Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Delmar's Story

Thanks to all who stopped by to join in last Wednesday!

Here's hoping some of you, my faithful readers, might join me in posting a story with a picture for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom.  The challenge is to post a picture on your blog, then write a short story or a poem about the picture as a writing exercise.  When you have your story written, you can link up for others to read.  Feel free to also add your picture and story to another link of your choice. The link up is on my WWW page here. This is #32!


I've posted a picture of my dad on a previous blog, way back when, but I wanted to share with you a little of his story as told to me a few years before he died. Delmar was the only son, second child born to Kate and John.

Some excerpts from Delmar's story:

I started school at the old grade school in town. The janitor told all of us kids that there was a "paddling machine" in the basement of the school, and we were all afraid. I have memories of driving the horse and buckboard into town to my grandparents' when I could barely see over the sides. The horses knew the way home, so they would always get me there safely.

When I attended the country school near our home, I would start the fire and empty the ashes in the winter time for the teacher. 

My sister Florence used to read me the book Peter Rabbit when I was very small, and I had the whole thing memorized. I loved that story. One spring, we had a hen and ten to twelve chicks. I tried to teach them to drink, but I drowned them instead. I didn't ever get in too much trouble, as I was the baby in the family.

I drove my neighbor's tractor when I was only seven years old. We were still using horses at home. The tractor had iron wheels, and pulled a five-bottom plow. I also drove his truck to haul grain to town, and drove my dad's car when I was nine. Our first car was a Buick.

Years later, during the Depression, workers began to build the highway east of the farm. Mother and Dad took in workers to earn some extra money. There would be four or five men staying at the house, using some of the rooms upstairs in the old farmhouse, and eating with us. Mother also made lunches for them and washed their clothes. I remember one of the workers once showed me the effects of venereal disease he had caught, and it scared me to death!

I remember a poem one of them recited, but I don't know the author.

Beside a western water tank
On a cold November day,
Beside an open boxcar
A dying hobo lay.

His partner stood beside him
With a low and bended head,
And listened to the last words 
This dying hobo said.

"I'm going to a better land,
Where everything is bright;
Where beefsteak grows on bushes 
And you sleep out every night.

Where you do not have to work at all,
Or even change your socks,
And little streams of whiskey
Come tricklin' through the rocks.

Oh, tell my girl in Denver,
With her no more I'll roam,
'Cause now I've caught a westbound train,
And now I'm going home."

(That was the way Daddy remembered it, but I did find the poem on the Internet and have linked it here. Just a slight variation from what he remembered! There is also a song.)

We weren't rich, but we weren't poor. Times were rough during the Depression. You made do with what you had. Dad would give me $5 to go on a date, but I didn't date until I was a senior in High School.

I'll share more of his story with you at a later time. What a great guy, my Daddy. Hope you have enjoyed some of his story. Now it's your turn. Do you have a picture that reminds you of a story, maybe a bit more original than mine today? Now's your chance to write your story and link back to share with others at my Wednesday Wit and Wisdom.

Linda Kay


12 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful story and post on your Dad! I like the poem! Thanks for sharing, enjoy your day!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

A nice story about a great Dad!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That's a fine tribute, Linda.
~

DeniseinVA said...

What a wonderful way to remember your Dad, and thanks for adding the poem. Great post!

Gosia k said...

So the memoties of your dad are wonderful . Thanks for visiting my blog. Love from the heart of Europe

Cranberry Morning said...

It's a great story, Linda, and sometimes hard to believe that was only a generation ago. So much has changed and not necessarily for the better. The way we coddle children today is something rarely known in your dad's growing up years.

William Kendall said...

A wonderful tribute to your dad.

The Yum List said...

A 'paddling machine' ! Can you imagine what would happen these days if someone if suggested the story? Times have changed.

Grantham Lynn said...

Oh what a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. I will try and get something for you tonight. What I want to write not sure anyone wants to hear. LOL. Today I managed to get a new position at work. Yea.
It's a cut in pay but less hours which is what I really wanted. And much less responsibility. So I feel like a free woman. Anyway.
After I rest a little while watching my favorite tv on the dvr I'll write something hopefully worth reading.
Hope you have a great party.
Oh one more thing. Next week I am hosting a Link the Link Party.
So plan to come by and link!

Cherdo said...

Linda, I love this post and the story about your Daddy. Repeating these wonderful memories spreads the love. Thank you.

Mike said...

A seven year old driving a tractor? Don't try that these days.

Marie C said...

I loved this memoir! What a sweet tribute to your childhood and your Dad. It brought back such stirrings in my heart, because the Depression era is one of my favorite times in our history...despite the troubles this country faced. It was a time of real, genuine, good people; hard-working people with real values. I love reading about it. I'm sorry I didn't get to this on Wednesday. I don't know why, but I sometimes get distracted. I am enjoying the meme so much!

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