Clyde Martin - Photo Memories of My Dad
Clyde Owen Martin 1924 - 2012
My father lived a long and productive life. He was 87 years old when his heart finally gave out while he was hospitalized for surgery on a bleeding ulcer. Recently the family gathered to celebrate his life.
I'd like to share online some of the photos that to me tell the story of the man. In the last few years, his health issues kept him close to home and his hearing problems created a barrier to communicating with him. I want his grandchildren and great-grandchildren to know more about him and his early life.
Clyde - The Young Man Growing Up On the Farm
His Boyhood in Greenwood County, Kansas
Born in 1924, he had 4 older sisters and an older brother. In the first picture, you'll see him as the baby. His dad, Ren Martin is holding him. On the left is his mother, Cora Joy. After Clyde, there were two more boys born. Eight children in all.
In the second photo, he's still quite young, as he's wearing short pants. For school or around the farm, the boys wore overalls.
In the third picture, he's in high school. My mother dated his best friend through high school. Later after she and Johnny broke up, she married Clyde. They were married over 60 years.
More about Clyde Martin
- Prairie Belle School
My dad, Clyde Martin, attended Prairie Belle, a one-room school in the 1930s. He was one of four generations of the Martin family to attend the small Greenwood County, Kansas school. The school existed for sixty-six years, starting in 1886. It cost..
Dad Was a Lifelong Reader
Dad's Work over the Years
He was a farmer in the 1940s, then ran a gas station with his brother Howard. After that he worked in the Kansas oil fields until he retired.
My Dad's Dairy Cattle
What Is It Like Working on a Kansas Oil Rig? - YouTube videos below show the hard work of an oilfield job
You can read Life in the Oil Patch by my sister, Cynthia Ross. It covers our dad's oilfield career from roughneck to production manager. The essay is part of our dad's book, Clyde Owen Martin: Family Memories of His Life and Times. Working in the oilfield is hard, dirty work. It takes its toll on the workers. The noise of the machinery cost Dad his hearing.
The workers often had to drive hours to reach the remote locations where the rig was drilling that week. Sometimes they worked a double shift if the relief crew did not arrive. My dad suffered from two bad accidents going to and from work that resulted in long hospitalizations. He walked with a limp in his later years from one of those.
No matter what the weather, the crew went out. It could be rain with 50 mile an hour winds across the Kansas prairies or sleet or snow. He bundled in layers with heavy coveralls over it all. On his head he wore the metal helmet to protect against falling metal or dropped tools. His shoes were heavy work-boots with reinforced steel toes.
What Was It Like on a Kansas Oil Rig?
These Pumpjacks Are a Familiar Site in Kansas
Hear an Old-Timer Talk about Oil Field Memories
Oil Field Memories - Part 2
More about Oil Wells and How They Work
Clyde Martin with His Great Granddaughter, Alexandra
Gail and Clyde Martin raised six children and have nine grandchildren. Alexandra is the newest of the great-grandchildren. There's a great-great grandchild too.
Photos of Dad's Activities - From the Martin Family Album
Clyde Martin's Retirement Activities
- Gardening - He kept several gardens going to raise vegetables for the local farmer's market. His favorite rototiller was the Troybilt.
- Bread Baking - Dad perfected a variety of breads from honey wheat to raisin bread that sold out every week at the El Dorado Farmer's Market. He kept his row of bread machines working from early in the morning to produce his great breads.
- Fishing - Dad and Mom both had master angler certificates for the big fish they caught at Sugar Valley Lakes in Eastern Kansas.
- Restoring a Model A - It was a Ford Briggs Special. Here's more about our family and their love of old cars.
- Nut Collector - No, not crazy people. He gathered walnuts and pecans and painstakingly shelled them to sell at the farmer's market.
- Reading - He was a fan of vintage westerns, but read most anything that came into the house (mysteries, contemporary fiction, biographies). He always had a book going.
- Collector of Lincoln Books - His interest started in childhood when he read a book about Lincoln's life. Family delighted in finding another book to add to his collection.
Preview the Book - Clyde Owen Martin: Family Memories of His Life and Times
Link to the Book Preview
Clyde Owen Martin by Gail Lee Martin
Favorite Photos of Dad over the Years - Slideshow from the Martin Family AlbumClick thumbnail to view full-size
My Dad Loved Playing Solitaire on the Computer
He would take a break to watch the news or a baseball game on TV. Mom used the computer quite a bit for her writing and to keep in touch with children and grandchildren.
My dad -- he taught me a lot about life, hard work and commitment. He shaped who I am.
Clyde Martin - Celebration of Life Brochure
Poems by My Mom and My Sister - in honor of Dad
© 2012 Virginia Allain