Monday, October 27, 2014


My Heros, Champions, Idols, or Simply put the Superstars of My Life

The quintessence influences of my life, this is what I want to write about, the people who influenced me the most and helped make me the person I am today. The famous, I think I will leave the infamous for a later time, and the not so famous, no that's not exactly right, I mean the celebrities, and other famous people and the people who were most important to me, my family. I will start this series with my father.


This is my father, Lee Kuykendall, a handsome man, handsome enough to be a movies star.

I know all little girls adore and idolize their fathers and I was no different. My mom left my dad when I was 18 months old, so I never really knew what it was like to have a mom and dad, but my father took my brother and I and raised us. He was stubborn, tender, intelligent, hard working, compassionate, generous, and my daddy. I know he had faults, but I was blind to most of them. He was a single father, and we went to live with my grandparents, his mother and father, I will discuss them later.

My dad was born in Johnson City, Texas on October 13, 1914. He was one of a set of fraternal twins, he is the smiling one on the left and his brother Leland is on the right. Dad was always the mischievous one thinking up some kind of mischief of one kind or another. He was probably thinking of something when this photograph was taken. He grew up on a cattle ranch first in Texas, then in New Mexico where grandpa moved when he thought that Texas grew too crowded.  He and his twin were the next to the youngest in a family of nine living children. He had two sisters, and six brothers, so grandpa had a good amount of sons to help him run his cattle ranch. Dad was a cowboy in the truest sense of the word, and a hard worker. Grandpa depended on him, and when the war (World War II) came, he was the one that grandpa kept home to help run the ranch. 

Dad is the second from the right, the first is his older brother Les, then dad, then his twin Leland, then the youngest, Bart. These are the younger boys, the older boys were William, Clyde and Claude. Pearl and Annie were the girls. More on them later, as they were also a large influence in my life. But men have always been the biggest influence in my life, as I was basically raised by my father and my brother. My aunts were in a way surrogate mothers in a short period of my life, especially my Aunt Annie. 

My dad, me, Ronnie, and I am unsure if the other person is my cousin Carrol, or one of dad's brothers.
We lived for a while with my grandparents in House, New Mexico on grandpa's cattle ranch. I had free run of the place, and grandma taught me the importance of early to bed and early to rise. We went to bed with the chickens and rose before sun rise. I had to wash my face with cold water and run around the house four or five times to wake me up, then grandma and I made breakfast for the men, who had already milked the cows and other chores. Ronnie, my brother was old enough to do these chores and milked the cows along with grandpa. I don't know how many head of cattle grandpa had, but dad was always out working the range or other chores. 

I don't remember how old I was when dad met her, the worst person in my young life, Zelpha, but meet her he did and he married her. Life changed drastically for my brother and I. We were initiated into a life with a stepmother from hell. The old cliche of the wicked stepmother is so true, because she was Zelpha. She had three children from a former marriage, poor things, I felt pity that she was their mother. Anyway this is not about her, she was one of the infamous people in my life and this is about the champions. 

Dad was a good person, who tried hard to give us a good life, he made some bad choices, but all in all he is my hero, he was always there for me and he was a tender loving father. 

Dad with his father-in-law Frank Beagles. He was always seemed to have some secret that made him smile. I will forever remember him as a happy person, even though there were really hard times and he worked too hard and died too young. 

Dad with his twin brother Leland. Dad grew up to be the tallest one of his siblings. Dad died on January 20, 1981, when he was just 66 years old, younger than I am now. I miss him every day of my life, and cannot imagine what kind of person I would have grown up to be without his tender, compassionate influence. I love you daddy, and I wish I could have had more time with you. Dad, you are my hero!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014



Your leaving left a hole 
in my heart that I cannot mend
my days are filled with busy things 
things to mask the pain
I fill my mind with idle thoughts
to chase away the memories
sweet memories of happy times
that will be no more
I cannot reach through time
and bring them back
no matter how much I want 
so my tears come unbidden
while my willful heart yearns
for what will never be again

Janice Kuykendall  (October 9, 2014)