Today marks the one-year anniversary of my father’s death. He was a good man, the kind of man every child should have for a father. He was as intelligent, hard-working, sensible, gentle, and honest as any person I’ve ever known. He was born in 1925, the son of farmers. And a farmer he was, til his last day, even though he could no longer drive a tractor or combine. A man of the land. I was always proud of him!
I went through a short time when I was in my early 20s during which I made needlepoint projects for my parents and my sister. This was what I made Dad. It wasn’t a kit – it was from an advertisement in a farm magazine! I made it from the photo in the magazine. It seemed so perfect for him – corn, wheat, soybeans, and a combine! It’s still hanging in Mom’s kitchen.
This is a picture of Dad from 1938, when he was thirteen. He is sitting on the fender of the tractor, and his older brother is driving.
This has always been one of my favorite pictures of him. It’s from 1970, and it is so much how I remember him. Notice the combine behind him, and the seed corn cap! 🙂
Finally, when I started quilting and was notified that my quilt (the first quilt I ever entered!) had won a prize at Houston, I asked if he and Mom wanted to go with me, in their motor home, to the show. One of the first things he said at that first show was, “My mother would have loved this!” He didn’t spend much time on the show floor – the long hours of standing were hard on his ever-painful back, and the noise of the crowds was difficult for him to handle with his hearing aids. We went every year to Houston and Paducah, eighteen quilt shows in all. This picture is the last quilt show we attended, Paducah in April 2013, where he saw me win Best Machine Workmanship. I had always hoped that he would be able to see me win Best of Show someday, but that didn’t happen. It doesn’t matter. He was proud of me whether I won anything or not. A lot of me comes from him, including the attitude of striving for excellence. I love you, Dad!