Nathan

Nathan was short in stature, but was a giant of a man and the most wonderful dad anyone could have.  He was very polite , always tipping the hat he always had on.   He would say “How-dee doo,” as the southern gents always did.  He would say “roast-neers”  for corn-on-the-cob (short in the south for roasting ears).  He would say “might-neer” for almost.

cheryl-nathan1

Granddaughter, Cheryl and Nathan (1959)

Although he only went to the 8th or 9th grade because he was needed on the farm, he was an extremely smart man.   He could do plumbing work that was passed by the city inspectors, working under master plumbers’ licenses.  He could do electrical work on new homes and did it to perfection.  He could do carpenter work, building rooms onto his house.  He could fix his vehicles, regardless of the problem. 

His job was a railroad watchman.  With his limited education, it was all he could find.  He also cut hair for 25 cents all around the neighborhood and it was great to have the extra cash, as there were 6 kids to feed, cloth and get through school.

Bums, as the homeless men were called in those days, were usually nice people who were just down on their luck.  They would knock on our door and were never turned away.  Icy would insist they sit on the steps outside because she had so many children to take care of.   She would give them cornbread, beans and milk and they seemed to really appreciate her friendly manner towards them.  They usually said “God bless you” as they left, fed well and rested.

Nathan rode a bike to work, with a place to fasten his lunch box on the back.  He loved to eat egg sandwiches.  Folks didn’t know that was not good to eat so much of, but the bike probably helped him to live as long as he did.  Perhaps he could have lived into his 80’s if he hadn’t eaten some of the things he did. 

They had two cows named “Tiny and Daisy.”  Nathan loved those cows and would sing to them, while milking.  One day Daisy caught her horns on the telephone pole and Nathan had to cut her horns to free her, while all the children watched and cried.

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