In my mind’s eye

ImageThis is how I see my daddy.Young,strong and able to do anything he’d put his mind to. For a long time, there were Forestry buildings in the state of Georgia that had been built or wired by my daddy’s hands and that pair of hands,very large and capable,were always busy doing something. He was born in 1918  and being 95 years old may make him very old to some but to me he’s just my dad and in my mind’s eye, when I think of him, this is how I see him. The logical adult me knows that the father now is not as tall as he used to be and those wonderful hands are bent and gnarled but tell the right joke or bring to his mind a humorous memory and those gorgeous blue eyes can still twinkle and the big laughs can still peal forth. His hugs are still strong and I cherish every one I can get. He can still recount the tale of being part of the crew sent by the state of Georgia to “cut fire breaks” on Jekyll Island which morphed into roads and opened the vacation spot back open to tourists and saved a piece of Georgia history. He has a lot more stories of his adventures fighting forest fires all over Georgia and of those men who changed conservation of our forest resources and state parks. Most of that group are already gone, passed into history and ,by some, forgotten but not by Daddy and not by those of us who have been lucky enough to sit and listen to his recounting of how history in this state was changed by them even if it was only a “firebreak” or a fire tower built that helped a spotter to see a forest fire and alert the crew that came in or flew over and helped save not only our forest here in Georgia but our people as well. Daddy didn’t fight in WWII like his older brother did, they kept him on the family farm to raise hogs for the war effort but he too, is part of that “Greatest Generation”  and we are losing them fast. So, visit them as often as you can, listen and record for that history is something we need to never forget and ,in my daddy’s case, when in reality the eyes stop twinkling, in my mind’s eye, they can twinkle and the stories remind me of how my father had a hand in Georgia history!

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