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Owed (ode) to My Dad

This morning I am honoring Ben Ray Bost on his birthday, two short of his goal of 100! Spoke with him early this morning, he was up at 5:00 and was already out with friends, younger mentees in their 80's doing breakfast!

I had made this list some years ago as I drafted a memoir of him, thinking I would one day release a full book on this amazing guy. Now added a few lines:

-Haircuts until I was 18 and in college.

-Raising rabbits, building goldfish ponds, trellises for roses & pruning fruit trees.

-Trolling for bass as a kid too small to fIt in a life jacket, teaching me to use a lure.

-Watching Dad make lures by pouring hot lead into molds, water testing the movement of deer hair attached, selecting dye colors, and then selling them so that his hobby would not take food from our table.

-Ringing the tail of cow as "encourament to walk faster" while I led at about 8. We walked her a couple blocks to our home. He bought her at the "sale barn" so we could stall feed her in our small shed, then butcher for food.

-Toy Missiles launched at Mom's Christmas tree.

-Soldering resisters (Devry Tech on the G.I. Bill.) into an electrical circuit as he learned, long circuitry, long before micro-chips.

-Hatching out Cochin hen eggs under a lamp, show birds!

-Modifying his shed for my bantam chickens.

-Building a fly pen for my pheasant.

-The cow got out and is now in our neighbor’s flower garden!

-Cleaning rabbits for food.

-Selling my pullet hens to Holly Farms.

-More Pigeon cages.

-Removal of a bullet from my wounded pigeon, "Mabel". He could do everything!

-2:30 a.m. fishing trips in boats he made.

-Squirrel hunting, teaching me to sit and watch for a squirrel on a tree.

-Surprising me with my first 410 ga. shotgun at Adam's Sporting Goods.

-Balsam Airplanes from the Hobby shop on Sprague, Glu-coat & silk span.

-My first pair of beagles (AKC) bought from Benny Copple.

-Dismantling a old church for wood, expanding my pigeon coops!

-Cooking breakfast, when I would help in the summer months, he was always warming up the truck before I could finish. Gotta get to work!

-Learning to lead a crew, day laborers.

-Building out bedrooms on the second floor of our new but unfinished home.

-BREAKING down the 12 guage,, hiding parts in the backseat of the Rambler Station Wagon, likely saved a man's life who was cheating on his wife with money Dad provided for her funeral.

-Cabinets and daitto blades in school shop (learning to contribute to the upstairs renovation).

-Selling Christmas trees from the curb.

-Repairing the cars at home to save a few bucks. "You can fix anything, just watch how you take it apart, don't force anything, or over tighten."

-Securing my first Job at Hennis Freight, going to bat for his grown son.

-A time alone in Dad's Bedroom, after my first wife left. He explains that life is not always what you thought it would be. Keep going, keep dreaming anyway.

-"You go to the front door, I'll go to back"...looking for the enemy. Fortunately he was not in the apartment.

-There praying for his wayward son in the Living Room one the night, when I walked in unexpectedly on January 3, 1973. Life Changing!

-His humor one night in church when asked the secret to his long marriage "spending a lot of time in the yard."

-Expanding my first home, pouring footers together.

-Building my first new home, I considered it high risk for him given he was then 62!

-A late night call before a difficult professional transition, "Don't give up your dream."

-His transition from father to fellow board member, the phasing out of his formal leadership days.

-Moving slower, stiffer bones

-Sitting in his 'zebo' (the Gazebo he had built earlier).

-Expanding the rock pond.

-Proud of the "yellow fish" (a huge Koi).

-Favorite War Stories from the Pacific Theater when he was 18!

-Somewhat dependant now.

-Listening to him pray through the night during a 'bout with afib", when doctors said I might lose him.

-Respecting his "Do Not Resuscitate" wishes by placing a DNR bracelet on his wrist.

-Him excited the next morning, asking about the DNR bracelet, "does that mean I get dinner free?"

Gotta love my Daddy, Ben Ray and thanks for raising this kingdom entrepreneur!

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Chris Hilton
Chris Hilton
Dec 20, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Love this, and your Dad. Tell him I said so and Happy Birthday. Crusty old brick masons share much few others have experienced.

John Bost
John Bost
Dec 20, 2023
Replying to

Will do! He remembers you well and your own dad!


Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Happy Birthday Mr. Bost

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