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Turtle on a Fence Post

Updated on June 19, 2012

Reflections of my childhood...

As a child I really enjoyed going on drives with my dad in our new car. When it was just the two of us I got to sit in the front and watch him as he drove. As an inquisitive youngster I had to know the ‘what’s’, ‘whys’ and ‘how’s’ about everything on the dashboard. What was the gear shift under the steering wheel and what did it do? He was careful to explain everything so that a ‘prying’ little boy might understand. He told me that in earlier cars you had to shift the gears, or move this handle to change the gears under the car and I remember he just chuckled a little when I replied, “Ohhh” as if I fully understood, but I really didn't know what all that meant. There was even a radio that played music, I bet my sister, Peggy liked that and all the side windows rolled up and down, I remember my older brothers, Jim and Jack liked that. I recall I didn't much care though when the whole family rode together because that meant I always got the hump. You know the middle of the backseat with the hump in the floor. With my brothers on either side by the windows I had to straddle the hump, one leg on one side and the other leg on the other side. It was very uncomfortable I remember even for a little boy.

turtle on a fence post
turtle on a fence post

I was just 6 years old in 1949

When it was just me and dad though, we mainly talked as he drove. My dad was a very smart man, even though he never finished the third grade he told me once. I think he must have been self-taught. He was always asking me riddles and things like, if you ever run across a turtle on a fence post and there is no one around to ask - what is the one thing you can be certain of? Wow! What a riddle. Dad was full of them, like why did the chicken cross the road? Well, I guess everyone knows that one you say - to get to the other side - Ha, Ha. Get it? Well I didn't at first. Remember, I was just 6 years old in 1949. Besides, I bet you thought your dad was plenty smart, too.

Some times he would take me for ice cream

Sometimes he would take me for ice cream, but I had to promise to not tell my brothers or sister, because they would want to ride along too. Another riddle he told me was, what goes first on four legs, then on two legs and finally on three legs... Boy that was a hard one. I never was able to figure that one out, but he told me on the way back home on day after ice cream. I also liked it when we went to Mick or Mack on Saturdays; that was the name of the grocery store down town and dad knew both of the owners. He shook both their hands and even introduced me to them once, but I couldn't tell one from the other now. Oh yea, did you figure that last riddle out? The answer is man, as a baby you crawl on all fours, then you learn to walk and grow into manhood and finally, when you’re old, you need a cane to help you walk. 4 - 2 - 3.

Did you and your dad ever spend time together.

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me and my dad
me and my dad

A dead possum in the middle of the road

One time my dad introduced me to the governor of Tennessee, Frank Clement and was standing right on the street talking politics. Dad said I'd learn all about that later. I remember my Dad ask the governor where he stood on some pretty important things and I heard the governor say he liked to straddle the white line in the middle of the road, and dad told him that was not always the safest place to be - in the middle of the road and if he didn't believe that, just ask a dead possum. Get it? A dead possum in the middle of the road wouldn’t be able to answer at all.

the one thing you can be sure of

I believe my dad must have known everybody in town. We couldn’t take a step or two before he'd say, there's Charlie, he runs a candy business and then they would shake hands and talk for a few minutes. Then he'd see someone else coming towards us that he knew and would start it all over again. Mom had said she refused to go to town with dad for that very reason. I told you he was smart and must have been to be able to talk to all those people. Oh, by the way, I never told you the answer to the first riddle did I? Remember the one about the turtle... "If you ever run across a turtle on a fence post and there is no one around to ask- what is the one thing you can be certain of?" Okay, did you figure it out by yourself? If not, I’ll just share it with you - "the one thing you can be sure of is - he didn't get there by himself..."

© 2010 SamSonS

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    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

      thanks cristina327 for stopping by, always enjoy your comments...

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 7 years ago from Manila

      Great hub, great memories to live by. Your dad indeed is a person great character. Thank you for sharing these precious childhood memories. Blessings to you.

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

      thanks Rebecca E for stopping by and also your nice comments...

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      thanks for this lvoely post, love the humor in it, and teh car, wow 460 air conditioning. (he he!)

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

      thank you my brother in Crist Dave, for your kind remarks, and I think your just gave me an idea for a hub. Blessings my friend...

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

      *thanks Kristeen, for your always nice and heartfelt comments, yes, I was just seventeen and immediately ushered from childhood into man of the house since my older sister had married, having a family of her own and my two older brothers the same. I credit the deep installment of God's love through Jesus and my mother's prayer life for all my successes.

      *thanks DiamondRN, and Amen! my dad always said, "every man puts his pants on the same way, one leg at a time." And I agree with your 'adoration' adage- that and 'awesome' are words reserved for God and His Kingdom...

      *and thank you DeBorrah K. Ogans, for your faithful and upliftings remarks and to you I ask God's richest blessings...

      *and Judicastro, you dear, I'm glad we hold a closeness of heart and memories. May our Father direct our hearts and thoughts this day and everyday...

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      My special time with my dad was when he and I would go fishing. Even if we didn't catch anything we were together, we talked and we both learned.

      Brother Dave.

    • Judicastro profile image

      Judicastro 7 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

      Since you and I have similar histories with our fathers I always love to hear about yours. My dad was a contractor and he drove a big ford truck drump truck. Loved that truck. On Saturdays that was our day, he would set me in the middle of the seat on his briefcase so I could see and off we would go to check on his jobs. We would then pop into the old drugstore on the corner and grab a "girl cheese" as I called it ( always wondered why they didn't make boy cheeses) and a rootbeer. Nothing better. I'm with you samson it's also been close to 50 years and I miss him still.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 7 years ago

      Samsons, Wonderful! Lovely heartfelt Hub! This has brought back many great memories! I am thankful for a kind loving father who has gone on to be with the Lord! Amusing tale of the turtle... Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 7 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      One important thing I learned from observing my father was that you treat bank presidents just like you would the janitor; they both deserve your respect but not your adoration. The only time adoration is appropriate is when it is directed toward God.

    • Kristeen profile image

      Christine 7 years ago from Michigan

      I knew the answer to the riddle. I just didn't recognize it as the correct answer. You grew up in a very loving family. I'm thinking your father must have passed away when you were very young. As always, I truly enjoyed reading and I enjoyed the you tube video also. Blessings!

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

      *thanks drbj, for your faithfulness and nice comments...

      *and thank you Specialk3749, for your faithfulness - I was wondering if I would get any response stating they were waiting for the answer. That was my intent...

    • Specialk3749 profile image

      Karen Metz 7 years ago from Michigan

      I was beginning to think you were not going to tell us the answer to the riddle about the turtle! LOL I am going now to tell my 9 and 10yo boys who love riddles. Thanks for a lovely story!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for the loving tribute to your dad. You are so right - he was a very smart man.

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

      thanks carolina, and yes he was, It's been nearly 50 years now since his death and I still miss 'our times...'

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I enjoyed this -- your dad musta been a fine man.

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

      thanks eovery, for your friendship, your visit and your nice comments...

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      One of my favorite sayings, If you find a turtle on a fence post, you can bet that he didn't get there all by himself.

      Keep on hubbing!