I was at work today and I was talking to one of my co-workers. Us older guys tend to tell the occasional war story about our experiences while we were active duty but this young lady asked me what life was like for me before I joined the Air Force at the age of 18. So I told her a small little story and I thought I would share some of it with you, my friends who stop by from time to time to see what it is I have eaten.
You see, I was born and raised down in Alabama on a farm way back up in the woods. I was so ragged that folks used to call me Patches. My father used to tease me about it because deep down inside he was hurt since, he had done all he could. My dad was a great old man. Come to think about it, I can see him with a shovel in his hand. He never had any real education but the truth is, he did wonders when the times got bad. In fact, the little money from the crops he raised barely paid the bills we made. Life had kicked my father to the ground and when he tried to get up, life would kick him back down.
I know, it is sort of amazing that I come from such humble beginnings. But there is more.
One day Daddy called me to his death bed where he put his hands on my shoulders and through tears he said to me, "Patches, I'm depending on you, son. To pull the family through." He told me in fact that it was all left up to me. What a load for a kid my age.
Two days later my father passed away, and like it or not I became a man that day. Basically, I told my mom I was gonna quit school, but she said that was Daddy's strictest rule. So each morning I would have a Slim-fast or something before I went to school. I would feed the chickens and yes, I chopped wood too.
Kids these days just don't realize what hard work it was. Sometimes I felt that I couldn't go on I wanted to leave, just run away from home. But I would remember what my daddy said.
With tears in his eyes on his dying bed. He could hardly speak at this moment but he said "Patches, I'm depending on you, son. I tried to do my best but now it's up to you to do the rest."
Look, I don't mean to open up like this but there is more.
You aren't going to freakin' believe this but one day a strong rain came and washed all the crops away and at the age of 13 I thought I was carrying' the weight of the whole world on my shoulders; and you know, my mother knew what I was going through. Every day I had to work the fields because the truth is, that's the only way we got our meals. Turns out, I was the oldest of the family and all the younger siblings (and my mom) depended on me.
Every night I heard my mother pray "Lord, give him the strength to face another day." I didn't have much time to go to church, so that was kinda cool.
So years have passed and all the kids are grown, my mom got really sick and the angels took her to a brand new home - I believe heaven, but you know, who knows?
Lord knows, people, I shed tears but my father's voice kept me through the years when he said to me "Patches, I'm depending on you, son to pull the family through, I'm out of here, your mom is next, we didn't have life insurance or a 401K and now, it's all left up to you". Jesus, Dad!
Man, that sucked. But I joined the Air Force and the rest is history.
Oh, one other thing. The first record I bought was by Clarence Carter. Give it a spin.
About Your Host
- San Antonio, TX, United States
- I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.
Sites For San Antonio
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Blogs I Visit From Time to Time
- Jim's and Denny's: The Blanco Situation...
- One Thousand Posts... That's a lot....
- Lunch Report: Jacala on West Ave.
- Please Consider the Guy Behind You...
- Strange on Culebra: Don't Forget the Sunscreen...
- LOST: The End...
- Has It Really Been 22 Years: Happy Birthday, Roxan...
- A Little Bit About Me...
- Dinner Report: BJ's in Alamo Ranch...
- The Missing Chicken Head in Bandera...
- The Hail You Say...
- Wooden Nickle Unveiling Report: That's a Big Nickl...
- Sunday Morning Report:
- Wooden Nickle Museum Grand-Reopening...
- Breakfast Report: Tink-a-Tako on Potranco...
- Strange in HEB: Uppity Dog Food...
- New Siding and Paint...
- I Believe Bob Wacaster is Our Future...
- The Great Northwest Annual Meeting is Upon Us...
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