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Stories My Dad Told, the New BB Gun

My father was a plumber and an electrical repairman as well as a general do-it-yourself repairman. He taught me many valuable lessons.

My dad on the right after fishing in the Ohio River.

My dad on the right after fishing in the Ohio River.

A Midwest Son

My father was the middle boy in 6 children, raised in southern Indiana so close to the Ohio River that they would fish there often. He told many stories about his upbringing in those early days back east. We, his daughters, were intrigued by that rustic way of life since we were raised in California. There are no “woods” to hunt in here. We had to drive many miles into the mountains to find “woods” so the idea that there were forests right next to his house made us feel very citified.

Dad passed away some 27 years ago at the young age of just 60 from a brain tumor. The only good thing about that was that we had a whole year warning that the end was coming. It gave us time to spend with him and make sure he knew how much we loved him before the end. It also made it possible for us to be there and see him off the early morning of his last day.

His voice and his stories are the things I miss most. He had a deep resonating voice with a soft midwest accent that made everyone smile. He was fond of practical jokes and John Wayne movies. He thought of himself as a John Wayne type without the tall physic. Still, he bought himself a pearl-handled Colt 45 which he wore while hunting in the mountains and wilderness of the Sierra Nevada.

“It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping.”

— John Sinor

stories-my-dad-told-the-new-bb-gun

The New BB Gun Story

Now, don’t you think for a second that ol’ Butch didn’t get in his licks. Butch and I were finishing’ up our chores and commencin’ to head into the house one day. It was colder ’n a landlord’s heart out an’ I was a sport’n ma new leather jacket I got fer Christmas. It was heavy-lined an’ I must been thinkin’ it was bullet-proof too, sos ta speak. Butch was a tryin’ out his new air-pump BB gun when I got the bright ideer to see how it would feel to be BB shot with ma new jacket on. Wayell, I askt Butch ta shoot me right batten ma shoulder blades. He musta been twenty paces or so from me. He put about ten pumps on the gun and I turns around prepared for the thump batween ma shoulder blades.

Right then I got ta thinkin’ maybe ol’ Butch may nota been a good shot yet, him being only about 11 years old. So I lowered ma head sos if’n he missed, I wouldn’t lose an ear or somethin’. I toll him I was ready and he took aim and squeezed the trigger.

To this day I have a dimple in ma left butt cheek. Now I don’t think he really missed, ‘cause he was too good a shot to be that far off. But he was still shocked when I grabbed ma pants and commenced ta screamin’ like a banshee. He dropped that gun and took ta the hills.

By Gadfree, that smarted.

Dad on horseback.

Dad on horseback.

Girls’ Amusement

I suppose you can imagine how entertained we were with his stories of those childhood days in southern Indiana. We girls wouldn’t think of pointing a gun at a sibling much less shooting it. This same Butch now a grown man and very much like my Dad in the face and the voice, is a constant source of amusement and awe when he visits. It is like hearing Dad’s voice and almost Dad’s face again.

When Butch was a young man of 18, he got drunk and plowed his car past a guard rail into a river, sending him through the windshield. He would be exactly like Dad in the face if not for the deep cuts and scars on his face.

Despite his amusing childhood, my father was someone I respected and wanted very much to make proud. Unfortunately, I didn’t always make him proud. He was disappointed in my choice of husband. He was disappointed in my decision to pursue art only because he was sure it would not bring me security. He was right about that. I love it but I may never be independently wealthy from it. Still, I think he may have been content that I have been happy with my decisions.

“Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.”

— Anne Geddes

Practical Joker

Dad liked to plan a joke and “set to bomb” so it would go off when he wasn’t there. He apparently thought it was funnier to imagine the bomb going off than to actually witness it. After being the butt of several jokes, my sister and I were doing the laundry one day and while folding dad’s shorts we wondered how we could get back at him. It was my sister’s idea but since I could sew a blind stitch better than she, I did the dirty work. We decided it would be fun to sew the flap down on one pair of shorts so that in an “emergency” he wouldn’t be able to get it open. Then we placed the funny pair not on top of the pile in his drawer, not second, but third. Then we waited. After almost a week went by we knew he had discovered the doctored pair of under ware and we couldn’t wait any longer to ask. “So, Dad, had any ACCIDENTS lately?” He just looked at us with that sly corner of his mouth turning up and said, “Nothing I’d ever tell the two of you about.” He was right. It was much funnier imagining the bomb going off than anything he could have told us about.

