Inspirational Message

Inspirational Message

Monday, June 11, 2018

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks - Father's Day

He was born on the farm nearly 80 years ago, the first child born to Lester L and Leota J (Hedrick) Louthan, homesteaded by his grandparents, Samuel O and Emma J. (Hurt) Louthan.  Named Gerald Ray by his parents but nicknamed Bud by his grandpa. Throughout his lifetime he has been known as Bud to all who know him.  Most don't know his legal name, he is just Bud. 

Bud was a teenager of the 1950s; drag racing cars, chasing girls, drinking beer. Except when he was working.  He picked cotton when he wasn't in school. His grandpa had a few cows and horses and his mother milked a Jersey cow. His dad worked for the county road and bridge department. He graduated from high school in 1956 and married my mother a few weeks later. Together they reared five children and lived in three states. Bud was always a hard worker. He worked for Pigley Wigley in 1956 in Enid, Oklahoma and then transferred to the Lubbock, Texas store as a manager. They moved back to Oklahoma a few years later and Bud worked three part-time jobs: running a route for Coca Cola, working the sale ring at the local stock yards and selling 33 rpm records. He began selling H&B items to small mom and pop stores in Oklahoma and Kansas.  Making quite an impression on his supervisor and those on up the chain. After a couple of years, he moved his family to Kansas while still working for the same H&B company. Bud was offered a promotion with the H&B company that required moving to Kansas City. He turned it down because he didn't think it would be good for his kids. He went to work in the local wire manufacturing plant during the Vietnam War.  The plant made concertina wire (barbed wire) that the military used to keep the enemy at bay. I am sure you've all seen those photos of coiled barbed wire. After the war he went on to work construction; building homes. He followed this trade for many years. In the late 1970s he bought a piece of property on which an old school house sat.  He remodeled it into a hamburger joint complete with an awning and us girls worked as carhops.  A few years later he bought more property across the road and built a car wash and a gas station/convenience store. In 1995 he retired, after selling the gas station/convenience store to me, and traveled between Kansas and Texas with Mom. He always enjoyed hunting and fishing. He hunted Elk in Colorado, deer in Kansas and Oklahoma as well as game birds. He fished in the Gulf of Mexico with his own boat. He and Mom lived in Texas until this past year after a hurricane hit the area where they had purchased a home. There home was not damaged by the winds and rain but they no longer loved South Texas so they moved back to Oklahoma to live close to their daughters. 

I would say my dad has lived a very interesting life.  He never met a stranger and has many stories to tell anyone who takes time to listen. He may not always be able to finish the story these days...his memory is not what it once was. He dreams of hunting and fishing again like he did on the farm as a kid and in the mountains of Colorado as an adult. 

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

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