A Day of Remembrance

Edward P. Durrett was born on September 13, 1894. He lived a few months short of 100 years. He is my husband’s father and became my father-in-law in 1959.

I met him one spring day in 1959 when Dan brought me home from college to meet his parents. They lived on a farm nine miles out of town. On the way, I kept asking Dan, “Are we about there?” I wanted to touch up my lipstick and be sure every hair was in place a few minutes before we arrived.

As Dan pulled into the driveway at the white house on the hill with a windmill turning in the breeze, a swarm of nerves buzzed in my middle. First thing, he took me by the hand and led me toward the barn where his dad was working on his tractor. I think we caught him a little off guard. He turned toward us as we approached, Dan had probably called to him. He smiled and pulled a handkerchief out of his back pocket to wipe the grease off his hand before extending it to me in greeting. The image of this tall, handsome farmer has remained in my memory more than 54 years.

Ed Durrett was a gentleman’s gentleman with a sense of humor that put a sparkle in his blue eyes. A man of patience and understanding. Wise and intelligent with the ability to make each of his children feel they were his favorite. This extended to his daughter’s-in-law.

I never heard him speak ill of anyone, except politicians. And, the story goes that he said a curse word when his eldest grandson hit him in the head with a hammer.

The best thing I remember about Ed Durrett is that he gave me the greatest gift. He taught his son well and I have a husband who is almost a blue-print of his father’s character. (I think my sisters-in-law will say the same about the son of Ed Durrett they married.)

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