WHAT OUR PAPA TAUGHT US
Abbey, Taylor, Audra,Will
From a very early age, our Papa thought that every child’s diet, especially his grandchildren’s, should include a good ol’ cup of coffee every morning. We were sat around the table and given lessons, and we didn’t leave until we had everything down right. We learned that there were sound effects that went along with drinking coffee. We also learned that you had to drink just the right amount, because if you didn’t, your feed would turn black! Along with our coffee, we would have some of our Papa’s personalized pancakes. As a beginning pancake artist, he started out making the letters of our names, and then he branched out into some other forms of art. He even took requests!! After breakfast, Papa would usually drink so much coffee that he would have to pee. Rather than getting up and going, he would send his trustworthy grandchildren to do it for him! As we went off to take our baths, Papa would give us strict instructions: Don’t get wet!!
As kids, we always wanted to be at Papa and grandma’s house. There was never a dull moment with Papa there, and we also got ANYTHING we wanted! Abbey remembers on late night after one of Tony’s basketball games; they were on their way to drop Papa and Grandma off at their home. She pretended to be asleep, and sh latched on to her Papa’s arm so he couldn’t go in without her! Worked like a charm!! Papa was usually given instructions from our parents to not let us eat too many sweets. We liked it when he was given these instructions because that just encouraged him to give us more! He would make us root beer floats after dinner (coke float for Taylor), and then before bed we had to have our chocolate milk. Papa used to tell us grandkids that if we couldn’t get along while we were playing at his house, he was going to make us kiss and make up. That usually put an end to any fighting!
Papa love to read to us. He would gather us up in his recliner with a good book. He also taught us to rhyme at a very early age. Here is a few of our favorites:
“Abbey Lynn had a twin”
“Mary T has to pee”
“Audra Kay slept in the hay”
“Will, Will went over the hill”
Papa started taking us fishing and hunting at an early age. He would start by making his way through the house, cow bell in hand, and yelling at us in his funny voice to get up. We would stroll into the kitchen for some coffee and personalized pancakes, then head out to Pawnee. On our way, Papa would always make it a point to honk and wave at all of the cows (even some invisible ones too). One year on our way home from a fishing trip, Papa discovered he had lost his wallet. Rather than being upset, he decided we should go celebrate at El Chico’s (our favorite restaurant). Every year since, we have gone to El Chico’s to celebrate the anniversary of Papa losing his wallet. He made it a special occasion!
Carney found out that he had lost his wallet when he stopped for gas at his nephew Fred’s station at 51 & I-35. Fred backed tracked and found the wallet for Carney. Fred does not remember exactly where he found it. He thought that it was a convenience store in Stillwater. Carney came back and got his wallet and paid Fred for his gas. agr
As kids, Papa would always protect us from the mascots at all of Tony’s basketball games. As we got older and started playing sports ourselves, Papa was our most loyal fan. He and Grandma were at almost all of our games. At Taylor and Will’s basketball games, Papa would keep track in his head of how many baskets and rebounds everyone got! He was a sideline coach at all of our games. He became the team grandpa on many of our teams. Everyone loved him! But Papa didn’t like it when the boys picked on his grandgirls during a soccer game and so he would always tell us to “kick their butt” and one time Audra took his advice. He was a proud Papa when that happened. After each game Papa would fold up a dollar bill in his hand. He would shake our hand and tell us we played a good game. When we would get injured, Papa always had the perfect solution: A fresh cow patty would make it better, but it had to be fresh! When we would turn our nose up to that idea, Papa would tell us that it’s nothing a little bubble gum wouldn’t fix. When Will complained of a headache, Papa suggested his favorite cherry cough drop. If we thought we needed a pill to cure whatever it was we thought we had, Papa would send us to the jelly bean jar. We think he should have been a doctor.
As we learned to drive, Papa would call weekly to check the mileage on our cars. We were forbidden to drive 3001 miles without having an oil change. AS we neared the date for our oil change, the calls became daily. Papa would always be ready to change the oil in our cars. He would even make trips to Durant to change the oil in a few cars! Taylor remembers one of Papa’s trips to Durant. She was in the car with her dad on their way to pick up Papa when a bug hit the windshield. Her dad made the comment “Bet he won’t have the guts to do that again.” Taylor thought that was pretty funny! They got Papa and were on their way to eat when another bug splattered on the windshield. Papa made the comment “I bet he won’t have the guts to do that again.”
We learned many lessons growing up with Papa, but we found the most important lesson of all was to put others first. We love you Papa and you will be in our hearts forever.
Love, Abby, Taylor, Audra, and Will