Growing up as his daughter
We didn't have alot growing up but one thing we did have and plenty of it was love in our home! As far back as I can remember Dad had been a preacher. We when were little he had live spot on the radio station where we would sing for a while and he would preach, mother still has the tapes of those recordings and we hope someday soon to have them on Cd's so we can share with many of you.. As we were singing Dad would stand us in folding chairs just so we could reach the mic that's how small we were.. lol
We were always in church and by always I mean 7 days a week, if the doors were open at a church we were there. From Granite City, Il to Santo Texas. It didn't matter how far he would have to drive he would go. And it didn't have to be a church house, it would have been a tent revival or a brush arbor... Most of you might be saying "a what".... just like it sounds a tent revival is where they would pitch a huge tent throw some chairs, pulpit, alter and electric to it and there ya go you have it.. A brush arbor, they chop down some trees, brush and make a little church throw in the chairs, alter, pulpit and electric and you have a church. I remember one time we had been to church every nite of the week and it was a Friday night.. I had went upstairs did my homework and started back down the stairs ready to watch some TV. Dad turned to me and said "why aren't you dressed"... I said "dressed? where are we going?" that was a stupid question.. I KNEW where we were going just didn't know which church..He had his back turned to me and said we are going to church, I as a mouthy teenager said "AGAIN"...... He turned quickly and looked at me and gave me that Paul Sutt look, yeah you all know that look........ he didn't have to say another word, so much for watching Dallas I was going to church again..
Now getting there was another story...... He always drove the speed limit on the highway, but you get that man on a gravel road (which is usually how we traveled) and you better hold on.. He would FLY down those roads.. We still think that is why Nona is so little, Sheila and I used to smash her as we would fly from side to side in the back seat, you know we never wore seat belts back then, and have of the time we were trying to do our homework, never made good grades in writing because it was usually done on the gravel road going 90 in the back seat hearing mom saying "honey, slow down". He would slow down for a second and back up to speed he would be again. We were always early getting there, used to drive me crazy but now that I'm older I know why.. That was dad's excuse to play some music.. He would have to make sure his guitar's were in tune with the piano. He would come get me from my friends playing and tell me to get to the piano and see if the guitars where in tune. We would play until church started.. lol
I can still hear my dad preaching.. He was a true Old Time preacher Man... He would start behind the pulpit reading the scripture and slowly make his way to the side of it, then slowly make his way in front of the alter and before long he was half way down the isle still holding his bible in one hand and his hanky in the other preaching like there was no tomorrow. He could preach over anything, babies crying, all the Amen's but the one thing he wouldn't preach over was me talking to my friends on the back pew.... He would stop, dead in his track, and just stare at me.... it wasn't long and I would shut up talking look at him and he would say IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE CHURCH HOUSE... You need to come sit with your mother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And there I'd be embarrassed walking up the isle to sit with my mother. You think I would have learned my lesson after the first time, but Nope, that happened several times. I would give anything to hear him preach like that just one more time, I would not open my mouth to anyone you would hear me saying all of the Amen's because what came out of his mouth were the true words that were given to him by God and only God!
I do cherish those days because if it hadn't been for him taking us to all of those churches we would have never met half of the friends that we have today...
As the years went by we slowly saw him getting older and weaker. There were no more times where he would get to church early to tune his guitar had. He walked no more down that isle to preach he had to stand behind the pulpit just to hold on to something so he didn't fall...he no longer drove the care at all. For years we had begged him to pick back up his guitar to play with us and his response was always the same.. On Dec 4th, I had to make a decision my work Christmas party or sing with my family at my sister's church...... I chose to go with my family in hopes that maybe just maybe we could get him to sing at least 1 song with us... We all prayed hard for that and that night not only did he sing one with us he sang over 10 with us and we have it on video... I am so thankful for that and that I made the right choice!
My heart is breaking but I know that God has a new angel and that he is walking without his cane or help, rejoicing, singing and if there are guitars in Heaven he has played everyone of them...
If you have your mother and/or father with you today, cherish every moment you have with them tell them everyday how much you love them for one day you won't have that chance. It's it horrible when you loose someone in your life but when it's your parent that has got to be one of the hardest things you will go thru.