Dad is on the left, a young evangelist, me and Mom, Lot of laughing in this family!
My dad didn’t take me fishing, hunting, camping, swimming or play ball with me. I think he figured I could find fun myself. He was operating from the standpoint of how he was raised; farmers didn’t have a lot of time to ‘Play’ with their boys. When my boys were born I was gonna be a great dad, play, teach, fish, etc. I knew from reading about raising children, that my dad had not been a great dad. Whoever wrote those books didn’t know squat.
Paul Anderson, the world's strongest man, lifted an incredible 6,270 pounds, the greatest weight ever raised by a human being; this feat was accomplished on June 12, 1957, in Toccoa, Georgia.
Everyone from Toccoa knew Paul or Paul’s family. Daddy would tell about the time Paul was in the General store and one of the men was in a big way of talking and said to Paul, “If I wuz you I’d go out in these hills and bring back the biggest bear out there.”
Without skipping a beat Paul said, “Tom, there are aplenty of little bears out there.”
I remember once when dad was a little upset at someone and mama was trying to calm him down, he said, “Grace you would find something good to say about the devil!”
Mama retorted, “Well Frank, he does work hard.” Of course dad had to laugh.
Once after dad & Mom retired we were home on leave from the USN. Dad handed me a bill and said, “Gulf Oil Co says I owe $280 dollars, I can’t owe that I quit using the credit card months ago.”
Dad was getting older and his eyes weren’t what they used to be, he had gotten a bill for $70 from Gulf. And paid it. The next month he got a $70 bill and told mama to pay it. Then a bill for 140, reluctantly he had mama pay it. Now the bill was $280 and he was not going to pay it.
I looked at the bill and it was a credit. They bought their heating oil from Gulf locally and the original bill was from the local company. Unknown to dad, mom had paid it. He had her send a payment to Gulf Oil. He was so happy he said, “You mean we have $280 of free gas coming?” I said dad it isn’t free, you have paid for it. Dad gave me the card and said use this on your trips.
Once Dad was at the Sinclair Station at home, when a black man bought gas. He brought his little boy in and asked if he could please use the toilet. The owner refused saying the toilets was for White’s only. (One Darnell trait is, we know what it is to have to PEE!) Dad said, “The boy isn’t going to hurt anything let him pee!”
“Can’t do it Reverend, I would lose customers, he can go out back, so the man took his boy out back.”
My dad told the man, who was a friend; you just lost a regular customer. Dad never bought gas there again. I always admired dad for that. Dad and mom were from Georgia, but the N-word was never spoken in our house. Using that, would get you a swat!
I hate to be so long here, but when I was teaching, my ‘Old Man’ (my C.O.) called me in. After I had reported in militarily, he said, “At Ease Chief, I pass you class room and stop and listen during the day. You get some of the best ratings as a teacher, I just like to check things out. Chief, if your daddy said everything you said he said, he would have been talking all the time.”
“Skipper, my dad was a preacher!”
His only response was a smile, “You are doing a good job, keep it up, Dismissed!”
Happy Birthday Daddy, he would have been 108 today! I know he is resting well, because he fought a good fight!
He also said: Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.