Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!!!




Today is a special day in our family. Today is my Dad's 75th Birthday. Seventy Five! He walks several miles a day and he collects the neighbors newspapers for recycling and he collects the family's cans and bottles for refund. He does the cans and bottles because we don't like to and he gets to keep the money! Good deal!



My dad came from 'hard' stock and a rocky childhood. His dad died very young leaving a young widow with 5 kids. Born and raised in Oklahoma, he met my mom when he was 19 and they soon married. They have been married ever since and have born and raised 6 kids. We moved to Oregon in 71' He has always provided for his family. Me being the youngest of the 6 had it easier with him. Men of his generation ruled with an iron fist and so my older siblings got the brunt of young testosterone and misguided rules of discipline so my view of our dad is much different than theirs. But all the kids are good citizens and we gave him a 'passel' of grand kids and great grand kids. I can't recall history as well as some in my family and just this evening I read an e-mail from my brother (whom our family calls Bub) where he gives tribute to our dad....so I will post his e-mail. He is much more gifted in the history aspect of our family. I don't agree with the comment regarding immortality but I understand the point he is making.


Thanks Bub.




As some of you know by now I have been, attempting, to acknowledge the birthday of members of my family. Well today is my Dad's birthday. I never talk about women's ages (one of my 3 no topics), however, today my Dad turned 75. Now for a little history, some of which Dad will let me know is wrong. But, that is his job as my Dad.
My Dad was born Edward Lee Morris in Locust Grove Oklahoma in 1933. His father, James Morris, was working as a Ranch Hand (Cowboy has always been a term of derision among Ranch people) at one of the local ranches. He was the 3rd child. His Father and Mother (Anga Emmaline Casey Morris) were from the northwestern corner of Arkansas. Arkies as they were called, those who took the place of all those Okies who headed off to California during the depression. Through the Casey Family, my father is a 10th generation Irish American (Abner Casey immigrated to Virginia from Ireland in 1710). A couple of years later they would move to Douthat Oklahoma, where his two younger brothers were born. My grandfather would pass away (at the age of 39) in 1948 of a rare form of Diabetes. My Dad would attend the Picher School system where he would graduate in 1952. He had also been working part time jobs in order to help the family make it through those really tough times after my grandfather passed. I remember my father working for the Petit Mop Factory in Miami Oklahoma and later the Glenn Berry Manufacturing Co. (textile mill, mostly military clothing contractors) of Commerce Oklahoma. He taught me how to hunt, fish, put up paneling (which was big in the 60's) and how to lay down material, mark it and set it up for cutting. And, how to be a general laborer. I call it that as he taught me how to learn to do any and everything that deals with the home. He also stressed education, which I despised until later when I went to college. My Dad is one of the last of the old Hard Men. Not necessarily a mean man, just hard. He had to be hard, being able to work 12 - 14 hour weeks, 6 days a week. Because there is a family involved. However, there was a side to my dad that most people never understood. He taught me how to appreciate politics, believe what they do, not what they say. How to understand History in its real context and not as we want it to be. I think I finally saw it hit him at my nephew and nieces wedding last year, when he finally saw all the family in one place, what he had actually accomplished in his life. Not the money, or any of his possessions. But, in the large number of Descendants he has. Children, Grandchildren & Great-grandchildren. For those of you who have never seen them all in one place, lucky you. I was born and raised around rednecks (some of me is still one), talk about scaring even me. But, I could see a little bit of him in all of them. And, that is how we really achieve immortality. So, when all is said and done, My Dad is just an old Okie. And, I will not go into all that I remember about my Dad, because this email would be measured in pages and pages and pages.
So, let us all raise our glasses and toast my old man, my Dad. HAPPY Birthday.

Love,
Edward Lee Morris Jr.




Yes...Happy Birthday Dad! I love you!


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