Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Dad, A Builder of Roads

I am late with this post. I was trying to scan a picture of my Dad for Fathers day and NO LUCK!! I hope that I get this computer figured out before long. I think part of the problem was being without one for so long and this old gal just don't remember like she used to. Imagine That!! Anyhow back to the topic of the Day.

Sunday was Fathers Day, a time for remembering our Dads. My own Dad has been gone for nearly 12 years but I have many special memories of him and still think of him almost daily. My dad wasn't always around when I was growing up as he had a job that kept him away from home. He built roads. Every road I drive down in our part of the state, I know that my dad played a part in the construction of them. He started to work for the Highway Department in 1950 at the end of a shovel (so to speak). He retired with the title Resident Engineer of Division Six in 1984. His hard work, determination, night school, correspondence courses and his "I will do my best" attitude, helped him to achieve this goal.

When I was a child, not many roads in NW Oklahoma were paved. Most towns had a strip of pavement about 3 miles coming into them on the major highways. This was a time before the Interstate System, so a major highway was one that went from one state to the next, or a US highway. The State Highways, weren't paved until later. My dad was away from home as these roads were being improved. In that time, one did not drive home at night if it was any distance. I think an hours drive must have been too far, as some of the places he talked about are within that distance.

When he was at home, I loved to hear about the places he stayed. I just knew that they were wonderful places. What lovely names they had. Elmwood----Doesn't that just sound like a place filled with tree lined streets. I used to ask Dad about it..

Daddy, is it a pretty place, Does it have a creek....Are there lots of trees? I am sure my questions went on and on but that perticular name just fascinated me. Guess what....When I married the Rancher, Elmwood was just down the road. I really had to laugh about my childhood fascination with that name. Elmwood, was just a crossroads of two highways. NO town at all, but a Service Station, a motel, Cafe, and Post Office to serve a large rural area. Oh, there is a beautiful creek about a mile down the road but, Elmwood sits on a hilltop with few trees at all.

As I drive down these roads, I have memories of my Dad, I remember his frustrations and pride with certain bridges and curves. I think of Dad each time I approach them. I am proud to see that his works are still in use today. Through time, much of the pavement has been replaced with updated products and I know that eventually all of the bridges will be replaced, but today, I can still see the the products of his labor and feel a great pride.


Anonymous said...

I miss Grandad Pat too.
Love ya

Andi said...

Awww, How sweet! *sniff*

Dawn said...

That's a cool thought! ji