Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Man of My Dreams...


I'm Daddy's Little Girl to the bone. Spencer Addison Jr. was his name.

Pretty much all of my dreams have him rescuing me from fire breathing dragons and bad guys in the street. My hero, my father that was nicknamed Buddy Jr.

My father was born in Winnsboro, LA on October 26th, 1941. His parents, Spencer Addison Sr. and Alberta Thomas from what I hear, wasn't a match made in heaven. As I'm still learning about my family history, I'm told that their family members weren't too fond of one another. So for them to begin a relationship, get married and have a child - let's just say the union had its issues at the very beginning.

I heard bits and pieces at a very young age while eavesdropping in to my Grandmother Alberta "Mama" discuss with my mother, relationship issues she had had with my Grandfather. That when my Father was born, he refused to let her sleep in the bed with him as my father was born with red hair and freckles. So for the first month or two of my father's life, Mama slept on the couch while being emotionally, mentally abused by my Grandfather. I even heard rumor of physical abuse as well. Of course now we know that red hair is a genetic mutation - but understand that we are dealing with early 1940's in Rural Louisiana.

So when I'm later told that at the age of 5, my Father walked his mother to a bus stop and watched her board and ride out of his life, as cruel as that seemed, it can almost be understood. She knew that she couldn't take him with her, my Grandfather would have probably tracked her down and done only the Lord knows what.

When I remember hearing my Father speak about my Grandfather, he only spoke about a great father figure. That taught him how to drive at age 8. My father used to brag that if it has wheels and a steering wheel he could drive it. He also taught him how to fish (as my Grandfather was a fisherman & truck driver by trade) and taught him how to be a man and a father. My father was great as both in my opinion, so my Grandfather couldn't have been all that bad.

My Grandfather died at the young age of 37 when my father was 12 years old. That was very hard on him, his mother had been long gone by that point. Periodic visits here and there, but what he knew in regard to security was gone. His Great-Aunt Mag started taking care of him while my Grandfather traveled for work and after his death until my Grandmother showed up wanting her child. I'm told it was a violent confrontation that ended with my Grandmother leaving Louisiana with her child, headed for Hawthorne, Nevada to stay where her young brother, Earl "Bubba" Thomas lived. I'm still piecing the story together, so I'm not sure if she "fled" Louisiana as she had a lot of family there that would have protected her, or if she left because she thought Nevada offered better opportunities.

Here is a picture of my Grandmother Alberta and my Father in Nevada in 1954/1955.

Here are his 6th & 7th Grade Class Pictures in 1955 & 1956, Hawthorne, Nevada.

My father eventually ended up in Oakland, California where he completed his education at Roosevelt Jr. High School and Oakland High School. This post will be updated as I gain additional pictures, more stories.

My father closed his eyes for the final time on May 28, 1994. One of the many days that changed my life forever. He was a good father, difficult at times as he had his own demons he was fighting with, but there was not one time I felt unloved. In the end that is all that truly matters to me. He did what a father was supposed to do, love and protect his family.