Ira Verne Gleason, Sept. 17, 1901 to Jan. 21, 1969
By Bob Gleason
Growing up, Dad had the opportunity to go to high school in Wilmore, Kentucky (Asbury School), but after a year or so of that he decided that was not for him. Dad was stocky in build—short legs, I inherited them — but he was a fast runner. I understand he could run a 100 yard dash in 10.5 seconds, which was a half second faster than I ever managed!
Some where along the way, he learned to play golf—wooden shafts, etc. When his son, Don, took up golf at Fort Hays University, he was a fast learner, and made the golf team his sophomore year. Even though Dad hadn’t played for years, it was only natural that they wound up playing 9 holes of golf on the then sand-greens Larned course. Dad won!
In some ways, Dad was an anomaly. He was very reluctant to speak publicly, but had a beautiful tenor voice and would sing duets with daughter, Vergene, and sang in a male quartet consisting of two other farmers, James Tanner and Earl Adams (his wife, Eunice, played the piano for them and is still living as I write this, age 104!), and Mr. Ewy, the Radium Supt. of Schools. My oldest brother, Bud, sang with them when Mr Ewy moved away.
Dad and his three sons sang at my Grandma Broadbooks’ funeral.
Another anomaly of Dad’s was that he in some ways seemed to be very assertive and self-confident, but at the same time often would find it hard to make necessary day-to-day decisions that had to be made concerning the farming and the small herd of Registered Polled Hereford cattle that he had.More than once, I remember Dad standing at the bottom of the basement stairs trying to decide which of many tasks should be tackled first that day, and Mom, out of frustration, would suggest/tell him what to do that day.
Long sleeved shirts, bib overalls, and a straw hat were a daily necessity for Dad. He had red curly hair and the light complexion to go with it. It was impossible for him to get a suntan. The red hair did not surface in the family again until the second generation
Speaking of hair, Grandma Gleason never allowed Dad’s curly locks to be cut until he was 5 or 6 years old. There is a large picture of him, hair uncut, with the actual curls hanging around the photograph which is still in the family.
When painting finally arrived on the scene—remember, the old house never saw a drop of paint — Dad would have to meticulously describe and demonstrate to us exactly how to properly handle a paint brush, regardless of our age. As I recall, we would patiently keep our mouths shut until he finished his demonstration and then proceed to do it our own way!.
The home place (160 acres) always had a mortgage on it, occasionally needing to be extended if it had been a bad year financially. Dad was fortunate that he had the farm and the Registered Polled Herefords. More than once, when one was bad the other was good, allowing us to survive.
Dad obviously grew up farming with horses and mules —unbelievably a slow process by today’s standards! The clock was never an issue in the early 1900’s. You got up with the sun and quit work when it was too dark to see. At some point, in our late high school years, Don and I negotiated for a 6:00 a.m. — 6: 00 p.m. work day, except during harvest.
I helped haul a truck load of old harness to the dump around 1950. If we still had it today it would probably be worth several thousand dollars!
It was in September, 1959 when I got the dreaded call. Young heifers that were having their first calves would have to have help in the birthing process. That involved reaching in, attaching a chain to the hind legs of the calf, and pulling hard. That is what Dad was doing when he had a serious stroke.
I don’t know how long it was before Mom found him, but she did get an ambulance called. They got Dad to the Gleason Hospital in time to save his life, but serious damage had been done. Obviously, strokes, heart attacks, etc. can happen to a person any time, regardless of age or general health condition. However, Dad had been significantly overweight for many years, and was not prone to go to Uncle Doc for any kind of regular checkups.
It goes without saying that from that moment forward, Dad’s remaining days were changed forever. There will be more about this when I write about my Mom, but suffice it to say, Dad let us know we needed to get the guns out of the house. Being a typical male, he wished that the stroke had been fatal.
Dad was eventually rehabilitated to where he could walk with a cane and could talk. But his left side was permanently paralyzed. For a few years he was able to drive the pickup around the farm if he had help getting in.
Fortunately, we had just that summer gotten the new house roughed in on top of the basement house, and by the time Dad came home from the hospital, it was livable upstairs. They had designed the house with a large picture window facing west, and he was able to see the cattle and enjoy the yard and landscaping during his remaining years.
Unfortunately, our kids’ only real memories of their Granddad was after the stroke. As we can say over and over again in relationship to our human existence, life isn’t always fair! I will always remember the last time we were able to bring Dad back to the farm just a few days before he died—one of us sitting tn the back seat holding his head up so he could see. A truly bitter-sweet moment.
When the Lord finally took him home, lung cancer was the ultimate cause of death. Remember the years of smoking? It’s true that people that never smoke can die of lung cancer, but the odds are dramatically increased in a person’s favor if they don’t.
I will always remember that Dad attended every ball game regardless of the farming needs. There are no childhood memories of Dad saying ”I love you”, but there was never any doubt that he did. Actions can speak louder than words, but the words are still important!
Received this from Jim Penka.
”This is more than challenging - it’s humiliating.
I hesitate to call it fun, but actually it was.
No wonder we don’t understand what’s going on over there!
Click on country name and drag the country’s name onto the map to the proper position.
There is no score or time limit. This is a learning tool. Don’t be afraid to make an error, try again [and again, if need be!] and once you have finished the puzzle you will be
far more educated about this very intense part of our world.”
Copy and paste this link.