View Full Version : Learning this about my dad was a shock!

12-21-2009, 04:59 AM
I never knew my grandfather. He died when my dad was off fighting the Korean War. Died of pnuemonia though he had been sick for a while. My dad died two and a half years ago.

I worked in the oil fields around here since I was in high school but the oil and gas boom did not take off here until the 1970s. When my dad was a young man the only profession around here that one could work in was in the sheep and cattle industry.

My dad sheared sheep back then as did my grandfather. It was a trade I learned when I was growing up. Shearing is seasonal. There is one season in the early spring right before lambing, another in the late fall. These are full shears. When the sheep are completely shorn. There is another right before breeding when the ewes are trimmed around the rump to provide easier access to the goods for the rams.

To make really good money, a couple of shearing crews would go to North Dakota and shear for some operations up there that had sheep numbering in the tens of thousands. This required the putting up of camps. The weather up there was quite different from Texas. Colder and wetter with snow sometimes.

Through out the year, the guys who ran the shearing crews would advance money to the shearers and this always came out of the North Dakota cuts. My grandfather was into one of these guys for alot of money. When the time for the trip to North Dakota came up, my grandfather was having lung problems. He was practically bedridden. The shearing contractor wanted his money and through intimidation and threats of not hiring him for the local cuts made him go.

It turned out that the weather was unseasonably cold in North Dakota. Because of his bad lungs and weakened condition, my grandfather caught pnuemonia. A couple of my dad's friends wanted my grandfather to head back but he wanted to pay the guy off. The contractor wanted his money. It came down to my dad's two friends having my grandfather's debt deducted from their pay. My grandfather came back to Texas and died not long after.

My dad and his brother were plucked from the battlefield in Korea and brought home to attend the funeral. It was the last time my dad and his brother saw each other alive, my uncle was killed in Korea not long after.

After the war my dad went back to shearing sheep and a few years later he met and married my mom. It was then that he learned that my grandfather through threats and intimidation had been practically forced to go to North Dakota and as a result died.

Yesterday, I had a woman I had never met come to my house and tell me her father wanted to see me. When she gave me the name of her father I recognized it as one of my dad's life long friends. I had never really dealt with the man or spoke to him much. But as he was in hospice care and dying, I was wondering what he wanted to see me about. Turns out he wanted absolution. He had kept a secret for over 50 years and did not want to take it to the grave. He told me that my father had stabbed that shearing contractor to death once he learned what he done to intimidate my grandfather into going to North Dakota. He had been instumental in making it happen as he had lured the contractor out to where my dad killed him. He had been one of the ones who had paid off my grandfather's debt.

I never knew this about my father. It is something that I never thought he could ever do. But it also makes me see why he reacted like he did when he learned about me shooting Elogio in Mexico. He took it much harder than I did. But now I understand why.

12-21-2009, 05:45 AM
Parents and relatives often lived through some hard stuff, and while they may fill you in on some of the story, you might not always get the whole thing, unabridged. My dad is Hungarian, and he lived in Hungary during WW2, was a sailor on the Danube river during the reconstruction of Europe as a teenager, and he was a partisan fighting the Soviets when they invaded Hungary in 1956. He was eventually forced to flee to America because if the Communists caught him, he would have been hung. He's told me some stories about what it was like, but I know he's left out quite a bit of the more graphic details. He especially doesn't talk about the Soviet invasion very much...

Bubba Dawg
12-21-2009, 09:23 PM
Amazing story.

Paying debts and settling scores, old school.

12-22-2009, 01:11 AM
Amazing story.

Paying debts and settling scores, old school.

I think that this would make a good short film. I have been think about writing it up as such.