Sunday was Father's Day and we met at Bull's house for a barbecue. After we got home, I discovered that my sis had posted this old picture of the five of us from back in the day--the late sixties probably, though I couldn't say for certain, I've never been able to remember time chronologically.
I'm not sure who took the pic, but it shows me with sis, my mom, my stepbrother, Jab, and my stepfather, Bull. I think we may have been on vacation, probably at Gran's house in Oklahoma. My blouse is too light for me to recognize, but I do recognize sis's shirt. It was a long sleeved henley type, ribbed knit if memory serves. And it had a scattering of large blue-green shapes on an off white background. Those shapes always reminded me of giant amoebas. I loved that shirt. I can even remember the soft texture.
I'm smiling in the picture. But I seem to be the only one. I'm the baby so everyone sort of looked out for me. Guess that's why I have mostly happy memories--okay, not all of them, but then who has only happy memories?
Anyhow, I shared the pic with my own Facebook page and a few folks "liked" it. One of those folks was a friend from long ago--someone who was there during that time period. "Good pic," the friend said. And I realized it was. But it wasn't just a good pic; it was a good time. A simpler time. This friend lived down the street and his dad worked with Bull, my stepdad. They worked in the oilfield, and they worked hard. But come Friday, the cupboards sometimes looked rather bare. So my mom and his mom would share whatever food our two families had leftover from the week. One would often have taters, and the other would have beans. And that would be supper. Add a pan of yellow cornbread and bottomless glasses of sweet iced tea and you've got one of my favorite meals.
As a kid, I never knew we had to share suppers on Friday night. Heck, I thought we were just having fun with the neighbors.
Obviously, a lot went on that I didn't know about back then, but I still say it was a simpler time. I can recall one of my biggest dilemmas in the summer was whether to stay out and watch the sunset from the back of Bull's car (where I would lie on my back with one ankle propped on the opposite knee), or whether I should dash inside when I heard the Gilligan's Island theme song from our one and only--father controlled--TV set. Gilligan's Island transported me far, far away. Sort of like all those books my real dad sent from prison. But I won't go into that here. Nope, I believe I'll save that story for another Father's Day memory.
Afterthought: What's your favorite memory of your father?