We celebrated Easter on Saturday, April 20th. The kids were excited and so were the adults. Talon had three basketball games before the party. Leslie brought eggs filled with Slime and a few unicorns for Mercer. Of course there was plenty of candy and other healthy choices. This was Oliver’s first Easter and he watched everything with interest. The Easter Bunny brought him yummy baby food and teething biscuits. Gene is in Virginia for two weeks, so he missed the excitement.
Written by Diane
My father-in-law, Gene Earl, died on Sunday, May 13th– – Mother’s Day 2018. We will miss him. The truth of the matter is that we began missing him a year or so ago. He had dementia for at least the last year and a half of his life. Apparently, he died of dementia, or at least that is what his death certificate states.
Gene was a larger-than-life person. I know, I know, everyone says that, but he really was. He had friends everywhere and if he walked into a room or a business, you knew he had arrived. He was an extrovert until the very end. Gene always looked for an opportunity to insert a joke or do something that made others laugh or improve their day.
In his graduating class at Cambridge, 1942, he was considered somewhat of the class clown. We have heard of his many antics. In high school, it was said he almost burned the school down. In truth, he was refilling a chemistry bunsen burner when some kerosene spilled and someone at the end of the table was working with a lit torch. Everyone had to evacuate the school. From the crowd outside watching the firemen, the town postman could be heard saying “It’s probably one of those Stephens boys”. Years later, that postman would become his father-in-law, when Gene married his high school sweetheart when he returned home after World War II.
Chuck and his father were very close. After Chuck’s mother died in 1991, we had Gene over for dinner every night for months, then it trickled down to several times a week for years. We were thankful for that because our children grew up very close to their Papa.
For the last ten years, Chuck and his dad had breakfast Monday thru Friday and sometimes on the weekends. In the last few years, he talked less about current events and more about his life when he was young. During those breakfasts with his son, he began talking about his youth in a way that becomes clearer when you are edging closer to the end of life. Gene adored his father and remembered a time when he asked his father if he could have 25 cents for a hamburger and coke after a Friday night football game. His father had one of those coin purses that would open when you pushed the sides. Gene said there was only 50 cents in it, that was all the money he had, but his father gave him 25 cents. He commented that his father gave him half of all the money he had. Gene became blurry eyed when he talked about his Dad.
Gene was patriotic, and proudly flew his American flag every day. He was kind to family, friends, children and strangers. Often he would reminisce about people who had been kind to him and his family when he was growing up during the Depression. He told us stories of the old bakery owner who would let him sweep out the store in exchange for day old donuts, (remembering how proud his mother was when she saw the donut bag); the man who would let him shine his shoes each Saturday for two bits – a far greater amount than the job was worth in those days; the man who gave him a job setting pins at the bowling alley; the farmer who would pay him and his friends a penny for each pigeon they could catch from rafters in his barn, (which was very dangerous). He helped others, but didn’t boast. He personally drove many children to the Shrine Hospital for treatment and carried many crippled children from their family car into the Shrine Circus at the fair grounds. I would say he was a good person.
He learned his work ethics from his Grandpa Metz who would take him out on building sites when he was young. His Grandpa Metz built houses, the kind that are still standing today. Gene recalled the first time he sat down to hammer a nail near the ground. His grandfather told him “Gene, stand up! We’re getting paid to work, not sit”. He never forgot that and worked hard his entire life. Gene was smart and he could fix anything. But, when the work was done, he knew how to play. He always told me he was not done having fun yet.
In the last years of his life, Gene leaned heavily on Chuck for almost everything. That was OK, because Chuck was always ready to help family – solid, loyal and dependable – and he loved his father. In the last weeks of his life, when Gene was most confused, he always recognized Chuck. Chuck could walk into the room and Gene would say “Oh Chuck, I am so glad you’re here”. He was always proud of his son.
Gene Earl was my father-in-law, my husband’s father, my children’s Papa, my grandchildren’s “tickle” Grandpa. We loved him dearly and we will miss him. Rest in peace, sweet man.
We had a fun pre-Easter on Saturday, March 31st with kids and grandkids. Chuck wanted an easy relaxing day, so we had grilled hamburgers and hotdogs (Aaron did the grilling), and various sides. Talon, Beckett and Mercer enjoyed a front-yard Easter Egg Hunt. Love our little family.
September 9, 2013 – Today was the first day I got to see Talon play T-Ball. For being only four years old, he did a great job. He played second base the entire game.
( Four year olds only play 2 innings.) Best of all, his first time at bat he hit it out of the infield and the second time he hit it about 5 feet directly in front of home plate. He made it on base both times. We had a big McDonald’s celebration after the game.
After a big meal of chopped BBQ brisket sandwiches, taco burgers, chips, fresh pineapple, watermelon, grapes, warm ganache covered brownies, and homemade ice cream we decided we better swim off a few calories.
More pictures can be seen HERE.
We took my father to Las Vegas for his 90th birthday. It is his favorite place to go. He played blackjack for 4 days, we went out to Hoover Dam because he wanted to see if the bridge was finished over the dam, we shopped, and we had a birthday party at an Italian restaurant.
We stayed at the Luxor Hotel. That is an experience. The Luxor is built like an Egyptian Pyramid. In the rooms, the outside walls are on an angle. The elevator also goes up on an angle. We stayed on the 27th floor.
Probably the luckiest gambler was my daughter, Leslie. There was one night she just couldn’t lose. Every time she put $20 in a machine she doubled or tripled her money. One time she made $150. The rest of us… not so lucky. But, we had a good time.
More pictures can be found HERE.
November 17, 2012
I have never had season football tickets, because I never seem to have time to go to all of the games. However, I try to go to a game or two every year. The last 2 weekends I was lucky enough to acquire Club Level tickets. Diane and I always have a good time when we get these tickets due to all of the free buffets and great hospitality. Better yet, OSU won both games.
More pictures can be seen HERE. Some of the pictures make the stadium look empty, but we arrived at the stadium an hour early.
I lived at Woodlake Apartments in 1973 when I met Diane. For our anniversary, I rented an apartment for the night at the same complex where we met. I was hoping to get the same apartment I had in 1973, but someone lived there. However, I was able to get one very close to the original apartment. We had a great time walking around the facility, swimming at the fitness center, and having dinner at the clubhouse.
It was very romantic and nostalgic. It also reminded me of just how small of a space you needed as a young adult, about 850 sq. ft. When you are 23, you have nothing. If I had to move back there today, I would have to sell everything because we couldn’t possibly take everything with us, except maybe a swim suit to hang in the closet.
Pictures can be found HERE.
September 18, 2010 – It was hot, but we went to the OU game today anyway. We managed Continue reading OU Football
March 28, 2010 – Journey to a time of kings, queens, and knights and shining armor at the Medieval Fair. That is what Diane and I did this weekend. Continue reading Medieval Fair in Norman