Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dad's Big 8-0hhh!!

On January 3, 2009 my dad celebrated his 80th birthday. We had a big party as you have seen from other blogs. We had balloons, great food, lots of fun friends and family, a lovely cake with 80 candles and even fireworks. I don't think you could do much better than that unless you can Dolly Parton come sing Happy Birthday to you in person. My dad was born to Harvey and Anna Long, near Phillipsburg on a cold January day. He wasn't ever such of the exact date, because a doctor did not help with the delivery and a birth certificate wasn't issued. He was born, the fourth child and the baby of the family. He was received into the family by his older brothers and sister, Harley, Carlton and Sarah Jane. He was given the name William Hoover, the middle name for the current President of the time, Herbert Hoover, who some felt was an outstanding president, even thought the country was in the beginnings of the Great Depression. I'm quite sure my father was born into poverty, in fact in some ways born before his time. He was a child of poverty, with a father who left the family and a mother who struggled to raise four children by herself. While no one had much during the "hard times twenties and dirty thirties", I'm sue his family had even less. His father was an itchy-footed man who rarely showed up and wasn't much influence on his children. Anna, their mother on the other hand, was from what I have heard, a very hardworking, good souled person, who would do anything from hog butchering to laundry to feed her kids. (This was pre-welfare, foodstamps, AFDC, etc.) Ever drop of water was carried in a bucket from her neighbors, and wonderful neighbors she had, who helped this little family survive. Dad only knew work as he grew up, he also served a stint in the Army/Airforce, between WWII and Korea, but got to travel to places he had only dreamed of, like San Fransisco and Okinawa, Japan. He rode an Indian motorcycle, had many good friends, only an eighth grade education and had a little bit of an itch to his foot. Thankfully he scratched it before he settled down to marry and have kids. Dad was never given any favors not did he expect any, he worked for what he had, he had no one to give him anything, no transferring of land from father to son, no cattle, no dynasty. He worked hard and earned every penny he made. He and mom bought 80 acres of land and needed someone to sign a loan for him, thankfully a kind and trusting neighbor signed with him and that was never forgotten. Before dad got married he had started driving a canned milk route for a gentleman and eventually got to buy his own truck and route, but the work was long hours each day and 7 days a week. Later, when the company switched to bulk, he was not given a chance to change over, those favors were given to others, so he began driving a roadgrader for the local road district and also being a very part-time partner to my mother and their small country store. Dad is a good dad, he was very strict with my brother, but easier on me and my sister, especially my younger sister who was also the baby. Dad is hardheaded, stubborn, humorous, enlightening, very updated and educated on world events, believes in aliens, the space kind, not the Mexican kind, likes any kind of fried chicken, especially KFC, cake rather than pie, his many cats than fill the open area by the back porch, his trees and land, traveling, misses my mom, I'm sure by the hour, barely tolerates giggling women/girls and silliness. Dad asked for his party, he also asked for me to throw his 90th party in 10 years, to which I quickly agreed. I love my dad, he made me the independent, hardheaded and stubborn person I am today. Love to you all

1 comment:

  1. That was an awesome blog! You know I think Stevie looks a lot like grandpa when he was younger... it was a great party and just think of the party he will get in 10 years (maybe Dolly Parton to sing him happy birthday.)