Becky Says...

June 2006

Current Entry
Previous Entry
Next Entry

Personal Sites
and Forums/Boards

The Hunger Site

Write to me

Subscribe with Bloglines

A Century - June 1

If my father were alive, he would be celebrating his 100th birthday today. Over the years of having this site I've written of him a number of times, beginning with an introduction to him in 2000, about a month after I started writing here. Much of today's entry is taken from that one.

His name was Frank, and he was born June 1, 1906, in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. He was the second of four sons.

He was brought up in Gaston County, in Dallas and Stanley, specifically. College years were spent at Lenoir-Rhyne (a Lutheran school in Hickory) and at UNC-Chapel Hill. He went to law school at Wake Forest.

And in 1952 he married my mother, after a very long courtship. I came along nineteen months later. According to my mother's note, I was twelve weeks old when this picture was made.

Slightly panic-stricken attorney?

His law practice was in Gastonia. It was mainly a general practice, but he didn't take on criminal defense work, in part because he served part-time as Solicitor (District Attorney) of Recorder's Court, a lower-court division of the court system that no longer exists as such in North Carolina.

After supper and on Saturdays were my main times with my father. Sometimes in the evenings he would take me to walk, and sometimes we would go to ride---especially if he needed to drop off paperwork. I always loved it if we happened to go to Gastonia at a time when the evening trains were coming through---because I loved watching the trains go by. I don't know this for a fact, but I have a strong suspicion that my father timed our travel to coincide with the train schedule, just for me.

On Saturdays we often went over to his office. I would play on his typewriter while he read or did other work that didn't require the machine. It was with that typewriter (which I do still own) that I began my love of making words appear on a page. I knew how to spell my name by that point, and a few other words, so I loved seeing them appear, magically, just because I pressed down on the right keys.

Sundays were family time. After church, the three of us would have lunch, then frequently head out on an afternoon trip to visit relatives, or just go to ride. Or to walk in the courthouse square. This was Easter Day of 1954.

With Daddy on my first Easter

My father was widely known in legal and church circles as a man of high ethics. One time my mother told someone, in front of me, that I was as ethical as my father. That was one of the highest compliments she could have paid me. And she often told me that he would have been proud of me. That made me happier than she could know.

Unfortunately, my father died a week before my fourth birthday. It was a sudden, unexpected heart attack that took him, and I am grateful that he did not suffer long.

In the years after his death, many relatives and many more friends have told me anecdotes about my father. It is a tribute to him that he is remembered so many years after his death. Those kind souls have helped enrich the portrait of him for me, and in doing so have given a priceless gift to my daddy's little girl.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Text © copyright 2000-2006 Becky