Daddy Let Me Drive

I had an uncle that I loved dearly. We worked together to build a chicken coop. He represented those things I loved in life, dogs, hunting and the country life in general. We were close. He lived on the river around Nugent, Texas, a small community close to Abilene. When I was young, I remember my other uncle, Uncle Jack, taking me to see Uncle Garner. We talked, hunted and fished. His dogs were always present. I loved it all. He had outdoor toilet. You had to get water from an cistern. I thought, how can it get better than this?

I remember one night we had set out some trout lines for catfish. After we gather them up, we went back to the house and fried some of them up. We ate around 1:00 AM. It was the best fish I ever had. A truly wonderful memory.

My Uncle Jack was a WWII veteran. He had served in the South Pacific Campaign. I remember playing with 2 Japanese swords that he had brought back when I was pretty small. One day, when we were sitting on the porch, Uncle Jack said he was  thirsty. He Asked Uncle Garner if he wanted a Pepsi Cola. Of course I wanted one. My soda pop looked different from their. The reason why was, they were drinking beer. ha! They didn’t think I knew the difference. Drinking alcohol of any type was a big no no in my family home.

As age creeped up on Uncle Garner, he came to live on a place by the old gin by my house. He lived in a trailer house there. While I was off to college at Texas Tech in the early 70’s, he passed away. He would be laid to rest in a little cemetery at Nugent. Actually, it is at Phantom Hill. The cemetery was across the highway from the Fort but down a bit. A lot of our family history is at this cemetery. Uncle Garner would take his place there for the ages to come. He would be missed.

You never think your parents as getting old. They were the rock of the family, close and far. For some reason, you think they will be that rock forever. Now I look back and see the time closing in on them.

Every place we went, Daddy always drove the vehicles. I can now never remember someone else driving. Maybe they did, but can’t remember it, until now. Maybe Daddy was putting a lot of trust in me or was he just tired.

We had left early to go to the funeral of Uncle Garner. It was probably a 2-3 hour drive. I remember after the services and going to the cemetery, we went to Denny’s with my other uncle, Uncle Dee. I had uncles all over the place. We sat and talked about one thing and another. It was a good time, good memories.

When we got ready to drive back home, Daddy ask me if I would drive. Of course, I would. It would be an honor. Me and Momma sat and visited all the way back home. Daddy slept in the back seat. He was tired.

Daddy Let me drive!

Several years later, I drove Daddy from  Lubbock where Momma was in the hospital from falling. As we started home, I had to help Daddy get in my pickup. I remember thinking he is getting old. This realization hit me pretty abrupt. I had never looked at him such a way. time passed on and it comes to us all.

Daddy passed away in 2001. Daddy was a great man. He is missed.

He let me drive!


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