The Spearman (Texas) Lynx football team fall of 1947. Photo was from the Remember Spearman page on Facebook.
Today would have been my dad's 86th birthday. I try to remember his birthday every year because to me that is something to remember in a positive light.
Dad grew up in the panhandle of Texas during the dust bowl. I believe that is one of the main reasons he left where he grew up and spent most of his adult life in Wyoming and Utah. Growing up, there was a time when he and his siblings had to live with other relatives. He and his brother went to live with an aunt and uncle on their farm. Again, I believe that is why farming wasn't something he wanted to do as a vocation.
I knew he had played on a winning football team in high school because of the 'football stories' and recently a cousin had forwarded a picture that had his dad, my dad and another uncle in the picture. It was most likely taken in the fall of 1947. It had been posted on a "Remember" type Facebook page.
Dad was drafted during the Korean Conflict. He didn't go to Korean itself but served in Europe. After that he went to Wyoming to work in the oil fields for Teton Drilling. He worked in various places overseas for that company. He worked quite a bit in what are now Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
He was able to travel around Europe and North Africa. He enjoyed his time in Greece especially. He and his friend were befriended by a Greek family. They were appreciative and bought the family an electric sewing machine. He traveled to Paris, London, and Barcelona just to name a few of the places he went. He said they always managed to get along okay as long as they could order a beer and find a bathroom.
This was all in the days prior to electronic gizmos, so his passion was always reading. I don't remember a time when he wasn't reading something. There was always a book about. In fact, he probably read a goodly share of the volume in the library in our town over the years.
After he came back from the oil fields and traveling, he went to work for a concrete company. He then met my mother. They married and had me. When I was a baby they moved to the town I grew up in. Dad was the office manager for the marble plant. This was in the days prior to computers and I can remember many a day riding along while he wrote down the numbers of the train cars they were using to ship out the marble.
In the late 1970's, two of his friends talked him into going back to drilling. This time instead of oil, they drilled air holes for mines. He did that until a bout with colon cancer left him unable to perform the physical skills necessary to work in that field.
During his remaining years, he still read as much as he could - always having that library book somewhere close. He also kept track of the water usage for the neighbors who used the irrigation water from the ditch south of the property. He did that for many years.
Dad never had any hobbies except for loving trains. We also spent some time watching the big steam engines when he knew there were coming into Cheyenne or Laramie. He bought a de-commissioned caboose in the late 1960's and put it in the pasture behind our house. It was a playhouse of sorts for us kids. It took a moving company from Casper with two semis' to come move it into the pasture. Two iron plates were put on the ground and the caboose was set on those. The folks were approached by a group in Chugwater wanting it a number of years back. Dad donated it to them.
He was involved in his local American Legion Post. He served as the Local Commander and a District Commander if I remember correctly.
In closing this remembrance, Dad had been a Broncos fan because that was the team he listened to on the radio on Sundays during those Sunday afternoon drives. Here is to cheering on the Broncos during the upcoming Super Bowl. Happy Birthday, Dad.