Martin Newton Neill
October 16, 1922 - February 17, 2012
Because of my Father
Because of my father, I have always had a roof over my head and did not need to worry about food and shelter.
Because of my father, growing up, I lived in many different places. This was one of my favorite parts of being an Airforce child. I learned people are people, everywhere you go. There are different customs in different areas but all people have hearts and feelings.
Because of my father, I was taught to be respectful...you see he was a Colonel in the Airforce and if I did not jump before he said jump, it was too late. There was never any doubt about who was the BOSS...I grew up in that generation that was told, more often than not..."Just wait till your father gets home."
Because of my father, my mother was able to keep our feet fitted in Buster Brown shoes. Speaking of shoes...
Because of my father, I took Ballet lessons. He loved ballet dancing and it would have suited him just fine had I been a ballet danceer as an adult. To this day, my hand, when raised, automatically goes into arabesque position.
Because of my father, I ate Frog Legs when I was little...but I was told they were chicken legs, as they knew I would have nothing to do with them otherwise.
Because of my father, I do not play golf.. he tried to teach me how to play and patience was not one of my father's virtues. Thankfully, I rebelled against golf, as my husband often teases me that we cannot afford two golfers in our family.
Because of my father, my mother was able to enjoy many simple, as well as extravagant things in life, which in turn, trickled down to her children.
Because of my father, many of my dinner parties were enhanced with his story telling skills. He was full of entertaining stories...especially stories about flying , which he loved.
Because of my father, I was taught More is Better...my favorite illustration of this concept is...
I had moved into a new home in the late 70's. My dad was helping me put grass in the front yard. We were sowing seeds. In order to keep the seeds from blowing away or the birds eating them, sand was sprinkled over the seeds. Before sowing the seeds, my yard underwent LOTS of plowing, fertilizing and making the soil ready for the grass to grow. After the sand went down, we, of course, had left over seed. Remember..better to have too much than too little. My dad suggested we offer the leftovers to my next door neighbors. My neighbors had done absolutely nothing to their yeard...no plowing, no prepartion, absolutely nothing. I did not think they would want the seed. I was wrong. They took the seed, threw it around on the yard and that was that. Weeks later, guess what...they had a yard full of grass and I did not. Dad had us put so much sand on top of the seed that it could not push it's way through. We had to start over!
Because of my father, I learned to try, at times, to admit if I was wrong...for you see, my father would seldom admit he was wrong or had made a mistake. Funny how all of these stories are related to yards... With a Tiff yard it is necessary to airate every now and then. It did not take all day to do the job so dad asked Randy, my husband, if we would like to rent a machine for a day and do his yard and ours. Dad got the machine home and tried to start it, over and over again... the whole time bitching and moaning about the rental place renting him a piece of garbage. Randy got the machine back in the jeep and the two of them went back to the store. As my dad read him the riot act, the gentleman apologized about the machine and went through the steps aain of how to use the machine. Again, my dad acting disgusted with getting a bum machine the first time... Upon leaving, my dad, once back in the jeep, ever so quietly, said to Randy,"I might have forgotten to turn on the switch!"
Because of my father, growing up, we always, and I mean always, had dessert with every evening meal. Most of the time this consisted of homemade pies, cakes or cookies. It wasn't until I was an adult, out on my own, that I realized dessert was not a major food group. I think my father probably coined the phrase.. " Eat dessert first"