I have some new photos of my dad. He would be 84 today, but he died in his 50s. I don't think he would have liked to have been 84. His strength and agility were already failing; he died of arthritis-related problems.
Yates Reunion, 1937. My dad is the first, sitting. He turned eleven that summer; guessing by the trees, this was summer or fall. My grandmother, his mom, is standing third to the end, with a dark jacket and belt. My grandfather is just before her, balding, and tall. His name was Lynn Adams. The elder man in the center is her father, James Yates, and the older woman next to him is his mother-in-law, Fannie Perilee Elizabeth Trimble (nee Jones). He was widowed when James (the youngest, the good looking younger man in the back row) was a year old or so. Their mother, with eight children on a ranch near Capitan, New Mexico (near Carizozo, in Lincoln County), died of childbirth fever; an infection, from the birth. She never recovered.
This is my dad and his cousin in a rubber-barred photo-op jail, apparently in Long Beach, California. Must've been the 1940's. That cousin lived in Prescott, usually, and my dad was in California in his mid to late teens (partly in the shipyards in Oakland) before he joined the army not long before the war ended in Europe. He was on a troop transport on V-E day. He was 18, the age my youngest is now, and had his 19th birthday in 1945 in France or Germany; not sure which.
It's possible my dad learned welding from a book written by Pam Sorooshian's grandfather.
When I was a kid I selfishly saw my dad's birthday mostly as the count down to mine, a week later. Kirby Dodd can get that back on me, though, because his birthday is five days after mine. Kirby my dad never met Kirby my son, but my grandmother and several of her sisters did. We went to the Yates reunion in Roby, Texas in 1986 so I could show them the baby I named after my dad, who was so well known to all of them.
I miss my dad still, sometimes. I'm glad he lived until I was grown. I'm glad I lived until my kids were grown too! So far so good. My Mamaw was 84 or so when she died, the age my dad would be now.
I don't look back as much as I used to. I became better at looking at now and tomorrow and this week.