Monday, February 2, 2009


I was tagged by Catherine at A Time for Change. 

1. Go to the fourth picture folder on your computer.
2. Post the fourth picture in that folder.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag four more bloggers.

This is my Dad.  It's a scanned photo as you can tell. He had this portrait taken in 1999, two years before he died.  He was 80 and it was no doubt that occasion that prompted the photo session.

For his 80th birthday, we planned a big surprise party at a restaurant in Houston.  We invited family,of course, neighbors and people he had worked with in the residential contracting arena in Houston. We got quite a crowd.  My sister created a photo montage and I gathered information that covered the many things he saw in his lifetime.  That document is long gone, lost in cyberspace on the incarnations of computers past.

My father was  born April 12, 1919 in Nacogdoches, Texas.  He was the next to youngest child of James Martin and Euphemia.  He had 3 brothers and 3 sisters and was the second youngest son. He grew up in the Great Depression. He worked to rebuild Pearl Harbor after being turned down when he attempted to enlist. I was never clear on why. My parents married in 1942.  He was 23. She was 20.  Wow, I've never done that bit of math before.  Seems young. His first car was a Model A. 

He worked construction and eventually formed his own residential construction business that mainly focused on remodeling. That business was successful enough to put my sister's and I through college and pay for our weddings.

So much happened during his lifetime that it's hard to really appreciate it all.  
  • Two world wars
  • The rise and fall of Communism
  • The first transatlantic flight
  • The first space flight
  • The moon landing
  • The entire Computer Age from its inception (more about this later)
  • The Korean War
  • The Vietnam Conflict
  • The first Iraq war
  • Television moved from a novelty to a necessity
He never used a computer and barely new how to program his VCR but he was a self-taught draftsman and could design and build furniture, built-in bookcases and entire additions to homes.  He was a closet romantic who cried at ET when I drug him and my mother to see it in its first release.  And developed a fondness for Reese's Pieces afterwards.  He never forgot a Valentine's Day (Russell Stovers chocolates in a heart-shaped box) or a Mother's Day. He was shameless flirt that would get flustered and blush if a woman ever flirted back.  

He gave me my appreciation for history and country music.  He loved animals and had a green thumb, which he failed completely to pass on. The part about the plants not the critters.  

There have been times in my life since his death that his absence is most missed.  They usually have to do with my kids.  He never got to see them perform with their high school choirs and at times I've watched those performances and been sad because he would've been so amazed and proud.  He couldn't sing at all and in fact no one in my family can.  Sometimes I hear him laughing.  That's usually when they do something that I swear I never did or when the phrase, "I was never that bad" falls out of my mouth.

So, before I become completely maudlin, I'll move on to tagging four more unsuspecting bloggers.

Those of you that can, go hug your Dad.


Anonymous said...

That was beautiful True Blue. I miss mu mom too. i lost her to cancer less than a month after my 35th birthday. No one cold tell a story like her. She was brilliant, finny, demanding, made me laugh, made me cry and no one has ever loved me quite like her.

What a gift you must be to your family.

Thanks for blogging.

skyewriter said...

This was beautiful, True Blue.

What a tribute to your dad.

Mine just turned 80 this summer.

I try to see him as often as I can.

Aliceson said...

Great Post!

Sprite's Keeper said...

That is so sweet. Your father was definitely a wonderful person.
I just did the 6th picture one a couple of weeks ago, so I have to pass up on this one, but this is actually one of my favorite memes, because it personalizes the picture so well.

Middle Aged Woman said...

Awwww. That was sweet! I am tagged and posted!