I looked for a picture to go with this, but it seems nobody in the family took many pictures in the early-to-mid 1950's. At least none of Daddy.
As I've mentioned here before, my parents were "Central" in a small, north Missouri town. When folks made phone calls to anyone other than people on their party line, they had to go through Central... the operator... to do so. Mother and Daddy both put in time at the switchboard. I believe Mother did duty more often, but when she needed to cook, can, sew or do housework, Daddy took over.
If there had been a particularly stormy night, Daddy often had to go un-cross telephone wires, and I sometimes went along. Those are the only times I remember him driving, except later on in the city when he headed off to work at the box factory. Mother did all the driving when we went anywhere as a family. It was so unusual for him to drive that I remember being a little afraid of riding with him, back when I was a kid.
A cousin, Gerald, visited last Sunday, and a memory was jogged as we visited.
We were poor, although I didn't know it at the time. And a nickel amounted to a lot more than it does today. So if I asked for five cents to buy a bottle of pop or a candy bar, I didn't often get it. Unless.
Sometimes when Mother was at the switchboard, Daddy would walk across the road to Virgil's filling station and visit with whoever was hanging around there. Mother laughingly said he was off "bumming around". The men would exchange jokes, many of which I didn't understand, and share local gossip. Daddy smoked then, and rolled his own cigarettes.
When Daddy was away from my mom like that, he was ripe for the picking. I'd ask him for a nickel: he'd hesitate, then reach into the pocket of his overalls with a smile and come up with the money. Every time. And I'd walk up to Pierson's store and get my candy bar, usually a Slo-poke or Bit-O-honey.
Daddies are like that.