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My Dad did this study/print of John Barrymore several years ago and called it Cousin John. (We are distant relatives of the Barrymore family)

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Daddy, along with our Mother, is the owner of an antique shop and still operating it at the age of 78. Daddy’s an artist, a gardener, a woodcarver, and a collector of antiques and political memorabilia.

He’s a songwriter, a musician, a numismatist, an athlete, a coach, and a talented fast-pitch softball player who managed and played on four straight state championship teams. He’s a friend of the great Eddie Feiner of the King and his Court. Daddy brought Feiner to Arkansas to play against his team and was the only one on his team to get a hit off of Feiner.

Daddy is a golfer who, along with his sons competed in and won night-time golf tournaments. He’s a sculptor, a creator of award winning Christmas Scenes, an antique car collector, and the creator of the All American Quarterback Football Boardgame. Daddy is a horse owner, rider, and trainer, a donkey and billygoat owner, and a dog, cat and bird lover.

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My husband and Dad have a football game rivalry and try to beat each other playing football but also in asking this question, “Have you ever beaten me?” Daddy sent this picture to my husband as a joke. On it he had written, “Have you ever beaten me?

Daddy is a premium prankster. One day in December when my husband and then boyfriend, “Bob” was a plebe at West Point my Dad and I made a prank phone-call to him after hours at West Point. I knew the phone number to Bob’s company and dialed it but put Daddy on the phone to do the talking. I had no idea what he would say. I had no idea that calling Bob so late at night would get him in so much trouble. The following is from my husband, Bob’s recollection. ……

The cadet on duty receiving a phone call from an adult after hours, assumed that the call was in reference to a family emergency. He proceeded to awake the cadet company commander and the cadet first sergeant. The first sergeant came quietly into the room and told Cadet Donoho to get dressed because he had a phone call.

Evidently believing that this was a call notifying either sickness or death the first sergeant also woke Cadet Donoho’s squad leader and platoon leader. All of this chain of command quietly filed in to the company orderly room as Cadet Donoho was handed the phone. Of course these leaders could not hear what was being said to the cadet but were concerned that he could be getting very bad news.

As Cadet Donoho picked the phone up and identified himself he heard a “Ho, Ho, Ho!” When he inquired who was on the phone he was told simply that it was Santa Claus. Totally befuddled, Cadet Donoho was speechless which the chain of command took as an ominous sign.

After a pause of silence, the voice on the other end of the phone asked if Cadet Donoho had been a good little boy. To which, the cadet stated “Yes sir, I believe so.” Then the voice ended the conversation by saying, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

When Cadet Donoho hung up the phone and turned around he saw the five senior cadets in the orderly room looking at him gravely. The Company Commander softly asked, who was that on the phone. To which, Cadet Donoho having to tell the truth stated, “Sir, he said it was Santa Claus.”

The expressions on the faces of those senior cadets was indelibly imprinted on Cadet Donoho’s mind forever. No one said a word but filed out of the room, except for the first sergeant who asked Cadet Donoho to come see him first thing in the morning so that he could give him something. The present given to Cadet Donoho was eight demerits and four hours on the area.

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Besides being the Dad in our family, one of Daddy’s most important roles is as a deacon at his church. Daddy’s a husband of one, father of four, grandfather of ten, and great-grandfather of two. He’s called “Pappy” by his grandchildren.

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In his youth Daddy was a Golden Gloves winner, football player, track star and fraternity member who was according to my grandmother, pretty wild. His parents were Baptists but enrolled Daddy in Saint Annes, the Catholic High School so the nuns could put the fear of the devil in him.

Daddy once drove to Galveston,Texas in a convertible with no brakes to find out that a hurricane was due to hit. Daddy regularly jumped on his black stallion to ride all the way from Fort Smith to Rogers, Arkansas just to visit friends.

Daddy has enough credits to graduate college but just hasn’t bothered. He’s taken classes in college during every decade from 1950 to the 1990’s. (and made A’s) He’s decided to take a sabbatical for the new century.

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There are more aspects to this man than there are colors in the spectrum and yet to us he is our beloved father who’s never missed any of our performances, rodeo parades, baseball games, graduations, weddings, birthdays, births of our children or any important occasion…. including greeting his sons who were returning from the Gulf War. Daddy is just that kind of man. So much defines him but what truthfully defines him to us is that we are greatly loved by him and he is greatly loved by all of us.