Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Daddy and Ronald Reagan

This is a rerun from last year.  I had already posted my blog for today before I remembered that it was Daddy's Birthday. 


Former President Ronald Reagan was born this day in 1911.  I can remember the 'Reagan Years' well.  We were so proud of him.  Some say he was the most loved American president, but no one loved him more than my daddy did.   They had a special bond--my daddy was born on this day in 1915.

The term 'yellow-dog democrat' refers to those voters that believe the Democratic Party is so superior, that it would be better to vote for a yellow dog than any Republican. I don't know what the Republican equivalent to that is, but I know my daddy would have had splinters pushed under his fingernails or faced a firing-squad before he would have voted for a Democrat. If someone really thought the Democratic candidate would be the better choice, well, you just learned to keep it a secret around Daddy.



After he retired, Daddy loved helping Mama with her flowers.  In the photo above, he is pulling weeds out of the flower beds by their roots.  

Like most of the children in his day, Daddy left school after the third grade; at that point, they were old enough to help on the farm.  In spite of the lack of formal education, he was the wisest man I knew when it came to nature.  He could point to any tree or bush in the woods and tell you its name, what it produced, and what the wood could be used for.

He also had a love for reading, preferring the western paperbacks that were so popular then.  He was a storyteller, to the point of boring us sometimes, because if he couldn't think of a new story, he just told us the old ones over and over.    Oh, for one more summer night of storytelling on the porch with a video camera!

I'm so thankful for:
~the talents I inherited from him . . .
~the physical traits from Stricklin DNA . . .
~the way he made whistles out of hickory saplings every spring. . .
~his love of nature that he passed on to me. . .
~him singing the old hymns with us. . .
~the way he watched the weather from the porch. . .
~his Aqua Velva. . .
~his thick, silver hair in the later years; he never lost any of it. . .
~him taking my oldest son fishing (my son still remembers every minute of it). . .
~him pointing out ginseng to my new hubby...Hub still looks for it when we are in the woods. . .
~his laid-back approach to life. . . .
~his seersucker pants he wore on Sunday; Mama could iron a pleat in them that stayed all day!
~the way he hung his left arm out the window when he was driving--summer and winter. . .
~the wild meat he put on the table when times were lean. . .
~the way he cried when my oldest brother left for the army. . .
~him visiting his mother almost every day in her old age. . .
~the way neighbors came to him when they had a sick animal. . . .
~his ability to smoke ham and bacon to perfection. . .
~the little bags of candy he brought home from work. . .
~how he stressed the importance of family.  He stayed close to his siblings although they were scattered over several states. . .
~his strength when my brother was killed while the rest of us fell apart. . .
~the way he loved his friends.  He visited Mr. Austin, a life-long friend, on a beautiful morning in November; that night, Daddy died with a heart attack.  Mr. Austin grieved for Daddy the rest of his life. 
~Seventy years of walking on this Earth.
~his love for his hound dogs.
~White-headed cabbage.



Daddy and Mama on their fortieth wedding anniversary.