I never knew my dad, he and mom split when I was a toddler. I did see him over the years and once when I was about 12 years old I actually spent several days with him. I would see him fleetingly over the years but never spoke very much with him. During my Hobo Joe years, I ran into him several times at different locations. We both were inebriated during those times. The last time I seen him was at Tribe's powwow in 1988. I had heard he had quit drinking for some time. We talked for a while and then he made an unusual request; he asked if he could stay with me. I had been sober and divorced for several years and living by myself when he made that strange request. I declined, as I was not quite convinced that he would stay sober. He died a couple of months later. Although, he did not raise me he influenced my life in several ways;
I was shooting pool in Devils Lake's infamous Colonial Bar when an old guy who was watching came over and remarked how good I was. He added, "Your dad was a damn good pool player too". My girlfriend at the time and who stayed with me for quite some time after that told me later, that from that time on I became fixated with pool.
My dad and his brothers were known for their hunting and shooting skills. Although not much of a hunter myself, I bought my son's rifles at an early age and encourage them to hunt because I wanted them to be like my dad. I taught them to offer tobacco when they make a kill. Marshall and Ryan are now good shots and good hunters.
Mom, and other old timers have told me, "Your dad was a handsome man. Women were always after him." That could be why I enjoy the company of beautiful women so much.
Lastly, and most importantly, my dad was a gentle soul. He was not a fighter and he lived in times where fighting was common. The times I was with him I never heard him speak in anger about another person. He was always in a good mood, laughing and telling joke and/or humorous stories. And, he truly loved me, my sister Becky and my brother Mark.
Unfortunately, he grew up in as era when alcohol was common as meth is today. Once infected with alcoholism it hounded him until his premature death at age 65. A few years short of age 65 myself, I find myself wishing I had made more of an attempt to get to know my dad. And, I now I realized I loved him also...sorry it took so long to admit that, dad.