November 27th, 1921 and 1923
My parents share a birthday, but in different years. I think this officially kills any possibility of astrology describing a personality. They have yelled, fought, disagreed, and generally acted like they can't stand each other – until one or the other is in need of comfort or care. Then the whole ballgame changes.
I'm thankful that my parents have stayed married for sixty-eight years (yes, 68) despite their many disagreements.
Despite a recent diagnosis of throat cancer, my father is a tough old bird, and I'm not putting him down for the count. He's been a lot of places, done a lot of things, and I expect him to continue doing just that for a few more years.
Four or five years ago, I decided to write some of his stories about growing up in West Texas during the Depression Era. The first story was about going on a cattle drive when he was ten or eleven. Once that first story was published, he started telling more and more. I wrote just as fast as I could and soon had seven of Little Eddie's almost true tall tales published. Okay, what's another thirteen or fourteen? Piece of cake.
What came out of all this is Tales of a Texas Boy, which has been a modestly good seller since I self-published it back in 2007. It's now available in several ebook and print formats. If you're interested, you can find the links on my website at http://marvadasef.com/tales.aspx I haven't kept up with sale prices and such since most people buy from Amazon. You can get it there in Kindle and print. Visit my author's page at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BM4DM6) for quick links to all my books.
This is what I'm truly thankful for on my father's 89th birthday. I captured his tales and put them in “his book.” He's proud of the book, as am I. I'm also very thankful that I decided to write the stories in Eddie's voice. The tales are, after all, all his. And my mother is ticked off that I haven't yet written HER book!
I've included this excerpt because it's a good lesson to us all about how much we have to be thankful.
Excerpt from a Tales of a Texas Boy story: “The Thief”
Eddie and Pa have taken a road trip to the big city. On their way home, they stop for the night at a roadside grove, which is filled with Sooners people driven from their homes further north by the great dust storms. In the night, a girl tries to steal from Pa's truck, but Eddie catches her. Her father storms over, angry and hostile.
“Take it easy. No harm done here,” Pa said quiet-like.
“She’s a damned thief,” the man yelled, then he slapped her hard across the face.
Pa hauled back his fist and shot it right into the man’s jaw. It dropped him like a rock and he fell on his back. The girl took the opportunity to skedaddle over to her ma.
“Now, sir, that is no way to treat a girl and it is no way for you to speak in front of my son here.”
I thought the man would yell at Pa or he’d get up and try to fight him. But he didn’t. Instead, he started to cry and he held his face in his hands and started sobbin’. I was purely shocked at this turn of events. Pa let him go on for a short time, then he reached his hand down to help the man up.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” the man gasped for breath.
“It’s all right. You just shouldn’t be treatin’ your girl like that. It ain’t proper.”
As the sun was now comin’ up, everyone started to go back to their fires again. The man walked slowly over to his own camp. I was glad to see him put his arm around the girl’s shoulders. She flinched back some, but he spoke to her quiet then she wrapped her arms around him. They stood there holdin’ on to each other, like family should.
As we boiled up some coffee and got the cornbread out for breakfast, Pa tol’ me these folks had lost everything to the dust.
“Sometimes, you can’t blame a person if they go too far, if they’d already been pushed too far,” he said. He shook his head and I saw he was sad. I was sad, too.
We packed up our gear. Pa took the rest of the cornbread and went over to the family’s campsite. He handed the package to the girl’s mother, then talked to the man for a few minutes. I saw them shake hands and Pa came back and tol’ me to get in the truck.
Once we were headed down the road, Pa said, “We’ll be seein’ those folks in a couple of days.”
“Why, Pa? Are they comin’ to visit us?”
“I’m hirin’ John, that’s his name, on for a few days.”
“But, Pa, you said we just had enough for us to get by. You quit hirin’ people on last season.”
“I know, I know,” he said and didn’t speak for awhile.
Then, he said, “We just have enough to get by, that’s true. But, if folks don’t have enough to even live, then we just have to make do with a bit less.”
“Yessir, Pa. I can see how’s that’s the right thing to do.”
We drove on home mostly quiet the rest of the way. When we got home and Pa took Ma aside to tell her we’d be havin’ company, she shook her head, but not like she was sayin’ no. She tol’ me to get out to the chicken coop and see if those hens didn’t lay a few more eggs. She had some bakin’ to do.
Tales of a Texas Boy Blurb:
How do you handle a crazy jackass? Eddie knows. If you ask Eddie, he'll tell you pigs can fly and show you where to find real mammoth bones. Take his word for it when he tells you always to bet on the bear. These are things he learned while dreaming of becoming a cowboy in West Texas during the Depression. Through Eddie, the hero of "Tales of a Texas Boy," we find that growing up is less about maturity and more about roping your dreams. Hold on tight. It's a bumpy ride. A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys books like "Little House on the Prairie" or "Tom Sawyer." A great bit of nostalgia for seniors, too.
Bio: Marva Dasef is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a fat white cat. Retired from thirty-five years in the software industry, she has now turned her energies to writing fiction and finds it a much more satisfying occupation. Marva has published more than thirty-five stories in a number of on-line and print magazines, with her stories included in several Best of anthologies. She has five published books. The latest is “Ultimate Duty” released this month from Eternal Press.
More about Marva on her website.
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