Thursday, January 26, 2012

There Was a Man

There once was a man...a very ordinary sort of man...who started out as a child.

The baby and his mom

He grew, as children usually do.  He went to school...

School days

He became a man.  Then came time for the man to serve his country. 

Serving at Ft. Dix

He married, and had a daughter.
The man  and his first little girl

He joined the State Police Force and moved to a small town in Virginia, where he was part of a 2-man police force, keeping order in a town where little ever happened, other than the occasional belligerent drunk who had to be restrained, or a traffic accident, or a speeding ticket.  There were a few major crimes over the years, but mostly it was a quiet little town with normally law-abiding residents.


He used to love to tell the story about the day he took his wife to lunch in a neighboring town.  He was not on duty at the time, so he was dressed in "civilian" clothes.  A local woman walked up to the table and spoke to his wife, then turned to him and said "Oh, Howard!  I almost didn't recognize you in your clothes!".  You can imagine the thoughts that ran through the minds of everyone within hearing!

He had so many stories, and everyone who knew him always wanted to hear them.  He had mastered the art of story-telling, and would talk as long as you would listen.

After 15 years on the force, he switched directions and became a hairdresser (talk about a change in occupations!).  He had developed an interest in the business when his wife became a hairdresser and opened a salon in their home.  Over the years he owned a series of beauty salons and schools where he trained many women (and some men) in the art of hairdressing.  When asked about the radical change in professions, he often said he much preferred working with women to hauling drunks off to jail...a statement that always seemed to satisfy people's curiosity! 

As time passed, he became father to a son and, much later, another daughter.  He became a grandfather, and eventually a great-grandfather.  He sold his beauty salon and officially retired, but he still traveled to various customers' homes to cut their hair, or give them perms for many years. 

All of his children.

Some of his grandchildren.

The man and the only great grandsons he would ever know.

The man was, I'm sure you've guessed it, my father, my hero.  He left this life almost 6 years ago, at the age of 78, and not a day goes by that I don't think about him, or wish I could tell him something, or ask his advice about something.  He was a man of many talents, who loved his family, fishing, and gardening, not always in that order. He loved a good joke, never met a stranger and was a friend to many.

Thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me, and thanks to Mama Kat for the writing prompt this week.  May you always cherish those you love.

Linking to Mama Kat's.


Anonymous said...

It's Dianna, Linda -
Although I was just a child when I knew your dad, I do remember him. And I remember hearing my sisters speak of him and "Pennington" when the two of them came to our little town as state troopers. All the girls thought they were so handsome in their uniforms!
We do miss our parents everyday once they're gone.
Wonderful post today, Linda!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't leave a comment any other way but "anonymously"!


Diane said...

What a beautiful post and tribute to your father and hero.

Linda said...

Testing comments.

Melinda Ott said...

That is a beautiful post. Your father was a wonderful man!

Susan in the Boonies said...

Don't we need heroes?

How great that not only did you find one, but that he stayed your hero, all his life, and all your life.

Some of us have watched our heroes fall of their perch.

I'm so glad yours never did. He gave you a gift.

waytenmom said...

Wow I loved this post. I loved his career change too - that's pretty much a 360 but it sounds like he loved what he did. He sounds like a wonderful man. Thanks for sharing a piece of him with us!

Becky Thumann said...

How wonderful! I loved reading about his life - and his eventual career change! I bet he was spunky, huh? Full of life?

Thank you so much for sharing!


SUPAHMAMA! said...

This post tugs at my heart. I feel like I need to do one on my Grandfather whom lives with us.

What an amazing man your Dad was!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely story with grand accompanying photos Linda. I was a Daddy's Girl and while I lost my Dad almost 20 years ago I too don't miss a day without thinking about him. Your Dad led a most interesting life and I'm sure he's proud of your ability to share that life in photos and your words.

Pam Kimmell

Pix at Under the Oaks said...

Very touching tribute to your Dad Linda! Such a kind face with a sweet smile. Love your post this morning with the pictures of your Father. Your hero!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Wonderful tribute to your Dad Linda, I bet he loved it from where he's watching over you. I feel exactly the same way about my Dad.

Susan Smelser said...

Wow - this 'blogfest' is leaving me weepy! Your dad was, indeed, an amazing man! His career change was a real not only a 360, but at the time he made it he was pretty much an anomaly as a male hairdresser!
I have a great Trooper Seymour/Pennington story: I was about 4 yrs old and Mama and I were returning from Newport News in the 1952, red Hudson. We got a flat tire somewhere between Smithfield and Bacon's Castle, fortunately close to a little country store. I started crying, and of course Mama was not pleased with that! Miraculously along came your Dad & Pennington, and Mom pawned me off on them and they drove me to your home in the patrol car! I may be wrong, but it seems like it was a 1950's Ford similar to: