My dad always had a great sense of humor, and I have often heard about some of the mischievous antics he and his brother, my Uncle Bill pulled. Things like setting dynamite off on a gate post, and sinking it down several inches, making it impossible to close the gate until they managed to pull the post back up…and before their mother got home from town, so she didn’t get mad at them, or setting off fireworks at the crack of dawn on the 4th of July, were pretty common types of mischief for them. There was also, the things my dad did to get things going, like leaning back on his chair until he fell over…to much giggling from his siblings, I have no doubt.
He was always a lot of fun to be around when we were kids, too. He and I used to have fake boxing matches, which he would usually win, of course. He loved to tease his girls, and when he pulled one over on you, he just laughed and laughed. You couldn’t help but laugh right along with him, because his laugh was so filled with delight at his ability to pull one over on you…and believe me, he had that ability.
Of course, every person has things they have kept secret, especially from their kids. You know, things you don’t want them to do, but that you did. It’s like the old saying. “Do as I say, not as I do.” Well, my dad was no different, I guess, because it appears to me that when all the other students in his class were posed obediently for the class picture, there was one cut up in the crew…you guessed it, my dad. Apparently, he just couldn’t resist acting goofy for the shot, and back then, there was no way to know it had happened until it was developed. Then, there is no way to fix it.
I can’t say that I am totally surprised at the antics of my dad. It is pretty much his character. Still, I can’t say that I ever thought of him as the class clown type. He always expected his girls to behave in school, church, or any other public gathering. There was a time to good off, and a time to behave. Nevertheless, here was my dad, being the only kid in the class to be making the goofy face in the picture. It makes me wonder just how many times my grandmother had a visit from the teacher, telling her about her wayward son, who was acting out in class….again!