Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday's thirteen: My Dad

Johnnie B Seagraves 1922-1982
Photo taken at the Salton Sea (dad's last fishing trip)
(the pretty lady on the left is my mom, Jeannetta.)

It's almost Father's day and I find myself thinking about my dad. He's been gone for nearly thirty years, but I still miss him.

1. My dad, Johnnie B Seagraves, was born in 1922 in Mount Pleasant,Tennessee. But was raised on a farm near Pulaski.

2. My dad was raised on a farm and rode a horse before he could walk, but all his life he disliked horses.

3. My dad and his family came to Madera, California in 1936, when my dad was fourteen.

4. My dad learned to skate in an old barn, where he had nailed down ten can lids over the knot holes in the floor. He leaned to be a good skater, so he could skate with the girls at the roller rink that we still have in town.

5. He was drafted into the Army and served his tour in Hawaii as a ambulance driver and later a medic, taking care of the boys hurt in the war.

6. After the war when he came home, he used his Vet benefits to learned to be a Body and Fender man (that's someone who hammers out the dents and paints cars). According to his good friend Harmon Henderson, my dad was the best Body and Fender man in Madera.

7. In 1960, my dad met and married my mom, Jeannetta.

8. In 1961, I was born. :) In 1962 my sister Deanna was born.

9. My dad loved to fish and was very good at it too.

10. One time my dad went deep sea fishing and caught a shark. After wrestling with the thing for what seemed like hours (and may have been), he finally got it on board and decided to keep it. He took it home and cut it up. Soon all his friends found out Johnnie had a shark and came over to ask for a steak so they can try shark. My dad's good nature was his undoing, he gave everyone who asked a shark steak, until he realized he had given it all away.

11. Dad taught me how to fish, but I'm not very good at it on my own and don't fish anymore.

12. In 1980 my dad found out he had colon cancer.

13. In 1982, my dad passed away in the Veteran's hospital in Fresno. He was 60 years old. I was twenty-one. It was a very wet year and it seemed like the very skies wept.

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