Last week I wrote a short post (toward the end of the post) about my dad building a cabin in Red River. Thanks to my friend, John, he sent the post to Billy, whom I mentioned in the story. Billy sent this little addendum:
Thanks for the info. All that she said is true with a few corrections and additions. I did help Otto that summer and I was 14. Had a great summer and learned a lot about carpentry from Otto. And like all good teachers, he taught me many life lessons as well (He was a great man.) The roof story has one more point. I was over six foot tall at 14 and probably weighed a buck ten. Muscle was hard to come by. As Otto climbed down to view our angle, Milton Monashagan drove by and stopped to talk. He and Otto talked for what seemed like an hour, probably not more than a few minutes, while I struggled to hold the rafters in place. Afraid to say anything, I held on for all I was worth. Finally, Milton suggested that maybe I needed some help as Otto remembered he had left me in a difficult state. He did indeed nail the rafters in place and we lived to work another day. Thanks.
Some would probably ask, "Why didn't Billy just put the rafters down and wait". Well, you would have had to know my dad. For all my dad's fun-lovin' ways, he was very strict - he was a school principal and he did have strong principles when it came to kids and how they should act. Sometimes Dad would laugh at something; other times he would get on you pretty quick. As a kid, it was hard to tell when or what Dad would do. It was better to act respectful and obedient. Dad loved Billy like he was one of his own and he treated him as such. Dad demanded a certain respect, and he was tough, but loving. I think that is why no matter how strict Dad was, most kids/young people loved him. And the playful side of Dad - his smile, his easy laughter, well, that was the really great part. I had my share of building with Dad, and those times were great fun.