Happy Birthday Dad..............

Seventy-six years ago today my father was born in Mobile County Alabama. He grew up in southern Mississippi-Pascagoula to be exact, with an alcoholic father, who was a very stern and strict disciplinarian. He left home at a very early age, and had a rough time of it. He used to work on farms, shine shoes, anything he could do to get by. During the time he was growing up, times were very hard, and the 50's ushered in the age of Rock and Roll. He met my mom, and married her in 1954-after knowing her for only 6 weeks. It lasted over 50 years, and only ending with his passing.

I remember growing up, he was very strict, and sometimes even mean-but I still loved him. He was a lot of fun too. Because he had relatives in Alabama and Mississippi-we always went there for summer vacations. We could stay AND eat cheap-and that always included either staying at the beach, or visiting it while we were there. My fondest childhood memories are those times I spent at the beach; bodysurfing, fishing, learning to crab, and back then you could ride your dune buggies on the sand dunes. No one cared about the sea oats, or protecting them, no one thought much about the erosion of the sand dunes. When we would travel to Mosspoint, Gulfport and Biloxi-Dad would point out the damage that had been done in 1969 by hurricane Camille, to the grand old homes and buildings along the coast. The only other one since that has done as much damage to those same areas is Katrina in 2005. We used to feed shrimp to the seagulls off the pier while fishing. Just the simple smell of Coppertone can evoke those powerful memories, even though back then no one knew what we do today about skin cancer. And being a redhead, I had my share of bad burns-but it didn't stop us from going to the beach! Dad passed away 5 years ago as of this January-11 days before what would have been his 71st birthday. I miss him.............so Happy Birthday Dad~


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