Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Personal History (abridged)

Well, it's been a lazy, wasted weekend for me. There was so much that I had intended to do but then again, there's that "cold weather" thing again. Yes, I should have done yard work; should have raked leaves; should have straightened up the garage. Instead, I went in to the office for a bit on Sunday but otherwise vegetated. I feel compelled to post something but since I have doubts that anyone other than family members read these blogs then I ramble a bit. So, without further ado.............
Everything you never wanted to know about me in less than two minutes (the early years)!
I was born in 1955 in Leeds, Alabama. I was born in a little building that was called Davis Clinic and at the time of my birth it was in the process of being converted into a dentists' office. I believe that I was the last baby delivered in Davis Clinic.

I had a very happy childhood. When I was about 4 we moved from Alabama to St. Augustine, Florida for a little while. I was too young to remember much about it except that I do barely remember a Hurricane that flooded our yard up to the bottom of porch. That was a lot of water because our house was about 4 feet off the ground.

Later, we moved back to Leeds and then when I was five we moved to Midland City, Alabama for a little over 6 months. My father worked for Hayes Aircraft and they sent him to different places to work on airplanes. After we move back to Alabama again I started the first grade. After I got older I can remember my dad always telling me that I had to study and do well in school. I always thought he was the smartest person that I ever knew because he was so good at math and could always figure out how to make just about anything. One of the things that I remember best when I got to go with my dad to work once. he was on a crew that built the first two stages of the Saturn V rockets that were used by NASA to sent astronauts into space. I got to see the huge rockets and a model of the whole rocket in my dad's office. I believe that he still has blueprints of that rocket to this day.

Other memories I have are going to my grandparents often. I would stay with them for weeks at a time in the summer. My grandfather worked at a sawmill and we would alway play in the big piles of sawdust. Me and my oldest sister would also climb all over the equipment when the mill wasn't running. My grandfather would have been mad if he saw us on that equipment but we were never scared and like to play around all of the big machines that cut the lumber from trees and planed it smooth.

When I was twelve I got disease called Huntington's Chorea which attacks your central nervous system. I could no longer do simple things like tie my own shoes or write clearly. I spent three whole months in the hospital and when I got out my dad bought me a Vox guitar like one that John Lennon used to play. He thought that if I learned to play guitar then I would get the coordination back in my hands. I never did learn to play that guitar but I did eventually take up drums and think that I am decent at it. I was in the marching band in high school and three different little rock bands. I was once the drummer in group rom my church called the New Life Seekers and we toured all over the south one summer. That was a lot of fun and I met a lot of really nice people doing that.

I graduated from Leeds High School in May of 1973 and went to work right away. I left home and went to Atlanta, Georgia where I got a job in factory that made Coca Cola cans. I did this for three months and finally got homesick and moved back to Alabama. I started to work in a factory that made steel doors and frames where I welded door frames and loaded trucks. I really wanted to move up in the company and after 3 years in the factory I started working as a draftsman in the engineering office. I really like this a lot better than the factory work. I really regret not going to college and wish that I had gotten a degree. I missed so many opportunities to advance because I didn't have a degree although I still have to say that I have been lucky because I have always had a good job.

I have lived many in many interesting places such as Miami, Atlanta, San Francisco, Detroit, St. Augustine, and Chattanooga as well as Leeds Alabama and Lexington South Carolina.

I like to read adventure novels and science fiction novels. My favorite authors are Ray Bradbury and Clive Cussler. I also like photography and art. Some of my favorite artists are Victor Vasarely, Salvador Dali, Picasso, Juan Miro, and Brian Halsey.

My family includes my wife Susan, son Michael, and daughter Tiffiny. I have two grandsons Blake and Braxton and one grandaughter, Micah.
My father is LeRoy Howard and my mother is Ola Lynette (Stone) Howard.
My three sisters are Janet , Lisa , and Dana.
My Grandparents were John Washington Howard, Mamie Roxanne Howard, Oliver Stone, and Hattie Mae Stone.


SisToPencilMeIn&SimpleMusings said...

Although this is one of those "family comments" I just couldn't resist leaving it because it is nice to hear the memories you have of your childhood with Mama & Daddy. Reading your favorite memories of Daddy made me cry. I remember him always being smart in math also, he always helped me with math and would get mad at me when I said "zero" because he called it "aught." I can remember when I was in the band and brought my clarinet home, he played it just like a pro in my eyes. He also made me a scale rocket model for science class at work when I was in the third grade, now it makes me sick to know it is gone...wish I still had it.
Love you,

Janet said...

Well,I'm one of those family members , but its still nice to see your memories .Those times exploring the sawmill were the best.Although I have to say, I was the last baby born in the Davis Clinic.There were two patients that night, Mama and an elderly lady. I was born, and the lady died.

RHoward454 said...

Thanks for setting me straight. I think that I mentioned before that your memories are much more vivid than mine. You have to be a little forgiving of us old folks with failing memories. ;-)

Thanks for the comments, both of you. Love you both more than you can know (and Lisa too)!!

valerie walsh said...

it is nice to hear someone speak of their childhood and family in such a loving way. your story is interesting and i enjoyed readig about you. i probably sound like a teenager for what i am about to say, your sister janet is one of my new blog friends and i love her blog and artwork and she has a great sense of humour. i am not a teenager and these blogs are like reading peoples diarys only cooler and with pictures!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I ran across your page while looking for information on Carpenters for Christ. When I saw the word Leeds, I decided to read a bit.

I enjoyed your story. Just wanted to say that I have lived in Leeds since 1979 and raised two sons.

So hi from Leeds, Alabama.

Keep writing. It is good for the soul.

Anonymous said...

Although you really may mean the Juan Miro is one of your favourite artists, I expect you reall mean Joan MirĂ³. Have a quick check. If I am right you may wish to change that bit.