This isn’t really a Fathers day post. But in many ways it is. I wrote it originally in October of 2010. The more I go over it and see the relationship between my own father, and his father to me I am forced to think that despite the undertone…maybe it is about Fathers Day after all.
When your coming home Dad, I don’t know when
But we’ll get together then yea
You know we’ll have a good time then…
My Dad and I hold this song between us. Its a bit of a testament to when he was in the Navy and gone for months at a time. Before Facebook. Before Skype. Before E-mail. Before cellphones. Deployments on a Aircraft Carrier could keep him gone most of a year with little to no communication save letters via the ever so slow US postal service.
I got a lot of E-mails and Facebook comments with my rendition of Glory to Georgia. Couple of folks didn’t know I played.
I don’t…play well that is. I have a bad habit of repeating rifts over and over especially if I am singing.
(I wrote a similar story at Techography a number of years ago. Unfortunately the database back up does not have it so we presume it must have been lost when our then hosts Database crashed back in 2003. I have done my best to recreate the story here. Sadly memories fade over time, even a memory as strong as I feel mine is. I hope I did the original story justice as it was well received at the time.- BS)
Lloyd C. Bain. My Great grandfather. Taken around 1976
When I was a boy, my great grandfather took me to get a Christmas tree.
My mothers grandfather was a big man, even by todays standards. Standing over 6ft 8 inches tall, the former bulldozer driver was a product of the North Georgia Mountains and the Depression. He once frightened one of my mothers suiters so badly by merely shaking his hand the boy would not speak to her until after they graduated and she had moved out. That was almost 4 years later. I recall his hands being the size of a dinner plate nearly, and though I was very small at the time, compared to even most adults, including my own father he was a mountain of a man.
He lived in Blue Ridge Georgia, until that faithful day in 1988 when he left this world, at the age of 97. It took 8 men to carry his coffin. He was a lean, strong, sturdy rock of a man. I miss him dearly. He was my mothers hero, and mine as well at a young age.
Today when a person speaks of hunting a Christmas tree they go to a farm, where numerous trees are gathered and bound, cut and leaned against a fence.
At home we went walking in the woods, looking for a suitable evergreen, be it pine, cedar or even hemlock.
And so it was on this particular day, the season of the last Christmas I would spend with my great grandfather of whose name I bear as my own middle, he summoned me to his side for us to capture a tree for the family.
When I was 12 he walked in to our cabin with an Ovation guitar, and a gallon of Canadian Mist whiskey. He took the bottle cap off and flung it in to the night and with a trademark smile said “Lets play some music, fella’s!”
I have never forgotten that.
He was my Aunt Betty’s husband. A joyful, fun loving man who had a love for life and music I have never seen in another person in my years. Always quick to smile, shake hands, offer help, advice a comfort.
He would play, my Aunt Betty would sing in one of the most haunting voice I can recall.
He almost collapsed when at my Aunt Betty’s funeral. I cried, as much because I had never seen him cry before in my life, as for her loss.
He pulled me aside one day after a playing and told me “Son you have a gift, that none of us have. you can do anything with your hands your music. Keep at it, I have no doubts we’ll see you at the Opry.”
The way I ended up there is not the way he thought, or I thought. My ability was not as good as i or he thought, but I never had the courage to tell him that because I believe it might have broke his heart if I told him I had given up that dream. He always knew, we just never spoke of it.
He had a stroke a few years ago. He was losing himself in his body. He was not the man I or anyone else.
His service will be held at the church my grandfather was honored at, interred in the same graveyard as the others of my family, in a building my family built.
The ties that bond in Northern Georgia are strong, and deep.
He was one of the few people I visited every time I went home, without fail. I loved him. My fathers compatriot, my inspiration, a man who would give you the shirt off his back and then play you a tune.
Today my world is a little less bright, as one of the brightest souls in my world has went out.
And once again the damn Road keeps me from going home, and my heart cracks a little more.
Mr. Charles B. Marshall age 74 of Stover Mtn View, Ellijay died Tuesday November 30, 2010.
Mr. Marshall was born on October 7, 1936 in Middlesboro, KY. He is the son of the late Charles Berwin Marshall & Mamie Lucas Marshall. He is preceded in death by his wife Betty Stanley Marshall. He was a warehouse manager and a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Survivors include: Sons and daughters-in-law: Kenny and Joyice Marshall, Waleska, Danny and Beckie Marshall, Ellijay, Ronnie and Anne Marshall, Ellijay; Sister: Jean Ann Cantwell, Johnson City, TX; Brother: Bill Marshall, Wichita Falls, TX; Grandchildren: Lance and Levi Marshall, Tiffany Reichert, Bethany Marrott.
Funeral services will be held Saturday December 4, 2010 at 2pm from the Pisgah Church of Christ. Interment will be held in the Pisgah Church of Christ Cemetery with military rites by the North Georgia Honor Guard. The family will meet with friends Friday Dec.3 from 3 until 8pm at the funeral home.
Flowers are accepted or donations may be made to the Pisgah Church of Christ cemetery fund in memory of Mr. Marshall.