My Dad Shaped My Life

My dad was a jeweler and a master watch maker. He could rebuild a V8 engine or the many houses we lived in, all by himself. He could farm or garden, raise cattle or horses, and he loved to go fishing. He was a Georgia Cracker who never understood racism and thought that was something only "white trash" did. He was always first to offer help to a neighbor or friend, and he gave of himself freely. He was good natured and his smile would light up a room.

He was also a brooding alcoholic who had survived tuberculosis, killed his brother when he was young, and was completely secretive about his past. He was an amazing guy who remains a mystery to me to this day. 

onlinegrandpa onlinegrandpa
61-65
15 Responses Feb 12, 2010

Well thanks for sharin your Dad with us, OLG.

He was an apricot brandy guy, unless he had a serious brood going. Then he switched to vodka. But the man could BBQ better than anyone I've ever met.

Mighta fit in well the meat smokin n sausage crew in our neck ... could he handle his Canadian Whisky? =)

My dad died when he was 57, but I doubt he would ever have talked about his life story, partly because he felt it was too private and partly because he wasn't much into conversation, even with family. He'd take me fishing when I was a kid, we'd fish all day, and I doubt he said more than half a dozen words the entire day.<br />
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Yeah, he was pretty much the ideal neighbor, especially if you needed to rebuild an engine or put a new roof on your house....or if you suffered some kind of injustice.

Did your Dad die young OLG? Or did you jus never get to that place where you could have the 'real' discussions?<br />
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There's somethin to be said for bein tight lipped sometimes ... steada runnin the mouth. *wink*<br />
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Seems to me you maybe took what you would from him. I can see a contrast or two.<br />
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Your father sounds to me like the right kinda man to have for a neighbor.

i know what it's like to live in a secretive family...living with strangers, yep...sums it up nicely. It's good that you learned from your dad...question is did you learn more from his teachings or did you learn more from his mistakes?

olgp. Not to sound like a broken record but isn't that what the TEA Party is all about?? As I've stated elsewhere a few times, the local TP I joined and subsequently left, their mission statement is:<br />
constitutional adherence, limited government, fiscal restraint, free markets and virtue & accountability. Another interesting note from the local TP is the final statement in their latest blog: "Together we will continue to reshape the entire political landscape, until we fully wrest power from career politicians and restore it to We the People." Bill in Va.

I think the mistake we make, Bill, is when we start thinking that our government is somehow not "We the People." We're supposed to be self governing. You'll get no argument from me if you think our government, as it exists now, is terribly broken. The rich have most of our wealth, our elected officials pretty much work for them, and what politicians do for the rest of us is nothing more than to keep us from realizing that someone is robbing us blind.<br />
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But that's the thing we have to fix. We have to seize control of our government again. That whole thing is supposed to be "We the People." We're supposed to "hire" people to manage our country. They're supposed to work for us. They're supposed to be us.<br />
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What's supposed to happen is, when there's a problem, someone shows up and says, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." That's what we "hire" these folks to do. I think it's high time we take our government back so "We the People" is who our government works for.

aye.. there be the rub olgp... It's my firm belief that people should take care of people.. not our government. When we surrender our power to the government we surrender our ability to change it. I walk that walk and not talk it! Bill in Va.

My dad was a Georgia Cracker, farm folk, but he was as secretive about his political beliefs as he was about the rest of his life. He voted, but would never say for who. He had an acute sense of justice and he referred to racists as "white trash."<br />
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I think he would have approved of my interest in Democratic Socialism because he believed people should take care of one another and should use government as the best tool to take care of the business of "We the People."

I'm wondering if your past with your father contributes to some of your (in my mind) extreme beliefs!.. I'm fortunate that my dad is still with us.. at 85 y/o... He couldn't ever hit a nail twice in a row, can't fix anything and calls me frequently when he or my mother (82) mess up their TV remote control. But,, my dad is a one in a million. He still delivers meals on wheels, works for a city beautification project for their small town, just left Habitat for Humanity, is a Deacon in the church they attend even though he's not part of that religion, ropes me into working with him in the church kitchen to provide food for the homeless, still active in a Senior Citizen social group, and is I think the only surviving male amongst their circle of friends. Hmmm.. maybe that's why I'm a conservative. Bill in Va.

I'm sure there was, but I have no idea. This is what happens when people, families, choose to be secretive. You end up living with strangers. It's almost like they think no one else ever makes mistakes.

Wow! A fratricidal watchmaker! There has to be a story there!

From what I was able to gather from my mother, so I'm not convinced of the truthfulness of this, my father killed his brother, perhaps accidentally, perhaps on purpose.

Your Dad certainly sounds like a complex character, gramps! What a great range of professional and life-skills.<br />
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I am a little confused with your wording, though... did your Dad kill his brother when he was young, or was that the TB?<br />
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I bet you have a fund of other stories about this fascinating man that you could share with us...