HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS
Daddy was always daddy to me—never dad or pop, and certainly not the formal father. He was only twenty-one years old when I, the oldest of three children, was born. I always remember him as a modest man, somewhat shy, who remained reserved until he got to know the people he was with.
Daddy obeyed the gospel in October of 1948. I was ten years old at the time and well remember the event. He was baptized in a lake north of town before the evening service of a gospel meeting. When we arrived back at the place of the meeting for the services that evening, Paul Simon the preacher, said, “Brother Fulford, I will call on you to lead our closing prayer this evening.” Two hours or so after his baptism, daddy led his first public prayer! (Note: Churches today who think they have to have a highly organized involvement ministry might take a lesson from this!)
Daddy loved the Lord, the church, and the Bible. I do not know how many times he read the Bible through, but I know it was many, many times. He loved my mother and his children, and he showed that love in so many ways. He loved good singing, good preaching, and faithful preachers. He enjoyed discussing the Bible with others, especially preachers whom he respected.
Daddy worked hard all his life and made many sacrifices for his children. He saw to it that neither he nor his family ever suffered deprivation. At two different stages in their lives, mother and daddy raised chickens (in addition to their regular jobs).
I recall going with daddy to the woods, getting on the other end of a crosscut saw, and cutting wood for the fireplace with which we heated our home in northwest Florida.
I recall him getting up early and driving me over my morning paper route on rainy days.
I remember him severely rebuking me for playing the pinball machine at the local bus station. To him I was wasting my time, wasting my paper route money (a nickel a game, as I recall), and worst of all…to him I was gambling! How I talked myself out of a whipping the second time he caught me engaging in that idle, time-wasting activity I will never know!
Daddy loved corny jokes and good clean fun. One year as the Christmas season approached, he told the Carbine boys (his Florence AL neighbors three boys) that he had heard on the radio that Christmas might be canceled that year. Talk about three crestfallen little fellows! All three of those boys, now successful businessmen in Florence and Nashville (one now deceased), served as pallbearers at daddy’s funeral, and all made nice monetary contributions to various Christian causes in his memory.
While he knew full well that what he was saying was incorrect, he always referred to bankruptcy as bankruptured. He thought that was a more graphic way of describing the matter. Being a man of modest means and always frugal in his finances, daddy could never understand why people who made a lot of money could be so foolish in money matters as to go backruptured.
Daddy took pride in his house, yard, and garden. Everything around the house was always neat and clean and in its place. He could not stand weeds, trash, and clutter. He lived by the motto, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” When driving though the countryside, if he saw a piece of property that was not properly cared for he would say it looked like a throwed away place.
I remember going with him on his preaching appointments to the small country churches in Walton and Holmes Counties in Florida. I remember saying to him on the way to church one Sunday that I would like to preach some Sunday. That day he announced to the congregation that when he returned in two weeks I would deliver the lesson. This was at the PleasantValleyChurch of Christ, south of Ponce de Leon, Florida. I was fourteen years old, perhaps had just turned fifteen, and maybe had made one or two talks at the Liberty Church of Christ in Walton County. But the “sermon” at PleasantValley was among my first feeble, boyish efforts to stand before an audience and present a lesson from the Bible.
Daddy was not a perfect man; he was human, but I am not conscious of any glaring faults in his life. I never heard him use profanity of any kind, though he had a few slang expressions that he used before he became a Christian. He promptly stopped smoking, cold turkey, when he obeyed the gospel. He often said he could not picture Jesus going around with a cigarette hanging out of His mouth. He was simple in his personal tastes, a little peculiar when it came to his eating, knew nothing of worldly sophistication, but was always a true gentleman.
Daddy passed from this world to that land that is fairer than day on October 17, 2004, two weeks to the day following his 88th birthday. He had been a Christian for fifty-six years. Precious memories!
June 19: Hillcrest Church of Christ, Springfield, TN
June 26: Wingate Church of Christ, Nashville, TN
July 3: Dalraida Church of Christ, Montgomery, AL
June 18, 2013