2.3. – Dan’s Family Stories

Dan’s Mother, Mary Helen Davis

Dad lost his mother around the age of 12. It was a very difficult time for him and the rest of the family. Dad explained that his mother was being treated for cancer for some time at a hospital nearby. Dad and his sister would drive to the hospital after school every day to visit their mom. 68 years later when Dad was 80 years old, he still became very quiet and choked up with tears when I asked him about his mother, Mary.

Dan’s Father & Step-mother

Dad’s father found love again and married Erin. Life was good. Unfortunately, Dad’s father died unexpectedly of a heart attack at age 56. I think this was especially hard for Dad because he did not get much of a chance to make up and heal from the tough teenage and early adult father-son battles. Fortunately, before OB passed, he visited Dad while he was stationed in France. Later, Dad spoke of that trip often; how Erin and Mom had a grand time touring France while Dad and his father had some healing discussion back at the army base and over a game of cribbage. OB’s last conversations with Dad were conversations of encouragement, acceptance, and pride in Dad’s accomplishments.

Dad was very good to Erin, especially after his father, OB, died. He took us to visit Erin many times and made sure she was taken care of. She was a fun lady who loved cats…yes, a cat lady:) She even let me have one, much to my dad’s disapproval. 

Dad Fishing in Minnesota

Something young Dan enjoyed very much every summer was the fishing trips to Minnesota with his father. Dad became very good at finding the hot spots to fish. One year his father had Dan go up a week or so early to the fishing lodge alone and Dan ended up selling himself out as a local fishing guide!

Dad and The Manchester Parade

Dad grew up in Lindsay Oklahoma, population 1,713… 1,714 after Dad was born. It was small! Something that is fun about a small town is that everyone in the town makes fun of how small it is. Dad used to enjoy visiting Lindsay and the surrounding towns where his aunts and uncles lived. So here is the funny story…

When I was a kid, Dad invited me to ride my 6-foot unicycle in the “big” Fall Festival Parade where his aunts and uncles lived, Manchester Oklahoma. I nervously accepted this big challenge; so, we drove through the night and arrived in the blackness around midnight. We pulled out our sleeping bags and slept on the lawn of his aunt’s house to avoid waking her. It was quirky and fun. After a very greasy but delicious breakfast, we set off to the town where Dad set me up on my unicycle at the corner of a store building. “David, when the parade comes by just ride out in the middle of it and hang in there”, he said. 

Sure enough, I see a small school band leading the way and I ride out to join them. I’m just beginning to get my full balance when I notice we are at the end of the building and nothing is in front but a dirt road and fields. “That’s it, David, it’s over, you did great”, Dad says with a sheepish smile. Manchester has a population of 140. The parade lasted one block because that’s all they got! I was the talk of the town and everyone loved the 60-second parade. 

 

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