I can remember playing tackle football (him being on his knees) when I was 7 or 8 and when he “tackled” me and I had all the breath knocked out of me. I can picture (and feel it now) he in a white t-shirt kneeling over me while my Great-Grandmother leaned out the window scolding him for playing so rough. I remember it so well because at that moment I really knew my Father was concerned for me, really concerned. (And I also realized he couldn’t fix everything) I felt like I was a man, being able to be hurt and then toughing it out.

Another time we three boys were dancing around the fire barrel while my parents burned wallpaper. We dressed for the occasion by making head dressings with feathers and I in my PJ’s (which were Indian or cowboy themed, flannel none the less). Man, I can remember this like yesterday; it was just getting dark and well past my bedtime. We were doing a rain dance like thing around the fire barrel when a large piece flew out of the fire and landed on my back. In an instant there were flames all over me, my Dad ran over and ripped all my clothes off and I wasn’t even burned! I can remember thinking that nobody on TV was tougher than my Dad.

I can remember going squirrel hunting with him for the first time, my favorite part was holding his hand on the way back. I know we didn’t get a squirrel cause I was to noisy. I think that’s why my Mother insisted I go, because she hated to cook squirrels and my Dad never missed. Once I saw him shoot a crow from at least 200 yards with a .22 and another time shoot a rabbit on the run with a pistol.

He grew up during the depression without a father and dirt poor in the hills of West Virginia. They hunted and trapped from the time he was 8 or 9, he claimed he didn’t really have shoes until he went to school. After listening to his Brother talk my Father was not stretching the truth, they were really poor.

I’ll post a few more memories, maybe some of our great adventures we boys had chasing over the hills.

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