When I did a search for photos for this post, there was one that I knew I wanted to include – dad with the car.
I’ve always liked this young cocky image of my dad. In my youth (years after this photo was taken) Dad had funny nicknames for cars – like the Blue Goose. It was big rounded wagon. He once bought a pink Cadillac with fins for my mom to drive, but I think he got a kick out of the car himself.
Then I found one of dad posing shirtless with mom in the background. I have no idea when this photo was taken but it must have been early in their marriage. He’s kind of bad ass isn’t he?
What I found next were two photos taken during my last vacation with my parents. I was 19 and home from my first year of college. We drove through the Ozarks in Missouri – and the towns of my father’s youth.
We drove over the bridge that he dove off of with his friends. This photo was taken at the one room schoolhouse that my father attended as a boy. Stories of buckeyes in a wood stove that pop and sound like a shotgun were repeated with fondness and a mild embarrassment. Edgar was a bit of a scamp I’d not hesitate to say. As I recall the schoolhouse was still in use as a small community center for the very small town of Moko.
Along with the Moko schoolhouse photo I found this one of Dad and his father, Charlie Bell. I don’t have many photos of Charlie and few stories to tell but I see such fondness in this photo of men that I can’t help but smile.
As for stories of my father, Edgar, I have plenty. Laughing and storytelling around campgrounds. My father and his buddies playing guitar at my parents 50th wedding anniversary. And fishing, there were always boats and fishing involved if Edgar was around. As a Captain on the Tulsa Fire Dept, dad always had a second or third job on the side. He worked on 24 hours, and off 48 hours. One of his great loves was fishing, and in 1970 my parents decided to leave Tulsa to live in the small town of Mannford and dad became a professional fishing guide on the days he wasn’t fighting fires in Tulsa. Dad made a good go of this profession for many years.
One of my favorite memories growing up was going night fishing with my father when I was in high school. We’d load up on minnows and snacks, rods and reels. Then just before dark we’d drive to the lake (which was maybe a mile away) and he’d slowly navigate the bass boat to a spot where he’d drop anchor under an old railroad bridge. There we’d sit for hours, snacking and fishing. Sometimes we’d talk – but often not. It was a good quiet evening, whether we caught sandies, crappie, or nothing at all.
Sometimes companionship has nothing to do with words. Thanks Dad, for that profound lesson. I love you.