Don Worten called this afternoon. Don and his lovely wife, Virginia, were great friends of my folks, both when they lived in Nebraska and then later in Lubbock. I am increasingly aware of families whose trails have repeatedly crossed those of my mother and father, always to my folks' betterment. The Wortens fit into that category. Here are a few more things on my mind about Dad.
I have Dad's old metal nameplate on my desk, engraved with ROGER W. HAWLEY. I don't know how old it is but I never remember it not being on his desk.
One of the thrills of life when we were little was when Dad took Dave and me to The Dump on the outskirts of York, Nebraska on Saturdays. The Dump was a boy's dream: rats, dogs, rocks, glass bottles, and you could break anything you wanted! Plus, and this is a big plus, the place was always on fire! I thought the guy that lived there had the best job in the world!
I almost burned our chicken house down trying to catch a plastic milk carton on fire. Mom and Dad were none-too-pleased.
We never had a great lawn. The folks let us play in the yard and the grass had bare spots for pitcher's mounds, end zones, etc. Landscaping took a backseat to letting us be kids. And, even though Dad never played himself, he always put up a basketball goal on the garage at all our houses when we were old enough.
I learned what I know about preaching weddings from Dad. He had the gift and helped guide me along when I began being asked to perform marriage ceremonies. In a number of the weddings I've presided over, I've used the vows Grandpa Hawley wrote for my parents' nuptials on December 25, 1949. Oftentimes, my dad used his dad's language verbatim when it came to the vows and I have followed suit. Big day for me yesterday! Jackie Marini, a junior at WCS and one of my all-time favorite students, asked me if I will preach her wedding when the BIG DAY arrives. She doesn't know the guy yet or the date, but she has a minister lined up. Let me go on record- Jackie will be a stunning bride!We always had rhubarb growing in our yard in Nebraska and Mom made the best rhubarb pie. (My students today told me they had never heard of rhubarb!) Last June, on their final trip through York, Dad brought back a bunch of rhubarb from Sheila and Bruce Tandy's yard to make pies. There was still some remaining last week when Jeanette and Dixie went to the house and cleaned out the freezer. Dixie wrote and told me she took some home and made strawberry rhubarb pie and the Bakers thought about Dad as they enjoyed the dessert. You know he would have loved that!
There were Sundays in York when Dad would preach five sermons a day: early and late morning service, early and late evening service, afternoon worship at the Nebraska State Prison For Women. I get exhausted preaching once!As much as Dad preached, he had to have some mess ups. His biggest one perhaps came when he was preaching on a Sunday morning during a High School Days (Minnow Weekend) at York College. He was preaching on the difficulties of parenting and he meant to say, "This generation is the victim of over-protective parents." It somehow got garbled and over-protective became over-productive. It took minutes for the congregants to quit laughing....and Dad giggled right along with the rest.
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