Mom, Dad & Fishing

by Larry Craddock -
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My mother was one of a kind. I think the Lord started her out in the hole just to give everyone else a fighting chance. She had a built-in business savvy and an endless supply of fresh ideas for something new to try. And try she did … which kept dad at his wits end most of the time. He was much more laid back and usually content with things the way they were.

I’ll confess up front that I’m chronologically handicapped so forgive if me if these dates aren’t exactly right … they’re fairly close though. I think it was about 1963 or 64 … I was 12 or 13. Mom and dad were running a little tavern out of the house on the hill just north of Binger, Ok and a group of contractors who were in the area building garages and barns would stop in most evenings for a cold beer before calling it a day. Mom talked them into building a bare structure on a concrete slab with nothing but a roof, siding, doors, and windows … and plumbing for little of nothing and dad agreed to finish it out.

Dad was a pretty good carpenter and he started building partitions from the plans he and mom drew up shortly after the contractors finished the building. I did mention that mom was always ready with new ideas didn’t I? Yeah I thought so. Well, this was no different. I distinctly remember on more than one occasion Joe and I would be watching dad drive concrete nails through the base of a 2x4 partition into the concrete slab lined up perfectly with the line he and/or mom had drawn on the floor when she would walk in with a pencil and a tape measure and start with “You know Van, I was thinking … if we’d just move that wall a few inches to the …”.

Depending on how many times that had already happened that day he would do one of two things: if this were only the 3rd or 4th time today, he’d just stop hammering and start pulling up nails without saying anything; however, if it had happened much more than that he’d just lay his hammer down and say “You boys want to go fishing?” And sure enough we’d go fishing. That was just his way of handling more ideas and changes than a normal man could cope with in one day :)

They were quite a pair. I wish I could tell them just once more how much I love them. Thanks Mom for teaching us to not be afraid to try; thanks Dad for demonstrating love through patience. Larry Craddock