Dad to the left and his brother Butch to the right.

Dad to the left and his brother Butch to the right.

Final Thoughts

If your dad had some stories and he is no longer with you, I suggest you write them down for future posterity. My grandkids love these stories and hopefully, their children will too. There is nothing like saving a bit of my Dad’s humor and childhood to pass on to future generations that don’t get to meet him in person.

I’d love to read your thoughts and reactions in the comments below.

Comments

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 25, 2021:

MG Singh emge,

I'm happy you liked my dad's tale. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 24, 2021:

Such a beautiful tale. Great to read it.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

Peggy Woods,

It's true, we have many happy memories. He shared his love of the wilderness and the mountains, animals and nature with us. I'm richer because of him. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

aesta,

It was a terrible shame for him to go so young but since he had warning and time, he got right with God and got baptized before the end. Lovely of God to give him the time to do that. How many people don't have that time to prepare? Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

billybuc,

Or lost an ear! I've heard horror stories about bb guns. My cousins were playing with one in the house and had a lovely little hole in the window for ever so long after that. One of the boys had a bb pass through the calf of his leg before his mom got rid of the gun. My brother had one but he was careful (and since he didn't have any brothers didn't get into any fights) but he shot birds in the back pasture. It was funny to watch him because he was always followed by our cat who knew that when the boy went out with that stick, birds fell from the sky for her to eat. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

Pamela99,

Isn't that interesting about men? My dad didn't want to talk about his childhood either but we (my sisters and I) would beg him to tell us another story about his childhood in Indiana and these are the precious few stories we dragged out of him. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

annart,

He worked very hard for us and sometimes was in no mood for fun but when he got that "wild hair" as he called it, he was a hoot. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

Lora Hollings,

He was an interesting man. I'm so glad I knew him, haha. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

Eurofile,

He was a character, for sure. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

MsDora,

Oh my, I can't imagine what it would be like to grow up without a dad. He was something special: a little terrifying and a little playful. Men are rather unpredictable and I learned a lot from my father. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

surovi99,

It is kind of you to say my story is charming and I'm looking forward to reading your dad's stories too. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

ChitrangadaSharan,

It is a treasured memory. Thanks for commenting and liking my story.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 15, 2021:

emge,

He was charming. He certainly charmed my mom. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 15, 2021:

Thanks for sharing more stories about your dad. It sounds like he had a lot of fun times and must have been quite a character. You now have many happy memories.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 15, 2021:

I enjoyed reading your stories of your Dad. I am sorry that he died early but you have these stories to treasure.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 15, 2021:

I was remembering back to my first bb gun. I was probably twelve. As I recall, me and some of the neighborhood kids had bb gun fights. It's amazing none of us lost an eye. My God we were lucky!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 15, 2021:

I love these stories, Denise. Your father was quite a character. My father didn't talk too much about his childhood, so I don't really have a lot of stories to tell. I really enjoyed reading these stories.

Ann Carr from SW England on February 15, 2021:

Great stories, Denise! It must have been fun living with your Dad. You and I are both privileged to have had fathers with a great sense of humour.

I love family stories.

Ann

Lora Hollings on February 14, 2021:

It's always wonderful to have such cherished memories of loved ones that you enjoy reliving and sharing with others. Your dad sounded like he had a great sense of humor! This story is a delightful read, Denise.

Liz Westwood from UK on February 14, 2021:

I am enjoying reading about your Dad's antics. He sounds like quite a character. It's lovely to have this written record to pass on to grandchildren.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 14, 2021:

Having grown up without a dad and without siblings, I read your story with appreciation for the fun and camaraderie that's shared in families like yours. Thanks for sharing your precious memories.

Rosina S Khan on February 14, 2021:

I am glad to hear the second part of your Dad's stories. He certainly had a great sense of humor.

You are right we should write down these stories and pass them to the next generation(s). As I said earlier, I will republish the article that I wrote about my Dad.

Thank you so much, Denise, for sharing some more of your Dad's stories.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 14, 2021:

This is heartfelt, with sweet and unforgettable memories of your dad. I agree with you that we should write about these treasured childhood memories, so that the next generation knows about this.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful article.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 14, 2021:

What a lovely article on your dad. He must been an enchanting man. Thank you

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