After Mom passed away, Steve and I took Dad on a vacation to the UK, Scotland, Wales and to Paris, France.
When we got to Bath, England, we discovered our flat was on a six story "walk-up" with no elevator. The stairs seemed endless and we laughed all the way to our room. After we settled in, we hiked back down the stairs to go to dinner. As we reached the last stair, Dad turned around and told Steve, "I think I left my cap in the room. Can you go back upstairs and get it for me?" The look on Steve's face was priceless as we burst out laughing.
Speaking of baths...
Dad loved to use baby oil on his skin in the shower because he said it made his skin stay young looking and soft. So when he came to visit us when we lived in Oregon, he used our shower and lathered up with his usual baby oil regimen. Later in the morning my unsuspecting husband had to use the shower and all was going well until I heard a crash, bang, bang and a painful yelp. It was Steve yelling, "Hey Kim, did you use something different in the shower? It's so slippy" When I walked in, there was Steve laying on the floor of the shower with his feet in the air like a twisted pretzel. That's when I knew the baby oil (leftover from Dad's morning shower) made the shower floor slippy like an ice skating rink. We laughed about that for years. We'll miss you Dad and all of your crazy fads, remedies and natural treatments. (Steve still walks a little funny after that fall LOL)
Dad loved his adventures
He married the love of his life, Renetta Mae Hayes, on June 21, 1944.
They were high school sweethearts and stayed together for 55 years until Mom passed away in '99.
Mom was a fantastic dancer and Dad couldn't dance at all. She performed the jitterbug and all of the popular dances of their time. Dad always wanted Mom to teach him how to dance, but he said Mom never would. Reunited again, I imagine she is finally teaching him how to dance on a sea of heavenly stars.
Throughout the years, Dad played the role of Santa. He worked with Sears to give tens of thousands of dollars worth of shoes and clothing to families in need within the poorest regions of the Appalachian Mountains. For some of the poorest children, it was the first time they ever had a single pair of shoes.
He had a jolly old laugh and wore the Santa suit well, except for when....
...he was dressed up as Santa to deliver presents to a family in our church that experienced some hard times. As he knocked on the door and the carolers began to sing, he realized at that moment that his suspenders broke loose. Just as the door opened and he handed the sack of presents to the family with a hardy "ho ho ho", his pants dropped down to his ankles. Without a beat, he yanked up his drawers and shouted "I just wanted to give you a Christmas to remember." And everyone laughed in good cheer.