Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 7
By Neil Joiner
Simple joys with my father
springtime Daddy's pickup
he toys I had in the 1950s mostly came from
was often loaded with bags of
stores, but I learned about a few homemade
peanut or cotton seeds. The
gadgets from my father. There's a lot to be
tops of the big paper bags
said for simplicity.
were stitched together by long
When I was small, Daddy made a tractor for
white strings. Daddy showed
me from a wooden sewing spool. He cut notches
me how to pull the strings so
on the raised sides to give the wheels traction, then
they would easily unravel.
ran a rubber band through the hollow middle. He
He wound the string around
attached the rubber band on one end with a short
his fingers to create shapes
stick and a tack. On the other end a wooden kitchen
Neil Joiner shows he still has spooltractor-making skills.
such as seesaws, boxing rings
match was used to twist the rubber band and give
it tension. With a few turns it was ready to plow the
teaching me how to make my own.
My first bicycle was a used one. Daddy spruced it up by
I can't claim that tractor was an exceptional toy,
brushing on a coat of red paint. It wasn't until years
but it was special because Daddy
later that I realized that shiny fresh paint was Dadspent time with me as he made it.
dy's way of saying he loved me. He painted memoWhen I lost it in a soggy bottom
ries that sometimes took me a while to appreciate.
on our Dooly County farm, Daddy
some nice things
We went to the beach for two nights every sumloaned me his Barlow jackknife
through the years
to Jacksonville, then, later, to Panama
and helped me make another one.
that made life
would float on his back and talk about
Sometimes the journey is more
more fun for our
had as a young man in the Navy. He
important than the destination.
to relax with my face above water
Strings were an occasional
with clothing for an improvised
source of entertainment. In the
me that beneath the smooth
surfaces there are hidden currents that can take us
where the water is over our head. In the safety of the
shallows he helped prepare me for deeper places.
Daddy bought some nice things through the
years that made life more fun for our family, but it's
the simple things I value most. They are what often
remind me of how much he cared.
June 21 is Father's Day. It's a good time for
fathers to reflect on how we'll be remembered.
Instead of adding more shirts to my collection, I
think I'll ask our three children to each give me
a piece of string. I'd like to teach them to make a
crow's foot if it's not too late. There's a lot to be said
Neil Joiner lives near Vienna and writes a
column found in several newspapers as well as a
blog at joinerscorner.com. He is a member of Middle
Georgia Electric Membership Corp.
Neil Joiner's father, George, shares a seat with Toodles, the family's
Chihuahua, in the 1980s.
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Georgia Magazine - June 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - June 2020
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 10
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 11
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 12
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 13
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 14
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 15
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 16
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 17
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 18
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 19
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 20
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 21
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Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Cover4