my first hero….
My Dad passed away 12 years ago and Mom got rid of most of his things a long time ago. At the time I didn’t want to start asking for anything until she was ready. She gave us a few things but a lot of it was gone before I knew that she was getting rid of it. I think there are two of his Stetson‘s that she kept. I have Dad’s .22 rifle that he taught me how to shoot with but I had to track down who she sold it to and buy it back. It meant a lot to me because I had so much fun with my Daddy learning to shoot and take care of it. He had given me his Gal Leg spurs several years before he died and I am so glad that he did. He had traded his boots for the spurs when he was 12 years old. They are handmade by a famous spur maker and they were probably his most prized possession.
As was his habit, he personalized everything he owned from tools to clothing. All of his possessions had his initials carved, stamped or engraved on them. He loved horses and dogs and all of his animals including cattle were his ‘pets’. I never saw him being unnecessarily rough with any of them, yet they knew he was the boss, as did I and yes I did get spanked but probably not enough…..
I am an only child and for the first six years of my life I was Daddy’s son (except for my long hair). I wore Levis and boots (except on Sunday), rode horses, climbed trees as well as the windmill tower, fences and any other obstacle in my path. Then I started to school and my Mom had spent the whole summer sewing my new wardrobe, frilly dresses (sigh). On my first day I got on the school bus wearing a frilly dress, ruffled can-can, ruffled socks and black patent shoes, my hair pulled up tight in a pony tail with a ribbon. I got off the bus that afternoon with hair flying, no ribbon, the can-can ruffles ripped, barefooted carrying my dirty ripped socks and scuffed up shoes. Daddy asked what I did on my first day at school. I told him that I played Calvary with the boys……it took awhile to turn the tomboy into a lady at least in appearance.
I always wanted to live up to Daddy’s expectations. I always knew he was on my side and that I was the apple of his eye and I never doubted his love and devotion to me. I think Daddy’s reputation and his double barrel shotgun might have had something to do with the fact that although I had lots of friends who were boys, I had no boyfriend. Thankfully my DH came along and turned out to be my knight in shining armor. Daddy approved of him but not the condition of the tires on his car. Daddy was forever gifting him some tires from one of his cotton trailers that had more tread. My KISA didn’t mind because he liked to drag race his hot car, but never before getting me home by curfew. He should have been racing for pink slips because he would have had quite a fleet. I did wind up disappointing Daddy when my new hero and KISA eloped, after my KISA had asked for my hand which was promptly denied because I was too young, but Daddy got over it, he and my new DH became friends and Daddy grew to love him and he replaced me as Daddy’s boy.
I am about to embark on the task of going through my parent’s house. I have to decide what to keep, what to sell and what to throw away. Growing up I was taught that Momma‘s purse was sacred. If I thought there was something in it that I needed I was to bring the purse to her and let her get it. Now I feel like that little girl going through Momma’s purse without permission…….I am sad that there isn’t much of my first hero left there…..
Grace and Mercy to cherish the memories and let go of the stuff.