Dear Old Dad

This post has been very difficult for me as you will understand. I have put off writing this, knowing that it had to be done. I just know God somehow will use this for His glory.

My dad was born in Ansley, La on August 25, 1932. Ansley is a little old town between Quitman and Ruston Louisiana. The only thing in that town today is the Ansley Union Church, a black cemetery and a white cemetery. The Ansley Union Church is a Methodist Church one Sunday and a Baptist Church the next. Always had been that way and probably always will.

The Davis Bros built the town. The sawmill, the company store, the school, the church and probably most of the homes in that town. My grandfather worked at the sawmill and the most he ever made was $32 a week. That would be paid in credits at the company store. That is where they got their food and clothes etc.

When dad was 9-10 yrs old he wanted a bicycle so bad. Other kids had them and he wanted one. He asked for one for Christmas and low and behold he accidentally found one in the attic before Christmas and assumed it was for him but come Christmas morning the kid across the street was riding that bicycle. His dad was hiding it for his neighbor. Is that not sad. My dad told me this story when I was in my 20’s and he was in his 40’s when he bought his first and only bicycle.

My dad graduated from Quitman High School where he played guard on a State Champion basketball team. He then joined the US Air Force and served in the Korean War. He was stationed in Okinawa. On Christmas Day 1951 he married my mom and after he received his honorable discharge he moved to Texas where my mom’s parents lived and went to work for Gulf States Utilities, Co. While working days there he went to Lamar State College of Technology now Lamar University for 8 straight years of night school. Finally in 1963 when I was in the third grade I saw my dad graduate from Lamar Tech with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

In 1963 he left Gulf States Utilities and went to work for E I Dupont in Orange, Tx. called Sabine River Works. After 30 years he retired and went back to work there as a consultant. He told me then that he was now getting paid what he was worth. He was very well respected for his electrical knowledge and his dedication. In fact there was a lot of his design in that plant. He loved electrical design, He would take his vacation when big projects were coming up and hang blue prints all over the den, living room in his home and when I asked him why he would spend his vacation that way he said, it is what I love and that’s what you are suppose to do on vacation. He said he could get his best work done there because the phone would not ring. This was before cell phones. He was very dedicated to his craft to say the least.

One of my regrets that I have is that I never heard my dad’s testimony of how and when he was saved and baptized. I never asked my mom that either. How dumb is that. The most important decision of their life and I never asked about it. I know it happened but I never heard them tell the story.

My dad served as a Deacon, Interim Song Director, Sunday School Teacher and at one time served on eleven different committees at church. He also was elected as a School Board Member for a few terms. He was a good man a good dad and a stand up citizen. But then The Wreck.

The Wreck changed everything. It took my little brother that he knew away from him. It took his wife away from him who had to stay in Houston for my little brothers healing and rehab. It took all the money he had saved to pay for medical bills. He became bitter. Bitter at God. He blamed God for allowing this to happen instead of trusting God. He turned from God and when that happened sin entered in and the consequences of sin over time was too much for my dad and he did what the evil one put in his mind. He committed suicide.

Sometimes the Lord allows things into our life to test our faith. Look at Abraham and Job. Those two men we can learn a lot. We can also learn a lot from my dear old dad.