Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Daddy the Ball Player

My daddy's ambition was to be a major league baseball player. He joined a minor league club in San Angelo and was doing well. In those days the game was played during daylight hours. One day while he was playing in center field the sun got in his eyes and a hard ball hit him right between the eyes. It knocked him cold and he was out for hours. This was the end of his playing days but he still enjoyed watching the game. It was several years later when a tumor developed behind the spot where the ball had hit him. We were in California when he developed headaches, and eventually we came back to Texas where he had surgery to remove the tumor. Fortunately the tumor was benign. Then Grandpa Sam financed Daddy to start over. Daddy established a Ford agency west of San Angelo at Big Lake. This was at the beginning of the Permian Basin which at one time was the largest oil and gas development in the United States. The Permian reached from Big Lake across hundreds of miles to New Mexico and from the caprock at Big Spring to the Big Bend. The discovery well had been drilled two miles west of Big Lake. Daddy sold Model A Fords and later V8 Fords from Big Lake for 300 miles, on to Ozona and Odessa and the towns in between, such as McCamey. He prospered. He carried a big roll of bills. He was successful. I hated Big Lake. It was the opposite of California. There were not many trees and those were mesquites. It was a semi arid land, hot and dry.

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