A Long Time Ago...

Reba Alberta Stratton and Jett Lee Kidd welcomed their first son into the world, Donny Lee Kidd. The year was 1948 and my grandma and grandpa lived in a little house in Mare's Creek hollar, in eastern Kentucky. Although they sent for the doctor, he did not arrive until after daddy was born. Dad believes a mid-wife was probably on hand to assist Grandma, because mid-wives were more common at that time.
Dad was the second of eight children, and the first of four sons. My Grandpa worked in the mines and like most miners, would farm or perform manual labor wherever he could on the side. When the mines closed or he was laid-off, Grandpa was forced to move, and as a result the family moved too. This is one reason my Dad was raised in West Virginia and not Kentucky.
Although I am not sure when this photo was taken, it is one of the few my Grandma has of my Dad, where he's younger than eighteen. I am not sure who took the photograph and why he is pointing the gun at the photographer. Sounds like something I would do, except...Oh wait. I don't like guns!
Seeing this photo reminds me of all the stories Dad loves to repeat of his childhood each time we go to Grandma's. It also reminds me of a hunting trip he went on when Josh and I were kids. I think that was the last time Dad ever hunted. I will spare you the details but in summary my Dad gave his doe to a family in our Branch because we refused to eat "Bambi."
The gun he used on the hunting trip, I believe, is the same gun that he still hides in various locations throughout the house. I'm not sure why but I'm always surprised when I find it tucked away in a closet corner. It's like I forget my gentle, easy-going Dad could ever consider using a weapon of death and destruction. Obviously this is not the case at all and my Dad probably appreciates guns more than I would like to admit. As the picture proves, this appreciation probably began oh, about the time or perhaps even before, this photo was taken.
The point is, there is so much more to my Dad than guns and hunting. This week as we countdown to Father's Day I am going to post a new photo each day in honor of my Daddy. Don't worry Dad. I'll try not to embarrass you. For the rest of you, I hope you enjoy getting to know my Dad, a man many have already met, a little better. I love you Dad!

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