Back in 2016 I designed a set of 4 cards that were sold in Target for justWink, American Greetings' young and fun line. Celebrating Dads combined with neon orange patterns, yes, please! So here's a post that dives deeper into those but really is an excuse to talk about my Dad!
This is Your Life
It's fun to look at old photos of my parents when they were younger. It's hard to picture them before I knew them so I rely on the photos to remember that they had a ton of fun and hardships before I ever made it into the picture in '83. And check out that 'stache, the man could grow a great beard too and he played a fantastic Santa when his beard turned all white.
5 Fun Facts about My Old Man
- Texas Boy: He was born in Dallas, TX, the baby of 5 boys to Lottie Inez Atchley and Pearl Theo Davis. How's that for some old-timey names?? His dad wasn't in the picture for long so his Mom moved him and his brothers to her parents farm back in teeny tiny Yale, Oklahoma when he was a kid. I wish I could say his childhood was idyllic and it was totally Leave it to Beaver, but real life is hard and he had his share of ups and downs. But man, he could tell a story. Him and his friends getting up to all kinds of shenanigans and adventures, I loved hearing those.
- Sporty Spice: My Dad was a bigger kid so he was great on the football and baseball fields. He played catcher for his school baseball team and he used to get into trouble for reaching out and grabbing the ball mid-swing before the batter could connect. So it totally makes sense that when me and my sister played softball, he taught us how to cheat. When sliding into home plate, kick the catcher in the thigh with your cleat so she'd drop the ball.
- Military Man: He joined the Army when he was young. He worked in the Motor Pool and he took that knowledge and worked as a mechanic for the rest of his life. The Army also taught him to be super organized. I look back and feel so bad that I never put anything back in its rightful place when I borrowed tools as a teenager. Sorry, Pops, I feel your pain now that I have my own house and get super annoyed when I can't find anything because someone used it and moved it and didn't put it back!
- Danielle "Chevrolet": My Dad was in the field for both me and my sister's births. So that means my mom was stuck with the pressure of naming us when we were born. She says that they had talked about Margaret for me, BUT she cracked under the pressure and when they asked her for my name, she looked out the window and named me after the Chevrolet dealership across the street. Man, it would've been amazing if my middle name was Chevrolet. That'd be hilarious! Side note, my mom cracked under the pressure when my sister was born too and she named her after the Ford Crown Victoria, her friend's car that she rode in on the way to the hospital to give birth.
- Vacuum Hair Cuts: He was a military man for most his life, so he liked to keep his hair short and neat! But he also never went to the barber so me and my sister learned to cut his hair with the hair groomer attachment to our Kirby vacuum cleaner. Yes, that's right, vacuums back then had some crazy attachments. I got pretty good at fading the shorter sides of his hair into the longer top. The vacuum was on for the entire hair cut and it was soooo loud, but hey, he tipped us with ice cream sundaes so that was always fun!
And So I Face the Final Curtain
Fast forward to the 2000s, after 60 some years in the sun, skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) started popping up here and there on his face and arm. It progressed really heavily toward the end of his life and many days and nights were spent on chemo treatments, ER trips, ambulance rides, and ICU stays. Hard times, man. Pneumonia mixed with his cancer metastasizing to other areas in his body and that was it. He went into a coma, and I held his hand when he finally slipped away. But enough of this sad stuff! He was a great man, I'm so happy to have had him as my dad and teacher and biggest fan.
Public Service Announcement for today: Wear Sunscreen!!!!