Saturday, June 5, 2010

"Fat Boy" Gets His Wish


They called him “Fat Boy” with affection even though he wasn’t fat. It was an honorable title bestowed on him by the football team, in recognition of work well done as a fullback. He lettered in football two years running and he wore his letterman’s sweater for the senior photos with pride, because it was the only thing he was really good at in high school.

He almost didn’t graduate, thanks to failing grades. He wasn’t a good student. In the first place, he was a wiseacre who didn’t hesitate to mouth off to teachers, and in the second place, he had no use for school. He got kicked out of Driver’s Ed. when he got smart with one of the teacher’s questions, “What’s the first thing you do when you’re ready to drive a car?” she asked.

“Turn the key on!” he hollered from the back row. He knew more about driving a car, he said, than any teacher sitting at a desk. That was the end of his driver’s ed. career.

When it was clear he couldn’t graduate with his grades, he got a good tutor, the May Queen (whom he had known since first grade), and she undertook his education with dead-on seriousness. She quizzed him on math and American history in long sessions at the gas station where he worked after school every day. He barely squeaked by.

Where he was headed in life, he said, he didn’t need no stinking diploma. He was a wheeler dealer, and he was going to be in charge someday.
So he married the May Queen, learned a trade, raised a family and ran his own business. He was finally in charge.

I love this photo of my pop, the light in his eyes and that gallant hair.


This is a Sepia Saturday post. For more personal glimpses of history, visit the Sepia Saturday blog here.

22 comments:

Elisabeth said...

And sometime after that with the help of another, your pop produced the beginnings of you. Who'd have dreamed it possible?

I love looking back and seeing all these extraordinary coincidences and events that go into making us who we are today. Thanks.

Mrsupole said...

Your father was a very handsome fellow and loved how he married his May Queen. And I hope the May Queen is doing better. Prayers are with you both.

God bless.

Brian Miller said...

nichat is a cool pic...he has strong features and i smiled that he married his tutor...

Birdie said...

Chris, this is a lovely picture of your dad; I too have one pic of mine dad from his youth that I cherish (secretly thinking that he was the most handsome guy :-) lol). I'm glad it turned out well for your father ...

Anonymous :) said...

As usual, reading your blog is like stepping out and feeling a cool, gentle breeze on a stifling summer day. Consistently refreshing. There surely is a difference between someone writing a blog and a seasoned writer looking at life. (Madison)

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Great photo and story of someone who knew he could make it without "no stinkin' diploma." I'm convinced that they knew more back then than the ones who come through purportedly "fully educated" today..a different time for sure...

Argent said...

Your pop certainly was a character, wasn't he? I'm sad to say I know very little about my own dad - he never told us anything about his early life.

tony said...

I love the way his eyes stare-down the camera.The cheeky comment I am sure he is just about to come out with.I like your Pop!

Vicki Lane said...

A great story and a fine tribute! And I loved your 55 about your mother (another great picture too!)

TechnoBabe said...

Way cool picture of your dad. I like that he was willing to take risks and not spend time doing the things required by society.

Syd said...

I like this story of your dad. He sounds like an independent minded fellow. I like that.

Magpie said...

He looks so sure and confident! Out to conquer the world. Lovely photo and memories.

The Bug said...

My dad is a ham now, but he sure wasn't in high school. I think it might be fun to tell stories about his early life - since he's a ham now he probably wouldn't mind. I should do it while he's still around to tell me the details!

lakeviewer said...

Oh, what a beautifully fresh portrait! The gallant hair had me. I'm catching up with your posts, having just read and seen the post with you and your mom. How bittersweet!

Nana Jo said...

I love the way you told this story; the humour, the honesty, the love. Your father was a very handsome man.

RNSANE said...

What a handsome man your dad is,
Chris! No wondered he captured the May Queen's heart. Does she even remember those days? Is she doing any better? These must be such hard times for you and you are so often in my thoughts.

My mother has gained 25 pounds so she is off Ensure....no change in her cognition or mental state, however. She talks to me on the phone but hasn't a clue who I am and makes no sense whatsoever.



At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )
http://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Journey-1-Carmen-Henesy/dp/1451547366/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274652997&sr=1-1

Nancy said...

What a fabulous post about your father. He's the kind of guy that teachers don't like and the young ladies often do. Lovely that he married the May Queen.

steveroni said...

We should all have (and maybe we do?) stories as touching as the one about Fat Boy, and May Queen. LOVE it, Chris! (And love your telling...)

Have a GREAT Sunday!

lettuce said...

what a great photo and introduction

he does look gallant

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Awesome!

John Hayes said...

What a wonderful story, & wonderfully told. The portrait of your father is great--it really illustrates your words about him! Sorry to read of your mother's condition--all the best wishes for her & for you in this difficult time.

Alan Burnett said...

And I love this post. AS near perfection as I have seen a Sepia Saturday post in a long time. It says so much - about both you and your father.

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