Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kennith Marlow Scoggins

Kennith Marlow Scoggins, my dad, was born on January 25, 1920. The 70 years that he lived, he enjoyed life to its fullest. As I thought about what I wanted to say, it was hard to get it down to this short space. So for this, I decided to touch on a few facets of his life.

1. He loved the land and animals. After attending Draughan's Business college and fighting in WWII, he returned to the place he loved - the farm. He took over my mom's parents land and started his life as a rancher/farmer. In his 40 years of farming, he farmed a large percentage of land around Gunter or had cows on the land. He had the patience of Job when it came to his cows.

2. He loved to hunt. The opening day of dove season was almost as big of holiday as Christmas to our family. Next would be the opening day of deer season. He was a good shot - even until the end. Tommy Kinnaird told the story that he was with Daddy on his last deer hunt to Big Bend country. Daddy told Tommy where to get that the big one would come by the stand. They were together. Sure enough, the big one came by; and Daddy told Tommy to take the shot that he was a little shaky. Tommy shot and missed. He said Uncle Kennith - your turn. BAM! One shot and the buck was dead. Tommy said he was a good shot until the very end. Many animals lost their life to Daddy.

He also loved the deer lease and the stories. Some great stories were told by Daddy and Uncle Jess.

One of the last hunts.
3. He loved to talk. Daddy never met a stranger. If someone came to Gunter looking for land, he would meet up with them and drive them around. He may have been one of Gunter's first realtors. His pay was to get to talk to someone new to tell stories to. If he was not farming, you could find him at one of the local hangouts for men - one of the gins, gas stations, the domino hall, or Martinek Grain.

After one of his first major heart attacks, he was in the hospital with a No Visitor sign on the door. The nurses realized they kept disappearing,  in which they found them in the drawer. He was taking them down, so he could have company to talk to.

Driving around was another of his past time activities. The local people knew to watch out for him. It was good that when he was alive, Gunter was still a rural community with not much traffic on 289. Today he would be run over easily.



4. He loved his family, and he wanted us around. One of the sweetest stories about him and mother was three days before he died was their wedding anniversary. He was recovering from surgery in bed at home. That morning before breakfast, he wanted Mother to bring him a one dollar bill. Of course she argued with him that he did not need it that he was not going to get to go anywhere that day. He kept on until she brought him the dollar. He had cut or torn a heart out of the Sherman Democrat and put a 50 dollar bill in it. He gave it to her and told her there was a dollar for every year they had been married - 49 years.

I could go on forever with stories about this man. He always had a twinkle in his bright blue eyes and a smile.


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