My Daddy the Story Teller


My Daddy was a great story teller . We would gather around him on our front porch, while he was whittling, and chewing a big wad of Days-Work tobacco. The tobacco spit would be creeping out of the corners of his mouth, permanently staining every little nook and cranny dark brown.

Daddy was well into his forties when he married Momma. His young bride had just turned nineteen. It was ten years before they had their first child Marilyn Ann. Sadly after waiting all those year, their precious baby girl was still born. Afterwards Momma had a nervous break down, and went to Colorado to visit her mother.She stayed several months there recovering from her lost.

A year later Linda Sue was born. She was a beautiful healthy baby girl. Daddy said she looked like a china doll and was so little she fit perfectly in the palm of his hand. Another year passed and Daddy’s pride and joy Larry Wesley was born. Larry had dark brown hair and eyes like Daddy. Twenty months later Momma’s pride and joy Mary Katherine arrived. (that’s me) I’m the one that almost killed her during child birth due to my big old head. I always thought she exaggerated that story a bit. My head is just a little on the large side. Finally three years later Bettie Lou joined the family. Us kids knew the doctor brought the wrong bag to the house to deliver the baby. He was supposed to bring the boy bag. We certainly let Momma know that a mistake had been made. We ended up keeping her anyway. I had the biggest adjustment to be made. I had to share my Momma with another girl. I thought Daddy would take care of a boy baby, and I would still be Momma’s baby. I ‘ m not sure if I have got over it yet. I do know I love my baby sitter with all my heart.

Daddy was in his sixties with four young children fighting for the best seat in the house,his lap. Daddy would hold one, sometimes two of us kids, all the while chewing tobacco , whittling away on a stick , and sometimes as a treat he’d play his french harp.Then the story telling would commence.

Stories of him growing up near Sni-bar Creek. His mom and dad having Jesse James and the gang stop by for some supper. Daddy loved talking about his prize team of mules. He lost those mules and everything else he owned during the Great Depression. I loved the stories of him and our momma going to dances. They would dance all night and get home as the sun was coming up. Then we would beg Momma and daddy to dance for us. They would put the radio on, and waltz, or two step for us. Then gab us kids and dance.

We never had the things other kids had at our age. Clothes, shoes, and toys were either hand me downs from someone at school, or finds from the local dump. We had a home full of laughter, music, singing , story telling , and most of all love. I hope to pass down those things to my children and grandkids. There is nothing more valuable to give to your family than your time. Everything else will fall into place. Give a little of yourself to those you love today.

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