He was 19 when he married my Grammy - and she was 14. He always said that the first time he saw her walking down a dirt road, he stopped his Model T because she was the prettiest girl he'd even seen.
He worked in the coal mines from the age of 13, and later on was a trouble-shooter for the telephone company. He only had a 6th grade education. He served in the Army, Navy, and the Marines. He loved to hunt and fish.
My mom was 23 and unmarried when I was born. Papa was only 42, and Grammy was just 37 - young enough to have been my parents. Grammy used to tell me that when I was born, Papa was so enamored with me that one day at breakfast, he was watching me and poured milk on his pancakes. He would come home for lunch just to play with me - and I would hold my foot, saying "owie", trying to keep him from going back to work. He took me fishing - in my baby swing.
He loved the ocean.
He taught me to drive. He took me to college. He took me to vote for the first time. He walked me down the aisle at my wedding.
He liked to whistle and make up silly songs. He loved to drink a cup of coffee in the morning and watch the birds at the bird feeder.
He was a good man.