The Clapping Toy Monkey
My Daddy had a keen eye for finding bargains. Sometimes a bargain was cleverly disguised as trash in a dumpster or sitting on someone's curb on garbage day. Daddy wasn't too proud to ask to have these treasures. In fact, he almost felt obligated to rescue them from destruction.
Daddy could fix anything. He had a large assortment of tools, paints, wood products, metal, you name it. He had a great imagination and found ways around almost any challenge or problem.
For this reason, Daddy also loved garage sales. He would spend hours and a tank of gasoline making garage sales. He was picky about where he went. He didn't bother going to the 'rich folks' because they still wanted too much money for their stuff in his mind. He loved the average man's garage sale. Then he would haggle with them to get them down from a quarter to a nickel. Did I mention my dad was frugal?
Daddy's Funny Side
My Daddy was also a very witty and funny man. He loved to make people laugh. He had a very quick wit and wasn't afraid to use it. Daddy never met a stranger.
One of Daddy's favorite things to do was to check the caller ID when the phone rang and once he knew who it was he'd answer the phone "Mule Barn, head Jack speaking".
He loved plays on words and changing words around. He really wasn't a joke teller although he knew a few.
He also liked playing practical jokes. One of my favorites was when he placed a life-sized witch (Halloween project for school) in our bathroom hoping to scare my grandmother when she came to visit. Unfortunately, he wasn't counting on one of my young cousins finding it first. The poor girl ran screaming from the bathroom.
Daddy in 2008
Daddy's health deteriorated in 2008. He didn't go bargain hunting anymore. He spent most of the time at the doctor's office trying to figure out why his leg was red and swollen and wouldn't heal. Of course, they suspected diabetes, but he never came back positive for it.
Daddy was hospitalized with the leg issue and ended up breaking his hip and contracting a staph infection while in the hospital. That really set him back. In fact, that really changed everything for Daddy. It certainly lengthened his time to heal and affected his mobility once he healed some and began physical therapy.
Daddy was only home after that hospital/nursing home stay for 2 months. Mama insisted that he didn't seem to be healing right and after arguing enough with the home health nurses, a doctor finally agreed that it looked like the infection had now set in his hip incisions.
Back to the hospital. Only this time, Daddy never came home. We got the call at 1 a.m. to please come to the hospital, the chaplain would like to meet with us. That's the kind of call that you know never has a good ending. He had died before we had gotten the call. A nurse making her rounds had found him.
Buy Clapping Monkey Toy Online
Something I Had to Do
When my only son, and my Daddy's only grandson, died in 2003 my Daddy made it perfectly clear to me that funerals are not supposed to be sad and somber. He felt that it was a time to honor the deceased with tales of their unique contribution to the lives of those left behind. Knowing that still didn't make it easy when planning my Daddy's funeral.
When I met with the preacher that would be officiating the ceremony, I gave him very specific instructions about the tone my Daddy would want him to take. But, I still worried that he's somehow screw that up and throw in too much mourning talk. So, I decided I'd have to take matters in my own hands.
With the help of my teenage daughter, we sat down and made a video on my computer. It consisted of some pictures of Daddy, a few soundbites from an instrumental portion of a song we liked, and a few pictures including the clapping monkey and deranged looking side-kick, the panda, that you see pictured at the top of this hub. We recorded our voices telling the funny stuff my Daddy said and did. This picture stared at the funeral attendees during the first half of the ceremony with everyone wondering what it meant while we waited for the video segment to be played. It held the audience in suspense with anticipation. They knew something funny was behind it all.
What The Clapping Monkey Means to KCC
The Clapping Monkey seemed to sum up my Daddy. It was exactly the type of toy someone might discard because it no longer worked properly that my Daddy would feel obligated to rescue and fix. It also represented the silliness my Daddy liked to display in his desire to make people laugh. And what a hoot to have it staring at all the people who came to pay their respects.
So, in honor of my Daddy, I chose to display the Clapping Monkey as my avatar on HubPages. I think my Daddy would get a real big kick out of that.
Recently, while looking on eBay for a tshirt to wear to the gym I ran across a shirt with this same vintage monkey on it that says "Make Noise". I couldn't resist.
I still miss you, Daddy.