My dad, “Daddy” was one of the better Hanks’ boys if not the very best of that crop. With seven brothers to compete with in a time when Tom Horn (famous Wyoming enforcer for rich ranchers) had only been hung a few years before my daddy was a young boy. These Hanks boys were farm boys like most every kid was in 1915 or so. They made their own fun playing in the woods, hunting and gawd only knows what else. They were tough kids that depended on each other and I’m sure there was constant competition in almost every thing they did.
Their daddy was a candy maker, wine maker, and I’m told did a little bootleggin’ with his homemade brews. He would load his wagon up with his “goodies” and travel the country side selling to anyone who would buy along the way.
I reckon he did okay as they all grew up big and strong and from what I understand, you didn’t want to provoke a fight with any of them, especially my daddy and my uncles Marvin and Pete.
I don’t know if this is the gospel but I was told that my mom played the piano not only in the movies before sound was a part of them, but in the saloon on occasion as well.
I was also told my daddy filled in as the bouncer on occasion in Uncle Pete’s pool hall and joint. Pete was arrested along with my daddy and his daddy for bootleggin’ on one occasion. Tough guys living under difficult circumstances in difficult times.
Then it all changed when mom and daddy fell in love and decided to have a family. Church was a major part of their lives and remained until they both passed. My daddy was a deacon in a Baptist church wherever we lived and we always had a Bible reading and recited the “Lord’s prayer” before going to bed.
My older brother went into the ministry after college and was a sought after pastor until he retired. At the last church where he tended the flock, he was there well over 20 years, 26 I believe.
We still converse weekly and I always seek his advice on a lot of issues. They just don’t come much better. Like father like son.
Now me, on the other hand, I turned out to be a little “reckless.” Gentle readers, I’m not sure how we came up with the word “reckless.” That should be a label for someone who didn’t get into situations one might call a “wreck.” Right? I digress.
After taking a severe beating on my 16th birthday from someone much older and much bigger, daddy gave me a few pointers on how and when to do this or that when it came to fighting.
That little bit of advice came in handy more times that I would want to boast about. I loved my daddy and he certainly loved his family and was a good provider and protector. I disappointed him in so many ways on so many different occasions I still am ashamed.
Daddy passed over 30 years ago and his and mom’s picture smiles at me each morning when I roll out of bed.
Back in the day, dads didn’t hug their sons as it was considered to be a little “soft.” I gotta’ tell ya, I grab and hug my kids, their spouses and grandkids at every opportunity. There just ain’t nothing “soft” about that.
Stay tuned my friends, I hope all your dads had a wonderful day with your families and remember, we just don’t get “do-overs!”
Check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all.❖