Our family likes to tell stories. Nobody could tell a story better than Dad. And every time he told a story each important part would be punctuated with the saying "in through there". I don't know why he said that. He probably didn't realize he was saying it. Maybe, it was how he collected and ciphered through all of those tall tales in his head. One such story might go like this:
"Back when I was a kid, in '43 or in through there, there was a boy lived up the holler that we scared so bad, that he lit up a tree and didn't come down for three days. Damn, chicken shit, what he was. See, one night we was coming home from coon hunting and he got distracted, in through there and got left behind. Us fellows decided to teach him a lesson and hid behind a rock down there on Island Creek. You 'member where that is, don't you? Shit, he come around the corner, in through there, and we all just jumped out at him and he jumped back, screamed and took off a running, straight up the holler and up that big old oak tree, pissing his pants and carrying on like a girl. That was the funniest damn thing I ever seen."
I've heard this story many times and I still get a laugh out of it. Besides being a great story teller, here are some other things, in through there, about Dad:
He got drafted into the Army in the 50s and saw Elvis over in Germany.
He was scared of heights.
He loved watching Westerns on television.
He taught all of us how to play poker and shoot pool.
He could cuss a blue streak like no other.
He got up at 3:30 AM every morning without an alarm clock. (We never knew why)
His nickname was Diddy.
He planted a garden big enough (we all helped) to feed our family and still have enough left over to give away to family and friends.
Both of his pinky fingers had been cut off due to accidents as a child.
He liked Hudepohl beer.
He was a pattern marker for the Hercules Trouser Company in Manchester, Ohio, for 25 years.
He could out run anybody in the neighborhood, including Sheldon, the boy from Hawaii.
He loved his family, deeply.
Sadly, he left us 13 years ago today, on this date.
Wherever you are, in through there, we miss you very much.