He is stingy with his words, my father,
and with his money too,
at least to strangers.
A quiet man whom education eluded
but common sense retrieved
and schooled well.
Daddy checking fire lines during the 2007 wildfires in south GA
Daddy, although retired after 42 years of working, still being consulted by other foresters & firefighters during the 2007 wildfires.
He labored beside men, while still a child
dipping turpentine in the pine forests…
the burden of being the eldest son
laid heavily on his young shoulders
like the cumbersome yoke on the oxen he drove.
Age 12-this jacket was the first thing he bought with his own money
Daddy, one of his sisters~Evelyn, and his parents~Trudy & Jim(1953)
His earnings weren’t his, but the family’s.
He stayed with them when long grown
to help provide for siblings, younger and many
until he had fulfilled his duty,
and could start a family of his own.
Daddy, Momma, & two of daddy's younger siblings~Lenora & Franklin at the Suwannee River bridge in Fargo, GA (1955)
Momma, Daddy & me (Nov. 1964) just two month before my younger brother was born
His money rests now in a bank
a testament to his long years of hard labor.
It is his security blanket,
his proof of tangible worth
his cushion against old age
and the indelible scourge of the Depression.
Daddy & my nephew Micah in 1999 dressed for Easter Sunday services
The years have thinned and grayed his hair,
and managed to slow his gait.
He still has little tolerance for idle chatter
or frivolous expenditures of time.
But somehow, Momma always makes him smile.
Momma "laying on a kiss" after their 50th anniversary party in 2006
To some it might seem his impatience
is overt and unsociable,
for the distance he maintains
is from many years of practice.
But I know, and always have,
the love he holds for us,
and I understand the reason
why it's so hard to make him smile…
You see, he was always an adult
even when he was barely nine
working from dawn to dusk,
and he never had the chance
to learn to how to play as a child.
Rose S. Williams
A post in honor of my Daddy, J.T. Steedley, who turns 78 on Feb. 20th, 2009. I love him so very much and know that everything he has ever worked hard for has been for his family. He gave me my love for Nature and the outdoors, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Happy Birthday Daddy
Daddy and me in a boat in Blue Lake last Feb on his birthday.