One hundred and ten years ago my daddy was born. He was #1 of or 12 children. He was christened Frank Benjamin Darnell. His dad admired the James Brothers, to many southerners on farms, the James Boys were heroes. So dad was named after Frank James. The next son was named Jesse .
Over the years my dad changed his name (Unofficially) to B.F. or Benjamin Franklin Darnell. He was known to say my name is Benjamin Franklin Thomas Jefferson Roosevelt Darnell. It was odd that a man named after Frank James would become a fundamentalist Preacher, but he did. Dad was a good man. Honest to a fault and was always successful as a minister/pastor but NEVER took credit for the successes. His mantra was, “You can accomplish much, if you care not who gets the credit.” He practiced that. There are at least a million good things I could say about him, but suffice to say he was to be admired and emulated.
I wish he could have lived to see me settle down and ‘amount to something’, as he would have put it.
Then there was Wiley Aaron Harris, Sherry’s dad. Also a good man, and very handsome. He was born the year before my daddy. Along with his wife Susie worked in cotton mills all their lives and raised a good family. Wiley was also an honest man. Wiley was somewhat different from most cotton mill workers in the mid 1900’s, Wiley was a Republican when 95% of his peers were Democrats, however he admired FDR, a Democrat. He lived to see a change in the workers as many more felt the Democrat party had left them and switched parties.
He was working in a Cotton mill when he was 10-12 years old.
I never heard either Wiley or Susie complain about working in the mills as kids. They knew from experience, that the farm kids were working in the barns and fields to help the family survive also.
These men lived to see the Automobile, air plane, and see us reach the moon. Life has changed even more since these men lived, but the morals of these men should still be admired.
Happy Father’s Day Dad, I miss you. I miss you too, Wiley Aaron.
There will always be a need for true men and honest.
Wiley’s family never had a family car, they walked or took the bus. As long as I can remember my dad had a car. The first I remember was this 1941 Chevrolet.
Oldest brother Odis and Me. Shirl and I were sort of a second brood.