1-26-1909 - 1-11-1979

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position
that one has reached in life as by the obstacles
which he has overcome while trying to succeed."
Booker T. Washington

My Dad did accomplish a lot, but I believe he overcame even more than he accomplished.

He was the oldest boy in a family of eight children.
See a list of his brothers and sisters.
His own father was left fatherless at a very young age, so my grandfather was a "self-made" man. This meant that he had to work hard to help his mother make a living. When he had a family of his own, he taught all of his children to work hard. They each had their own jobs. Being the oldest son, my Daddy had to help with the crops at a very tender age, therefore, he was forced to drop out of school.

They raised corn, cotton, and sugar cane as well as a large vegetable garden. Daddy got an education by watching others and observing. Daddy was very skilled playing dominoes and later taught his own children to play the game.

Even with very little schooling, my Daddy became a very good mathematician. He could add in his head faster than others could with their paper and pencil.

He not only had the handicap of little formal education, but he had the handicap of having only one eye, due to an accident when he was very young. As far as anyone could tell, though, the one eye never hindered him in any important way. He could fish with 2 poles and watch both corks better than others could watch their one. Daddy never acted as though he were handicapped in any way and never expected any consideration because of it.

Growing up as he did, he acquired many bad habits. Drinking was probably the worst one and led to another accident that injured his hand and he lost half of four fingers on one hand.

The drinking almost made him lose his wife, too, because it was almost more than she could bear. She had four children, needing their Daddy's support. Her own family was overloaded so there was no help from them. All she could do was pray that he would quit. She asked me to help her pray that Daddy would quit drinking and we did. She told me in later years that she made a point to pray at night with Daddy listening beside her in bed. She also said that I told Daddy that we were praying that he would quit drinking.

About this same time we had a preacher, Mr. David Boozer, who visited the families. Mr. Boozer liked Daddy and he liked to visit us. I don't know if he ever talked to Daddy about his drinking, but Daddy liked him and it was during this time that he decided to quit drinking. He said he had finally realized he could not take the first drink and quit. He left 2/3 bottle of whiskey on a shelf in the top of a closet all the while I was growing up.
He never touched it and never drank at all after that.
That was June, 1945.

Our lives then began to improve considerably.
He trusted Mama to give him advice, and she helped him in many ways. Townspeople who knew that he had quit drinking began to help by giving him a loan to buy a pickup truck and another helped by recommending him for a foreman's job with the Louisiana State Highway Dept. He proved to be a good employee and retired from there after many years of service. He was never afraid of work. He had learned at an early age how to work and he worked hard. He also became a deacon in the church, serving faithfully until his death. Even after he was suffering from the coronary artery disease that claimed his life, he worked to repair a plumbing problem at the church.

Daddy was a skilled hunter and trapper, providing food for his family, but fishing was the love of his life and he knew how to catch them. There were many enjoyable meals of fried, white perch at our house, and it continues to be a favorite food for all his children. Neighbors often reaped the rewards of his fishing trips, also.

After retirement, he was on a lake somewhere almost
as much as he was home. Toledo Bend Reservoir had just been built and even though it took almost 3 hours to get there from our house, he made many trips there to fish. My mother went sometimes, but there was little enjoyment for her on these trips. She just went to appease him.

My Daddy was a good man and I loved him.

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition.
To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The song below was one of my Daddy's favorite. It has some very meaningful words.

by Thomas O. Chisholm

Living for Jesus a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, gladhearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, Didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master, My heart shall be Thy throne,
My life I give, henceforth to live,
O Christ, for Thee alone.

Living for Jesus who died in my place,
Bearing on Calvary my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading and give Him my all.
Living for Jesus wherever I am,
Doing each duty in His holy name;
Willing to suffer affliction and loss,
Deeming each trial a part of my cross.
Living for Jesus through earth's little while,
My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;
Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem,
Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.

Please come back soon and visit me.
Index of Pages