!
Finally, the horse's foot was better and she was ready for training. But, on Halloween night, some boys let Flicka out of her pen, and, as she left through the gate, the boys poured oil on her back. (They also rolled our big dog house down the street.) Daddy was still on crutches, and he was really mad. And even more so when he found Flicka, with big blisters on her back from the oil being heated by the sun. Now, we had to wait for the blisters to heal before anyone could ride Flicka.
Finally, the day arrived and Daddy put the blanket, saddle, and bridle on the horse. He was going to break the horse himself! Barbara and I stayed back, fearing that the horse would run over us or do like the wild horses in the movies.
We watched as Daddy got on and gave a little nudge with his foot. Daddy's face turned red, then white with terror. Away Flicka ran, across the lawn, down the street, and disappeared toward Main Street dowtown. We screamed for Mama and anyone to help!
Eventually, Daddy returned, leading Flicka. The horse had run all the way to town and Daddy couldn't stop her.
Daddy put Flicka in the pen and, the next day, he started looking for a new home for Flicka.
We were broken hearted that our horse was sold, and we never got to be close to her, or even ride her. There went our cowgirl dreams.
But, our neighbor, Mr. Porter, was manager of a large ranch in the Brazos Bottom, and was a real cowboy. He brought a horse in to keep in our pen. One that we could ride and care for. A very nice quarter horse, but that's another story.
I'm sure that Daddy probably grew up in a time where people were still riding horses and driving in buggies and wagons. And, of course, he always worked around cattle. He had confidence that he could do most anything and tried it-his way.
Anyway, that's one story about Daddy. I remember being really small with Daddy. Since I had the episode with the steps at Sneed Memorial Methodist Church in Calvert a couple of weeks ago, one memory is of Daddy carrying me up the steep inside steps at the church. He would sing "Rock A Bye Baby"-his way, with his deep voice. He sang the words, but when the tune was supposed to go up, he would go down. I'm sure he knew the correct way to sing those songs, but he just had to do it his way.
And Happy First Day of Summer!
As Bob French has been saying on the weather forecast, we've already been having summer for a while. Temperatures around 100 degrees and not a drop of rain. Cerulean blue skies with puffy white clouds. Grass is dead or dying and the ground is like sand. One good thing is that my "jungle" doesn't need mowing!
Stay Coool!
I just read on the "Eagle" website that Mrs. Shook died. My sympathies and prayers go out to her and her family. She was a friendly lady, and a former coworker. I know that she will be missed by many. I am so sorry that she was so sick for so long. You can read a nice obituary for her in the Bryan College Station Eagle today.

1 comment:

Dan Kent said...

You are quite a storyteller. I loved reading about Flicka and your father, you obviously loved him very much. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your suggestion about gesture drawing. I'm not sure I fully understand. I think I need to improve my knowledge of anatomy (I have been working on it) because when my subjects have left and I've tried to continue the drawings from memory they never seem quite right. Everyday I improve though, and someday I'll get there. Look forward to more stories!