I wish I could convince you I had been a Daddy’s girl. At birth I was early and tiny but with a powerful set of vocal chords, so my trip home was not postponed by a stint in an incubator. As a newborn I guess I was cute enough, but as I grew toward toddlerhood Mom dressed me in ruffles often so passersby would know she had a daughter. It was too early to audition for Daddy’s princess with a bald head, buggy eyes and prominent ears. By the time I had a bouncy ponytail, expressive eyes and almost normal ears, my attitude, supported by those strong vocal chords, put me in the running instead for Daddy’s little terror who would hopefully one day pay for her raising with a hard-headed terror of her own to handle. When little brother came along, it was too late to pretend to be a sweetie for more than my fair share of Daddy’s attention. Then came along a little sister who may have taken that coveted role of Daddy’s girl. At birth she had a bit of hair and chubby cheeks that helped her out.
If you were to ask me to share some of my father’s important words to me, “Don’t talk back, young lady” would rank right up there at the top of the list based on the frequency he delivered them. A close second would be ” This hurts me more than it hurts you” which I never believed till I had my own offspring who thankfully needed only a couple of spankings during his whole childhood.
My stubborn tomboy self never felt unloved or neglected, though. Dad supported and encouraged me all the way into my adulthood, and taught good lessons with his actions instead of words sometimes. He never quite understood my issues with plain old-fashioned arithmetic but by golly, he taught me to give change without using the ‘cheat’ key on the register in his neighborhood stores. (Hmm.. maybe that’s because I pre-date that key). He probably wished he could have helped me learn to drive as easily as he helped me ride a bicycle, but there are no training wheels that can replace a dad in the passenger seat.
Perhaps I feel more like a Daddy’s girl NOW as I maneuver through…middle-age. (Humor me here; only my baby brother gets away with calling me old). Dad’s words and deeds still guide me. For instance:
* It doesn’t cost any more to keep a car filled than it does to put $5 in at a time.
* Keep your car serviced and it will service you.
* You have no business driving long distances after dark, young lady. (Yep, I still heard that once in a while as an oldster, especially if I had his grandson with me).
Though I am undeniably my momma’ s daughter the older I get, there are some traits that brand me as a Pearson: a big grin, a prominent nose, some anal tendencies and a stubborn streak. Dad held a lot of jobs in my lifetime. I am thankful he was able to fulfill his dream of owning and operating his own business, first in St. Louis then in Ripley County. You might remember Cal’s Grocery and Station, first at the location of Bizzell’s Grocery and later where Hartland Pit Stop is now, and another at the Quick Stop location in Naylor. I discovered I had that dream, too, and I am glad he lived to see me bring that to reality. He was tickled that a hare-brained idea like KC’s on the Current… to him it was really a gamble..filled up the parking lot on Y highway sometimes.
Calvin Granville Pearson (1925-2003) was a man of sincere faith, strong service and family devotion, and he was my dad.