Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Father's Day

I have a picture on my desk of my dad and me. It was taken around 1955. He’s squatting in front of our old 1947 Chevrolet, and I’m standing between his legs wearing a cowboy hat and a smile as big as Texas. I love that photograph. It makes me smile, and sometimes, it makes me sad.

My dad always loved the sound of trains chugging from one destination to another. When I was still in grammar school, I remember the two of us sitting on our porch after supper in the summertime. He would pull a pouch of tobacco from his pocket and roll a lumpy cigarette. He’d smoke while we sat in our front-porch swing and waited for the train.

Off in the distance, we’d hear the train coming from the west through Cordova. As it neared Frenchtown, the engineer would sound the whistle to warn drivers who might be crossing the tracks in Dora. The train whistle echoed through the hollows for miles. The sound was haunting. I think he’d dreamed of riding that train one day.

On the second Sunday in June each year, my dad would go to Davis Cemetery in Dora. He’d and at daylight and collect donations when people brought flowers for Decoration Day. The money was used to keep the grass cut. His people were buried there, and he felt it was the right thing to do. 

Last Sunday, I spent the morning collecting donations at the cemetery like my dad once did. He is now buried at the top of the hill next to my mom. I was the first one at the cemetery. Standing there, I ate a breakfast biscuit and sipped on a steaming cup of coffee. Off in the distance, I heard the sound of a train rattling and screeching on the rails. Closing my eyes, I listened for the sound of the whistle that I knew would come soon.  

Hearing the whistle brought a smile to my face. I know somewhere, my dad was smiling too. 

Happy Father’s Day.


  1. Train whistles don't seem to be as exciting to kids any more. Too bad.

  2. Such a great tribute. I know you miss your mom and dad. My husband loves trains too.

  3. It is hard to beat train whistles and cowboy outfits. Some of God's best gifts to boys.
    Very good one, and a dad that is a MAN is hard to beat!

  4. Precious memories. And photo.

  5. I love that photo of you and your Dad....and a great story to go with it. Wonderful tribute!

  6. Love that photo..thanks for sharing your memories of your Dad. I'm glad you keep up the cemetery tradition that also helps you remember and honor your Dad. There's something magical about trains...I love the sound of them also.

  7. My Dad also loved trains and suspect I will always think of Dad when I see or hear a train

  8. I love this story and I can’t get over how much your dad looks like mine. I need to take a picture of a picture of my dad when he was younger and see if you see the resemblance


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