Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Tribute From Dick Smith

Dad died six weeks ago this morning. It seems only fitting that today I would receive a beautiful note from Dad's college roommate, Dick Smith. One of the neat things about this experience is that I have gained insight into a portion of my parents' lives from the time before my birth. Dick mentions Hugh Mingle in his letter. Hugh was a groomsman in my folks' wedding and I went to York College with two of his kids, Tim and Bonnie. Here is my dad in the words of Dick Smith.

Dear Steve,
Hugh and Joy Mingle were present at my 80th birthday celebration yesterday and from them I learned of your Dad's passing. My eyes fill with tears as I write this. Your Dad and I were roommates at Harding. He had a phonograph and every morning he played "Morning" from Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite. I loved it. Still do. During our senior year at Harding while our wives taught school, we had lunch together every weekday. We alternated between canned spaghetti and macaroni and cheese. Those were sweet times. When Nell and I returned from Germany in 1953 Roger met us at the boat and took us home for the night in Brooklyn. Nell and I loved your Mom, Nelda, as well, and were grieved when we learned of her Alzheimer's. Oddly enough, we learned in recent years, that we are distantly related through my wife's relatives in Corinth. I loved your Dads great sense of humor. He must have been a wonderful father. As a fellow preacher, fellow elder, fellow college administrator and teacher, I shared many interests with your Dad. We didn't get to see each other much after college. I was in Europe for ten years and in New England and Texas after that. We did see one another in 2000 at our 50th college reunion. I ran into an old girl friend but didn't recognize her till she identified herself. Then I gave her a hug. A few minutes later I saw Roger and told him, "Guess what, I just hugged Evelyn for the first time!" He nearly fell on the floor laughing. ( Our courtships and dates in those days were quite sedate. ) We knew both Gena and Nelda Chesshir. Great ladies. Your mom is a real sweetheart. I'm glad your Dad had all those years with her. You and your siblings had wonderful parents as you well know. I treasure my memories of them both. My God bless your time in China. The Gospel is making great strides there.
Yours and His,
Dick Smith

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

1 comment:

Sandi said...

I love the part about hugging his old girlfriend for the first time -- I can really imagine your dad getting a kick out of that.

I'm still working on my memory e-mail -- will try to send it soon, but we have a new baby due next week...I sure enjoy reading the memories people have of Roger. I still can't believe that he is gone. It seems like whenever we visit Lafayette, he should be there with a hug and a smile.