Wednesday, January 1, 2014

And Now For The Rest of the Story

Apache Junction, AZ  High 67   Low 43

Ginny came over to our house, opened the door and ordered me outside. She said I had been hibernating with the germs too long. So I went over and sat in the sunshine and visited for about an hour.

I finally felt like I was going to live this morning when I got up. I still have a terrible cough and my back muscles really hurt from coughing so hard for so long. But I’m on the road to recovery.

Jim is doing much, much better. He worked on the generator and putting all the Christmas decorations away today. We’re ready to enjoy 2014.

Several of you asked about my Dad’s story. He was totally and completed committed to “his” city, Sidney, MT. One of the most patriotic men I have ever known.

DadHe met my Mom (Olive) when she lived at his parent’s house and worked for room and board. She was a country girl and needed to do that so she could finish high school. The day after Dad turned 21, he and Mom eloped. They went to Wibaux and were able to get the judge to leave the golf course long enough to marry them. They then returned to Sidney and it was three weeks before they told anybody they were married.

My Dad was the town hooligan. He and his buddies, Bob, Joe, and Robert, were always causing problems around town. Mom was a quiet lady and Dad’s father actually tried to talk her out of being married to his son. Just couldn’t understand what she saw in him. His Dad, Ben, was one of Sidney’s first councilmen when Sidney was incorporated in 1911.

Mom knew that underneath all that tough, macho shell was a really good guy. Dad served in the Army in the South Pacific from 1941 to 1946 and his job was to “clean out” remaining Japanese solders, who were hiding in caves. He never really talked much about the war but he liked to tell about the time he missed the boat. He had to catch the next boat and was late getting back to Seattle. Mom was NOT happy.

In 1955, Dad was elected as a City Alderman. Two years later, at the age of 37, he was elected Mayor. He was Sidney’s youngest mayor ever and spent eight years in that position. Then he served 19 years as the Public Works Director.

Dad is on the right with one of his old cronies.

dad1

After he retired, he really didn’t know what to do with himself. The final straw came when he decided to rearrange my Mom’s kitchen. That was one of the worst arguments I ever remember them having. Needless-to-say, the cupboards were put back to their original order and Dad decided to run for Mayor again.

His second stint as mayor was 1984 through 2000. When he left office, he was Sidney’s oldest mayor ever. He served as Mayor for 24 years and loved almost every minute of it. People, especially older folks, loved him. He received the Lifetime Service Award in 2001 from the Montana League of Cities and Towns.

Dad was also very active as a Kiwanis Key Club Advisor and as a Little League baseball coach. He loved being involved with the youth. I remember a trip he took with the Boy Scouts when my brother was involved with Scouts. They hiked down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. My Dad was an “older” father and was not an outdoor person. He got down to the bottom of the Canyon but he couldn’t get back out. So the rest of the Troop hiked up to the top and sent a mule down to get him.

He and Mom celebrated 67 years of marriage just a couple of weeks before Mom died. Dad died in March of 2010.

Here are a few of the quotes from businessmen who knew him:

“Harold was a very effective mayor. He had the ability to bring all parties together.”

“Harold was very conservative and fiscally responsible. Harold knew where every sewer line and every water line was located. He understood money, taxation and people. He ran a pretty tight ship.”

“He was a great leader, a great speaker. He was very conservative and yet very progressive. He always looked at Sidney’s needs 20 years down the road. Yet he was very concerned that the city’s reserves were always there.”

There were times when we felt like we came second to “his” city but I was so very proud of him.

32 comments:

  1. Sandie, What a great story. Thanks for sharing it with us. Now get yourself completely better. Can't wait to see you guys again !!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow - what a neat story! Glad you're feeling better. I have the same crud.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Loved this, Sandie!

    "That was one of the worst arguments I ever remember them having. Needless-to-say, the cupboards were put back to their original order and Dad decided to run for Mayor again."

    Hahaaaaa I can soooooooo relate ~ wow, 67 years … I know you are proud of him … he sounds wonderful~

    Happy New Year to you and Jim … glad you both are on the mend … ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a nice story! Very well written. Glad you are on the mend. Just take care of yourself and take it easy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great story of a great man.

    100% soon, okay. See you very soon.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your dad sounds like a great man! I'm so glad to hear that you are feeling a bit better.

    ReplyDelete
  7. So it's true, if you can't stand the heat after rearranging the kitchen politics might be a safer course. Sounds like your dad was a pillar.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wonderful story...I loved reading it. You are justly proud of your dad.

    ReplyDelete
  9. He could run a city but not reorganize a kitchen...sounds about right.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like your Dad was a great man, a member of the greatest generation,Most veterans won't say much about their service,but to me flying in the Navy was the most fun a young guy who thought of himself as immortal could have.Thanks for sharing your memories. Sam & Donna.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great tribute to a fine American. Just the kind of person I like to learn from.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for the wonderful story. Your dad was a standout member of the Greatest Generation. Glad your hometown honored your dad, very well deserved.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a great tribute to your Dad.... I can even picture that argument... (and it's no surprise your Mom won!) Glad you're feeling better... but those darn coughs hang on forever.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great story & I am always in admiration & respectful of successful & caring people like that. Wonder what he thought when they had to bring him out of the canyon on a mule. I also agree with others about the greatest generation.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for sharing Sandy. What a wonderful, loving man your dad was. You must be truly thrilled and proud to call him dad!

    Will they be having a ceremony for the naming? Will you attend?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for sharing your heart warming story. They sound like a wonderful couple. Happy to hear you are feeling better.

    Hugs to both of you.

    Sharon

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a wonderful story, hope you both get better soon.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a guy! Glad you shared this with us. I would have liked to have known him in "the old days." A man to respect and admire. He must have been a great role model to contemporaries and the youth of the area. Plus, he produced one lovely lady.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Reading the current news from Sidney, I am thinking they could use your Dad as mayor again! What a great tribute to him Sandie!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing the story. As is often the case, sounds like your mom turned the hooligan into a fine man - a couple of my aunts did the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. An amazing man your dad was, no doubt. One day, all we have are memories of our parents. Hope you get over your cold soon.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think these family stories are always so interesting. Thanks for sharing yours.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Your Dad was quite a man and deserved the honour and a whole lot more for his service to his community.

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a nice story about your dad.....you have reason to be proud!

    Get well and STAY well.....winter colds are nasty.

    xo

    Jo

    ReplyDelete
  25. WOW...what an accomplishment. Thanks for sharing about your dad. I know you are so proud of him.

    Hope you are feeling much, much better!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for sharing the story about your dad. We're in Apache Junction too. Leaving on Saturday after dropping our son off at the airport.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great story. He certainly had a fulfilling life and you have told it so well!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great story and nice tribute for your Dad. Glad you are beginning to feel better.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is so nice. Your Dad did not want stay put. I like people who are active even after retiring.
    It is good that you are a little bit better, but improving your resistance would be nice too. Take care of yourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a great story, and thank you for taking the time to share it. 67 years is a very long time. I don't think I would want Al to rearrange my kitchen either.

    ReplyDelete
  31. How neat. What a wonderful man, husband, father and public servant. You, as I are lucky to have great dads!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great story, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.