Since yesterday was Father's Day, I thought I'd share some photos from our visit with my husband's 92 year old father at his home in Denton, Texas. He's one of the people responsible for me writing about small towns and the people who live there. He and my late mother-in-law told wonderful stories of growing up in Texas, southwest of Fort Worth. He lived in an area near Dennis, TX, on the Brazos River. He called it the "Big Valley," which is the equivalent of bottom land for those of us more familiar with large rivers. The house he grew up in is still there, in the photo on the left.
My mother-in-law spent the first 17 years of her life in Lingleville, TX, which is near Stephenville. She grew up on a smaller farm with much poorer soil, less water and more rocks. It was a tough life which she escaped though education, attending college where she met my father-in-law. Many of the stories he's told us through the years centered around people they stayed with and knew, distant relatives and friends of friends who helped out.
Yesterday we had a great visit, heard a few more stories (and some of them the second or third or tenth time,) and watched our grandchildren play in his spacious home. We treasure these visits and I always take lots of photos because I want the girls to remember their great-grandfather, whom they call "Dad." I doubt that they will remember the stories, but I have plans to record them on my Flip video and store them for the future. After all, Dad probably only has 10 or 20 good years left! Happy belated Father's Day to all the dads and to everyone who no longer has their dad to visit and listen to and get advice from, I hope you hold on to the all the good memories forever. Perhaps when the girls are older (like 25 or so!) I'll suggest they read my books for the essence of the stories from their great-grandparents and so many other Texans I've met in the past 39 years.
And a special memory of my dad, Art Chancellor, on one of our trips to the Smoky Mountains. I miss you, Daddy.