Sunday, April 02, 2006

"Happy Birthday, Dad!"

Today my father, William E. ("Eddie") Puckett turns 86 years old (born: April 2nd., 1920).

The above photo was taken in 1963, when dad was 43 years old (and I, looking over him, at age 11); half of the age he is today. In his hands is a copy of aCracked Magazine which I had at that time. It is the only time I can ever recall my dad looking at any of the comics or magazines I ever bought or collected, and I always thought it was a kick that my mom caught this moment on film!

This was/is a typical pose for dad, sitting in his recliner and relaxing after a hard day's work, which was then at a Texaco gas station (for which he worked for 13 years), and about 1 year before he got a job at the local water company for which he worked from 1964 until he retired at age 65 in 1985.

I've tried to decide exactly what "life lessons" my dad ever taught me. I guess they were things like honesty and hard work do eventually pay off, and that even if you don't have some fancy education, one can still make a living and raise a family. For dad never finished high school. In fact, he never even finished grammer school having to leave in the 4th. grade to work on his father's farm. But that never kept him from always having a job.

He worked on farms stripping tobacco, or as a taxi driver, or as a guard at a cigarette factory (during World War II where he "tried" to join the armed services a number of times, always to be turned down because he was so underweight), local re-dryers, and finally at the gas station and the water company.

Dad always did mostly manual work and wasn't afraid of it or did I ever heard him complain about it. He dug ditches by hand before the days of automated digging machines, and then after a hard day at work, would come home and mow the yard or do any of a number of house-type projects.

I feel very fortunate to still have both him and my mother among the living.

He's always been faithful to my mom, his one wife of 63 years, and even when times were hard he never let his family do without the necessities of life.

And he never once said for me to stop reading those damn funny books.

What more can one ask of a father?

Happy Birthday, Dad.


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