Fatherís Day And A Special Feeling

From The White County Historical Society

ith Fatherís Day approaching, esteemed White County historian Cloie Presley shares this memory of her Dad on a small farm near Heber Springs more than half a century ago..

A special feeling is very dear to me from the period before I was 14 years old. When my father went to town, it was usually after dark when he got home, especially in the winter when the days were short and the roads were bad. As darkness came on and we came in from "doing up the work" (now called chores), there was something missing when Dad was not there. I was not afraid but it was just something missing.

We would go outside and listen and we could hear wagons on the road about two miles away (much closer as the crow flies). At first it would be just a wagon but there is a difference in the sound of wagons just as there is in the sounds of cars.

After we heard the wagon we could tell just about the exact location Ė the sound of crossing a bridge, the crossing of a rocky ridge, then silence or very little sound as the wagon went through a very muddy place. We could be sure it was Dad when he was still about a mile away but when he was about a quarter from the house he would begin to whistle.

I have stood outside until I was almost frozen just to hear that whistle. It was his own special tune, nothing beautiful or outstanding about it. But to me it said, "Dadís home, my world is complete and now everything is fine." I wish all children in the world could know that special feeling.