Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SOLSC #26: Honoring my dad with a dozen memories (thanks, Kate)!

    Today I join my fellow bloggers in
"serving up a slice" to the March SOLSC
   sponsored by Two Writing Teachers.
In honor of Kate DiCamillo's 50th birthday on March 25, I shared the list of 10 things about Opal's mom from Because of Winn Dixie with my students.  Then I shared a blogger's post of 10 things about her grandad.  I  encouraged my students to compile their own list of things about a person who matters to them.

My dad died almost 34 years ago, but compiling this list brought back wonderful memories:

1.  My dad loved Popular Mechanics magazines and often completed projects from the magazines.  He built our game cabinet, a great little dustpan that didn't require bending over, and our wooden Santa with a blinking nose for the front porch.

2.  My dad loved folksy sayings like "Cute as a speckled pup under a red wagon," "Sharp as a tack and twice as flat headed," and my all-time favorite, "If I had a swing like that, I'd paint it red and put it in my back yard."

3.  My dad loved to drive FAST through mud puddles.

4.  My dad was a morning person, and I inherited my early bird gene from him.

5.  My dad loved to read my geography and history textbooks.  I often had to beg him to give them back so I could do my homework.

6.  My dad was one of sixteen children.  His favorite family event was the annual family reunion at Platt National Park in Sulphur, Oklahoma.  He loved being one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave.

7.  My dad took care of us during snowy weather.  He once walked several miles so he could drive my mom home from work after a snowstorm.  When I first started teaching, he would drop by my school on snowy days to scrape the windshield and warm up my car before I got out of school.

8.  My dad loved to learn.  He came from a rural farming family and only attended school through the sixth grade, but he loved to read the encyclopedias that he purchased (one volume at a time) at the grocery store.

9.  My dad was proud of his '56 Chevy and the engine he rebuilt with a little help from a friend.  I was appalled when our other car broke down, and he drove me to my freshman year of college in it during the early 70s.  It hadn’t quite reached classic status yet.  It was just Dad’s old clunker!

10.  My dad asked us to call "his office" (the downtown barber shop) if we needed to find him after he retired (no cell phones or pagers yet).

11.  My dad loved springtime and gardening season.  He loved his Troy-Bilt rototiller and the slogan he used to advertise his business:   "Have tiller will travel!"

12.  My dad had a “man cave” before it became vogue.  His favorite spot was the shed he built for himself filled with his tools, and outfitted with a wood burning stove and projects to while away the time.

I'm a lucky person to have had his influence in my life.  Even though my husband and children never met him, I've kept his memory alive through the frequent stories I share with them of my wonderful daddy.


  1. Ramona, each item is a gem! My dad loved to learn. He came from a rural farming family and only attended school through the sixth grade, but he loved to read the encyclopedias that he purchased (one volume at a time) at the grocery store.

  2. Each item on your list is filled with the love you had for him. A portrait of who he was really emerges. I wonder if there is another family member who knew him who you could share the list with and maybe they could add to it.

  3. How sad that your family never knew your dad. What lovely memories you have of this important man in your life.

  4. I loved reading your list! I loved your dad's sayings and the kind way he cared for his family.

  5. I so enjoyed reading each of these, Ramona - together, they created such a rich picture of a wonderful man, and dad.

  6. This is a great idea! Can I steal it?
    Your dad sounds like a wonderful man - cleaning off your car when it snowed!

    1. I borrowed it from another blogger! Steal away!

  7. This list is wonderful! What sweet memories you have of your dad. I would like to try this soon. My dad passed away 7 years ago when my oldest two were 3 years and 1 year old. My you gets two never met him. It would be a great way to write down some memories for them!

    1. Robin, we did a family post for my dad's 100th birthday (he wasn't alive, but we celebrated just the same on our family Facebook page). All the siblings and grandkids wrote memories they had of Dad and Grandpa. Our goal was to reach 100 memories and we did it!

  8. With tears in my eyes and a big smile on my face, I recall the big, gentle , growly bear that was my "Udder Fadder"! Loved that guy. He always had a joke or piece of corny advice for me...and if I was on my way back to Tulsa he'd always rake up quarters to pay my toll...whether I needed them or not.

  9. Wow, I don't know your dad, but honoring him with this list makes me think he was a pretty amazing man. Thanks for sharing.