My Papa

I am missing my Papa today. I am also realizing through the jaded eyes of an adult that I had a magical childhood.

We were in Sunset Magazine.

Papa retired when I was in elementary school. If I was sick I spent the day with Papa.

He built houses as a hobby that they would sell later. One memorable day involved me, a bucket of paint, and a wall. I came home happy as can be but covered in paint!

In middle school I was on a year around schedule. I spent every month I was off with him. During those two years Papa made me a hoop skirt out of an old dress so I could be a southern belle and also dance with him around the living room to the King and I ‘Shall We Dance?’

Shall We Dance

The costuming alone is a reason to watch this classic.

I loved musicals and another one we watched a lot was Oklahoma, where Papa was born and raised.

The creek he used to fish in near his homestead. I was lucky a good friend helped me track down Papa’s old homestead. The farmer who stopped to see what in the world a random redhead was doing on the road even knew Papa’s family and said his grandma had a crush on one of the boys.

Today I am listening to Oklahoma and remembering my amazing Papa. The man my son is named for.

Nana had a crush on Curly! Incidentally, my daughter who is named after Nana, also adores Curly.

Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones

In Nana’s defense here is Papa in his twenties with curly hair and a resemblance to the actor if you ask me.

But I could be biased. He was on the all star team for the US Navy during the Korean War.

‘Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains…. we know we belong to the land and the land we belong to is grand.’

And that’s why this hangs on my wall next to Papa’s picture.

So, I miss you Papa. More than I could ever express.

My Papa J.C

You gave me my name, you made my childhood magical, you sat through movies countless times just to make me happy, you never missed an important event in my childhood or life, you cheated at Monopoly by always winning the beauty contest, you took me to Havasu every spring, you never let me down, and you taught me that it’s the character of a person that matters the most. Thank you, Papa.

My J.C. has your gap tooth smile, that crooked smile you got when you didn’t want to do something, and loves basketball too.

Missing you,


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