January 27

Meet my dad! We call him Papa (AKA Papaya).

Never one to keep a straight face in a photo, this is the only semi-recent one I could find where he isn’t being a screwball. 🙂

He is a United States Marine Corps and Vietnam War veteran. He and my mother have lived with us for the last five years. They’ve been married for the last 38 years.They watched my daughter Pookie while I finished school and they will now watch Cookie when I go back to work.

The family joke is that I teethed on a 3/16th’s wrench while “helping” Daddy fix a car. I was always Daddy’s girl. I think he still feels guilt (although I don’t think he’s ever found the words to say it) about not being able to be there for my half-sister when she was growing up. So I think he made up for it by spending as much time with me as he could when I was growing up.

He never let me being a girl stop me from doing anything: he taught me how to use tools, feed the chickens, and clean out the gas filter in my grandmother’s Chevette (while my grandmother and mother were making sure that I knew how to sew, crochet, embroider, set a table, use the right utensils and be a lady but more on them later).

Papa grew up in Oklahoma and as worked in so many trades that it’s hard to keep track. Off the top of my head there was oil field worker, broom corn field worker, mechanic, bartender, truck driver, maintenance worker, janitor, and Walmart greeter.

We finally convinced him to retire after he left Walmart so he’s been relaxing and reading every Western the library has for the last 2 years now. (Seriously, the library is running out of Westerns that he hasn’t read!)

Anyway, he says, “Hello!”