Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Dad was always lots of fun to be around whether working, hiking, playing, or just discussing any of the various subjects in which he was knowledgeable. But he was not easy to talk to about personal things.

When that was necessary I always went to mom. She was the one who gave me "The Talk" when my teacher at Bartlett Junior High sent home the note that I had to get signed. It stated that one of my parents had explained to me the wonderful changes that were going to take place in my body and mind in the next couple of years.

It was mom that I talked to about how to treat girls as I began to get interested in them. She helped me to be a thoughtful and considerate young man. I always loved those times we spent together talking about the right and wrong ways to behave. I especially remember how mom talked to me about the kinds of appropriate gifts to get my special someones.

Mom's faith was a quiet faith - but always there. She helped me pick and pack the clothes I took to our churches Christian Youth Fellowship camps - even going so far as to put my name in all of them. She always wanted to see seven pairs of dirty underwear if I was at a week long camp.

Mom's family's religious background was in the Methodist church. My dad's family's was in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Mom's favorite hymn was written for a meeting held by the great preacher, Wilbur Chapman, at the Methodist's Winona Lake Campground in Indiana.

IVORY PALACES by Henry Barraclough

My Lord has garments so wondrous fine, And myrrh their texture fills;
Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine, With joy my being thrills.

Out of the ivory palaces, Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love, Made my Savior go.

His life had also its sorrows sore, For aloes had a part;
And when I think of the cross He bore, My eyes with teardrops start.
His garments too were in cassia dipped, With healing in a touch;
Each time my feet in some sin have slipped, He took me from its clutch.
In garments glorious He will come, To open wide the door;
And I shall enter my heav’nly home, To dwell forevermore.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Artie's Big Splash

   One of dad and mom's favorite places to take us for a short vacation was to Bass Lake. We liked camping out with the Steve and Leola Lalanne family who lived next door to us on either Kessing or Cottage Streets in Porterville, California.

   Steve had been working on their inboard runabout boat and dad had been helping him. They had also taken some tongue and grove pine flooring and made an Aquaplane to tow behind the boat.
   The aquaplane was fastened to the boat by a tow rope that was tied through holes drilled in the front ends of the boards. There was a short rope bridal that came from the front crossbrace that was for the rider to hold onto to maintain their balance.
   Well, after the boat was launched that first day Steve took all the kids out for spins close to our camp. Everything was working well so Steve asked Leola and mom if they would like a ride and soon they were zipping around the lake where all of us kids could watch.
   While they were doing this dad got the aquaplane out of our car top rack (this was before we got the one-wheeled trailer we used for camping later) and carried it down to the shore. When Steve dropped Mom and Leola off he and dad hooked up the aquaplane, jumped in the boat, and slowly towed it out from the shore a safe distance and dad dove into the lake. He would be first to try the aquaplane out!
   Steve eased the boat speed slowly upward as dad planted his feet onto the board. I was standing by mom and I can remember her saying "Oh, Artie be careful" kind of under her breath.
But then - he was up.
   Yes, dad was standing up on the aquaplane and starting to look good. Mom and Leola were yelling encouragement to their guys and all us kids were whooping and hollering. It was exciting: Steve was going faster and cutting tighter circles and dad was trying out ways to guide the board by shifting his body weight and leaning. For the first time for Steve pulling, dad riding, and the board aquaplanning I have to say they all looked happy and pleased. The scrap-wood project was turning out to be a real success.
   Then Steve decided he would do figure eights. I think he was trying to make it a little harder for dad to stay up. The first couple go-rounds went well. Then Steve picked it up a notch faster as the boat headed for it's own wake. Slap! the wooden planked runabout went as the wake was jumped and it landed on the other side. And here came dad! He hit the wake. He and the board went up in the air. Standing tall. Looking good. Hold on dad! Slap! the aquaplane goes as it hits the lake. Mom looks proud. Everyone cheers dad.
   Then........The board stops as it digs into the water. Dad sort of falls and dives into the the lake. I look at mom. She seems worried. I look back at dad - he waves and grins. Mom smiles and laughs. Steve speeds along pulling the tow rope. Tied to the ends are the two tongue and grove flooring boards to which the rope had been fastened. They have jerked right out of the aquaplane with the force of the impact. Steve picks up dad and the broken board and heads in.
Every one greets the adventurers as they beach the boat. The Gals are beaming, the kids are laughing. What a great family afternoon.
   Soon it's evening and dinner is served. There is nothing like homemade stew and biscuits with cold Hawaiian Punch - followed by cocoa and chocolate chip cookies around a friendly campfire.