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Father's Day, 2012

Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012, at 4:07 PM

Daddy Whittle was a hard-working, successful farmer, who gambled on Mississippi river boats during non-farming months. As a tyke, when he gambled in local gambling rooms in Canalou, Morehouse, Charter Oak and Hill's Store, he'd let me sit on his knee with two firm instructions: "Don't talk while Daddy's playing poker," and "Don't tell your mother where we've been..."

He was a "larger than life" figure to a little boy, and I never told Momma Whittle where we'd been...

He died when I was age 6, in a grinding car crash in 1950. I wonder what he would do and say about our world in 2012.

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Retired recently as world-traveled newspaperman, career made possible by late Superintendent of Schools Robert L. Rasche, about to have Bootheel life book published by SEMO State University. Loved farm life, but knew at five years old, didn't want to be a "cotton picker" when I grew up.
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