52 Faces: 4/52 – Roy

The next person in my 52 Faces series is my dad. I’ve written about him before, which you can find here.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: Roy.

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Hometown: McDavid, FL

Education: B.S. in Forest Management from Auburn University

Occupation: Happily Retired…now pursuing all of his hobbies without the hinderance of a 9-5. He is a tender of chickens, lover of nature and animals, avid gardener, motorcycle tinkerer/rider, wonderful musician, nature guide to anyone who asks…and also a happy host to absolutely any friend of mine that should cross his path.

Personal: Married to my mom, Marina, for 39 years. He and my mom met in their early teens, and to hear him tell it, he’s been smitten with her since day one. If anyone wants a lesson on how to love someone with wreckless abandon, you should take notes from my dad. He is the dad to my brother (Jacob) and I. Poppa to Helen, Elizabeth, Maxwell and Adelaide.

Fun Facts:  The youngest of five children, he was the president of his high school senior class. After high school, he went to Jump School at Fort Benning with the US Army, 82nd Airborne Division…willingly jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. After his time in the Army, he married my mom and moved to Auburn to get a degree in Forestry. They eventually settled down in Century, FL, just a short drive north from where he grew up…and the next few decades were spent raising my brother and I. Once we had flown the nest, my parents bought some land in Brewton, AL…on a gorgeous creek, with an unfortunate name (Murder Creek). There they built an amazing house, and now spend much quality time on the various porches…listening to birds, sipping a cold drink, grilling delicious dinners, keeping company with their dog (Jenkins) cats and chickens…and welcoming any friends or family who should come their way.

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What is your first, most vivid memory?- “Playing in the yard at Maw’s house..my mother’s mom…while she shelled pecans for us.”

What was your first job?- “When I was young, I delivered papers for the News Journal. I also worked in the ice house in Atmore, AL. We pulled ice and delivered it…to places like the vegetable markets that needed ice to cool their produce for shipment on the railroad.”

What made you want to become a forester?- “I always liked the natural world, so a career like that appealed to me. I had a high school science teacher and counselor named Ann C. Hall. She graduated with my daddy…she was valedictorian, and he settled for salutatorian (even though they had the same grade point average). Her husband, Mr. Key, was a forester who also served in the 82 Airborne Division in WWII. I was one of five kids, and there wasn’t a lot of extra money…but, I knew I wanted to go to school, even though I wasn’t ready. Mrs. Ann encouraged me to enlist in the Army, and that I could try to go into the Airborne (which I did). That enabled me to get a college education in Forestry.”

What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted, but still don’t have?- “I don’t wish for a whole lot of things, so I don’t really know of anything I’m longing for.”

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You always have a great joke, saying or life lesson to share. Give me one.- “Well, I was telling your mom the other day to beware of the clowns and chameleons in life. The clown will want you to think that they are someone that they are not. The chameleon will change, depending on where he is. Clowns and chameleons: you gotta watch ’em.”

Who is someone you greatly admire, and why?- “That’s hard, I admire a lot of people..so, it’s hard to pick one above all of the rest. But, if you’re asking me to name one, I guess I’d say Mother Teresa. It didn’t matter how dangerous or unpopular something might be…she was going to go and do it, if it helped someone. And, unlike a lot of folks, who like to sing their hymns but are really trying to lay up wealth…well, I don’t think a piece of gold would have meant much at all to Mother Teresa.”

Do you have a favorite quote?- “Do what you can…with what you have…where you are…in the time that you have.”

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