Father’s Day is the day we all celebrate and remember our fathers. Our dads, our daddies. For me it is always a sad day. I try to get through it for my husband and sons, but my thoughts are on my Daddy.
I hope that each of you has fond memories of your father. I hope you can remember him with love and recall the times in your life when he demonstrated that love even if he wasn’t a demonstrative person. I hope your children have a grandfather they can love with their whole hearts.
To the fathers who may read this I say this: Salute!
My Father, my Daddy has been gone since November 2, 1987. He was 60 years old. I still love him and miss him. I still find myself wishing with all my heart that I could talk to him again. I want to tell you about him.
Emmett Eugene Bennett
(Left) Hobbs, NM 1951 (Right) Daddy holding me approx. 1 yr. old
Daddy had blue eyes that twinkled every time he smiled, when he laughed his eyes sparkled and little wrinkles in the corners lifted like smiles. His laugh began in his toes and rumbled forth in a guffaw that made anyone within earshot laugh right back. He had a gold tooth that gleamed when he smiled.
My love of horses began when I was about six months old and he held me on a black and white paint pony traversing our Hobbs, NM neighborhood with a photographer. Or, maybe it was when I was two and went to Western Auto with him and he put me on a red and black wooden spring horse. The story goes that he had to buy the horse to get me off of it. I believe that tale. Maybe it was when I was about 5 and another black and white paint pony was led through the area with a photographer. I learned several years after he died that he cried every year during my childhood on my birthday and at Christmas because the only thing on my list was a horse. To this day, I love horses with an almost obsession-like heart.
One time we went on a vacation to Colorado. I was about seven. We stayed at a motel advertising a heated pool. I only knew how to dog paddle. Daddy picked me up and threw me in to the deep end. The water was so cold I couldn’t catch my breath or swim. His goal was to teach me how to properly swim. He gave the motel manager a piece of his mind. He apologized for years about that. I love the water and I can swim just fine.
When I was 11 we went to a company Christmas party. Daddy was a mechanic for Halliburton. I still believed in Santa. I’ll never forget how the stinky, old mechanic’s garage had been transformed into a winter wonderland. A big red chair sat in a corner with a large red sack sitting beside it. Packages peeked from the top. Santa came! I was so excited, but when my name was called to get a gift I noticed it was wrapped in paper like we had at home. And, Santa had blue eyes like Daddy, a gold tooth like Daddy, and he was missing half of one of his fingers like Daddy. After the party I told Mama what I saw and asked her about Santa. She confirmed what I really knew. Daddy was Santa.
When I was a testy teenager and in high school Daddy would give me 50 cents, or sometimes a dollar, to drag main. Once again I found out years after he died that he was giving me his lunch/break money.
As I grew up Daddy was always there for me. Through a first marriage that should never have happened. The loss of my first born baby. The marriage to Frank and our two sons. He loved being a grandfather. All of his grandchildren loved him fervently. He would really love his great grandchildren.
Daddy’s dream to move back to Oklahoma from New Mexico happened at Thanksgiving 1969. He and my mother moved into the old Bennett homestead. The home where he was born and raised. He died on the front porch of that home as did his brother A.W. who died of a heart attack at the age of 21 and his brother Dale who died at the age of 18 of an accidental gunshot wound.
Hope you enjoyed today's post.
Until next time, Journey On!