Friday, June 17, 2011

A Southern Daughter's Appreciation on Father's Day

If I tell you that John Wayne's my daddy, you get the picture. I grew up in the down-reaching part of the country, in a place where palm trees would grow if they could edge out the long lash pines. It is a place where speech flows like Karo Syrup: clear, sweet, and slow. It's a place where hugs wrap all the way around you and rub your cheeks. They leave a lingering smell on your clothes of White Diamonds or Old Spice. I grew up in the 60's and 70's, before all the roles of men and women got swirled around and pureed. It was a time when right and wrong hadn't faded to tepid gray.

My dad is still that man. It is 2011. He is the hitchpost of our family. The place that is stable and we can tie ourselves to from time to time to get a perspective on the world. He is a man that loves his wife and daughters. He gets an understated smile when spending time with his 4 grandchildren. He gets a sparkle in his eye when he has reeled you in to a joke. He has a couple of friends for which he'd take a bullet.

He is a man that will not change his mind, even if you butter it up and try to use big words. He loves a steak and if he likes you he'd be happy for you to pull up a chair. He still likes a hot cup of black coffee and a working man's breakfast . He works until he is sweating and his hands blistered. Then it is time to "knock off and have a drink of tea." He will not waste your time chatting, but if he has something to say, you had better put your drink down and lean in because he is not going to repeat it. He opens doors for women and keeps wood on the fire in the winter. He carries a hankerchief in the breast pocket of his jacket. He probably has a firearm somewhere close.

 He still expects my sister and me to do the right thing and say,"Yes sir." He'd call us if he heard different. He still asks if we have gas in the car, air in the tires, and oil in the engine. He wants us home by dark; no need to be out that late, even though we live hundreds of miles apart. He asks how we are doing and how is work. He calls, "just to check in." He would come immediately if we needed him. No questions. He'd be there.

That's my dad!
 Happy Father's Day, Earl Sasser

It means a lot to an 'ol Southern gal to know that my dad is still keeping an eye on the old homeplace. He is still the hitchpost of our family no matter how far we have wondered out in this big world. He hasn't changed a bit. I still feel at home just thinking about him. Happy Father's Day, Dad! 

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