Thanks, Daddy

It’s been 15 years since my father, James T Downs III, went home to heaven.Father’s Day seems a good time to reminisce.I remember my daddy as a very hard worker—at work, around the house, out at the farm. Always working.He delivered babies, and many times a middle-of-the-night phone call got him up and off to the hospital.Sometimes on Sundays he would take me with him to the hospital for rounds to visit the new mommies.  I loved seeing the babies, but it never made me want to go into medicine.I always loved horses and was so grateful for the times my daddy took me to the Dallas County Charity Horse Show. I got to stay till the end and watch the jumpers.I was especially grateful for his partnering with a doctor friend for me to ride Diane, a beautiful Palomino saddle horse.  For two years Diane and I learned together--and had adventures that have made great stories for my grandchildren.  When Diane left, my daddy bought Dawn, a huge, crazy horse who could have killed my sister and me.  What parents don't know....Once he took me fishing in Christmas Bay near Freeport, Texas, in a small motorboat.  We didn't catch any fish, but it was quite exciting when we pulled a big sting ray into that tiny boat.My daddy was a frequent hunter.  I didn't like killing animals, but I loved shooting.  He taught me to use the .22 rifle and the .410 shotgun.  For target practice we sank cans in the stock pond at the farm--I'm sure that lake still has many of my rusted soda cans.My father surely deserves some credit for my editing skills—he corrected our grammar every night at dinner.  I loved it—it was a game to me.  I still love grammar, and have been known to correct my children.  Now they find great pleasure in catching me in a grammatical error.One of my favorite memories of my daddy is coming into the den late at night to find him reading one of the Great Books of the Western World.  I imagine that is some of the source of my love of reading.Happy Father's Day and thanks for the memories, Daddy.