My dad was tall, dark, and handsome with his six-foot, 225 pound frame. He looked like a gladiator. He was very humble, quiet, and peaceful until someone messed with his family.
As I was growing up, I was not aware how difficult life was for my parents, even though my older siblings would remind me of their struggles. My parents used horses and mules to plow the land because the plantation owner didn’t provide them with a tractor.
Because my father couldn’t read or write, he was cheated and abused throughout his life. Dad considered relocating from Reynolds, Georgia to Steubenville, Ohio. Although I was four, I liked the idea of moving anywhere outside of Georgia. I had overheard or seen the atrocities my family had to suffer. There were times I felt like a fat man in quicksand hoping for help; life in the South was that bad.
Given the circumstances in Georgia, Dad’s decision to relocate to Ohio was surprising because Dad was not a risk taker. The plantation owner had brainwashed him into believing that sharecropping was the best livelihood and the ultimate life for us. Against All Odds, Dad made the move to Ohio where he lived a better life.
While living in Ohio, he got a higher paying job as a construction worker and was able to provide our family with a house that had all the amenities like running water, plumbing, and electricity. I am eternally grateful for all the sacrifices he made to provide for his family. Towards the end of his life he suffered the loss of an eye, diabetes, three amputations, stroke, heart attack, and eventually lost his life because of gangrene.
Today and every day I miss my dad immeasurably. As he rest in peace, I will work tirelessly to accomplish all the things that eluded him.
Dad I love you for not quitting on mom and my thirteen siblings. Thank you for being my “FATHER”.
There are many excerpts in my book “Against All Odds 4th Down and Forever” acknowledging all the sacrifices my parents made for my siblings and me.