Last month I shared with you about the strong women in my life in honor of Mother’s Day. This month it is only fitting that I talk about the men that were a great influence on who I am today. I am my father’s son; there was no denying it when you saw us together. We shared the same physical build, tall and lean, and of course a lot of the same personality traits. Mom would say “You are acting just like your father.” Good or bad those actions were inevitable. My Dad (Comer) was red headed and in his younger days had the temper to match. It mellowed as he aged. His father (Nelson) was soft spoken, at least by the time I came along. I am sure raising twin boys was not the easiest of tasks. He rarely spoke in anger and what he said carried the wisdom of his years. His word was his bond and his work sustained the family. He was a jack of all trades doing many jobs from skidding logs to the saw mill by mule team, to blacksmithing, and carpentry. My grandfather Gilbert was also a master story teller. I remember summer afternoons on the porch of their home listening to stories of his childhood.
My Grandfather Lamb (Franklin Stephen) died when I was only 8 but I do have fond memories of the short time we were together. Our birthdays were two days apart, so I got to celebrate twice in a week. He worked for U.S. Steel on the railroad hauling coal to the mill. He gardened, raised chickens, and taught me the names of the Presidents. It brought a smile to his face when I could recite them in order.
They were all hard workers, never idle, even into their later years. They worked their day jobs, came home, ran the tractor, grew gardens, or did odd jobs for friends and neighbors. Their lessons were many and some I just now understand, but that was their wisdom. They knew I would need them later in life. I miss them.
When I was young you were larger than life and held my hand.
When I was a teenager you put your hand on my shoulder and steered me straight.
When I was a man you walked beside me and became my friend.
Happy Father’s Day