Last Sunday was Father’s Day and I have read many wonderful comments about fathers. I want to share a couple.
Clay Sikes from Liberty County wrote about his father, Bobby Sikes, former sheriff of Liberty County, who now resides in Coastal Manor in Ludowici. I know Bobby and he was a great friend of my first husband, Harlon. They shared the same birthday.
Clay writes about his father, "My daddy is in a nursing home and is not doing all that well. As his journey here begins transition, I can say without a stutter, he handed me the greatest gift one man can give another, an outline for how to live life. His incredible inner strength, still intact in his current condition, his quiet ability to listen without speaking and a sense of fairness and equality have been handed down. These last years have been difficult, but through it all he is Bobby Sikes, a proud son of his beloved Liberty County. His life is filled with memories of many, many friends, wonderful experiences and the most awesome stories one could ever hear. His love for my mother as his partner for almost 70 years is an inspiration to me. I love my Daddy and I still have time to go over to Coastal Manor and tell him one more time, Happy Father’s Day!"
Bobby’s father was Paul Sikes, who was sheriff for many years and now Bobby’s son Steve Sikes is sheriff in Liberty County.
Becky Yawn Branch wrote about her father, Leland Yawn (1913-1982). Becky’s mother was Mary Grace Howard (1910-1972), who was the daughter of Thomas L. Howard Sr. (1879-1950). Much of the family was involved in the forest industry.
This is what Becky wrote about her father: "Does Father’s Day remind me of the ocean-side time spent there with my parents? No, it finds me in the piney woods of Long County, a place I love remembering my daddy. Walks in the woods with Daddy pointing to different plants and telling me their names. Fishing with Daddy in Hughes Old River, catching the bream and red breast and watching the gator follow our boat, trying to snatch our catch. Teaching me to drive by turning me loose in the cow pasture and the poor cows didn’t know where to hide as I sputtered and jerked in the old Willys Jeep. Hunting, well, I wasn’t going to shoot anything. But it was fun listening to Daddy call those turkeys with his box. Last time we went to Vinzant Swamp hunting, my daddy put me out by a tree and said, "I am going further down the road and see what I can send your way." Well, that was about 2 o’clock. I sat quietly as I had been taught by a master hunter, my daddy. I saw a few squirrels and heard the old gobbler, but no Daddy. As the sun began to set other friends began leaving their stands with offers to find my daddy or for me to ride with them. "No, I will wait. He will be here soon." I sat down and went to sleep. That was OK as I had time to enjoy what he had shown me many times on our treks in the woods. Daddy, I remember how you loved each one of my sons and showed your love of the simple things in life to them. How I would love one more walk in the woods with you, a trip to the river or just to sit under the night sky and watch for a shooting star or satellite to fly over! Oh, Papa, we love and miss you! You were the best! I am blessed, Your Becca."
I had to hear her father was late coming back to her. This is what she wrote me, "No, Daddy did not forget me. He sat down by a tree and went to sleep. It was dusk when he suddenly woke up and hurried to find me. ... I was grown..."