This past weekend we celebrated Father’s Day. My father, Samuel Aaron McCurdy, has been absent from this world, but present with the Lord, for over thirty years now. He wasn’t a great man, but he was a good man.
My dad was a bachelor. He was thirty-five when he met and married my eighteen-year-old mother. Their marriage produced five children. I’m the second born. My parents were both raised in a Pentecostal environment, although neither was religiously strict.
As a child and teenager, I went through typical periods where I was embarrassed by my parents, but not necessarily because of how they looked. They looked better than some of my friends’ parents. Since I’m remembering Father’s Day, I’ll concentrate on Dad.
Dad had one leg shorter than the other. He was born with a club foot, and when he was a young teen, her got that foot caught in a hay baler, which stunted the growth. At least, this is the story we were told. Dad walked with a pronounced limp, even though he padded one shoe to make up the difference in leg length.
But his limp never embarrassed me. He had a temper and when he yelled, the whole neighborhood heard him. He never hit us, and I don’t recall ever being yelled at by him; my brothers were. He also had a loud sneeze that rocked the foundation of our house. This “loudness” of his always embarrassed me. Now I realize how petty that was of me.
Neither of my parents had much education. Mom had only an eighth grade education, and Dad had some high school. Mom was not intelligent at all, while Dad was highly intelligent. Dad was always reading my school books, especially my geography and history books. He loved them. I get my love of books and reading from him.
I got a good ethic from both my parents and the pride that comes with providing for family. My parents were resourceful in lean times. They managed to find ways to generate income without expecting the government to support them. That is an invaluable lesson for parents to pass on to their children.
Dad was in construction, but during lean times, we picked cotton, worked in citrus produce, or journeyed from Arizona to California to work in produce harvests there: tomatoes, peaches, and grapes. Boy, the stories I could tell…….
Dad, thank you for the lessons. R.I.P.