Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Life Well Lived

It has been fifteen years since my Father passed away.  
And I would like to remember him with a collection of
some of my favorite pictures.  
Papa with my Uncle Ben

Papa with Nanny and Uncle Ben

Papa with his Derby car on Broad Street
Papa with Papa T and an officer

Papa with Bess, Uncle Ben and Nanny

Lt. Charles H. Estes, Jr.

My Mom and Dad

Chuck, Elizabeth, Papa, Mother
Hope and Larry

In my Father's last dictation he reflected on the paths he
could have chosen, and now some fifty years later,
it was the right path...and a life well lived.

"I had signed a contract with a company to go to
South America and fly C-47s over the Andes to mining
camps back in the sticks, so to speak; they had landing
fields there and I'm sure it would land a C-47 safely.
But I got home and my father was running Motor
Parts Company all by himself, and the boy that had
worked there with him before the service, before the war,
Otto Carter, he had been killed over in Australia on a mission.
He was a pilot -- not a pilot but he was a gunner on a bomber,
and this bomber was shot down and he was killed. 
Well, anyway, my father needed my help and
I realized that when I saw the situation as it was
when I got home, so I determined that I would stay
around Yazoo City, and do what I could to help him,
and so I canceled the contract that I had with these
people and let that fly over the mountain and forgot
about it forever.  
But, when you stop and look back at your life and
you see how things are now, and you try to compare
it to what they might have been, you don't know
where you would be had you taken a turn off in the
road and gone a different direction.  
So I'm sitting here at home and I'm talking to you
Elizabeth.  It's hard to argue with that I took any
wrong turns in my life.  I seem to be ahead of the
dogs even though the dogs were pretty close at times,
but I'm still ahead of 'em.  I'm 76 years old and my
health is not bad, and I'm very pleased to be able
to sit here and tell you about my experiences. 
I hope -- this is about as far as I can go with any
war experiences that I had or anything that happened
to me in my life. 

My father, when he retired, turned Motor Parts Company
over to Ben and myself and we ran it until my health
was such that I was not being a value to him, so I decided
to retire and I took the money that I got from the sale of
Motor Part, my share of Motor Parts Company and tried
to invest it as wisely as I could so that I wouldn't throw
it away.  If I had not used it and done something worthy
in a constructive way at the time that I got out, I'm sure
that it would be long gone now and not helped anybody. 
But I managed to do some fairly wise things.
Your mother and I each have a burial policy and
we have health insurance aside from our Medicare,
and we have extended care so that should we get to a
point where we need to go to a convalescent home
then it's taken care of, so I feel that I've done pretty
well with the money that was given to me for my share
in Motor Parts Company. 
I still go down there to get my mail because my mail
still goes to box 169 and that's Motor Parts Company. 
It makes your mother a little mad at times to think about
me having to go down there to get my mail when
it could be sent out here, but I don't know what it
would take to change that, I'd have to write too many people.

Anyway it's been a pleasure talking to you.
I hope that you can make something from what I have
said to you, and if there anything in here that is not clear
let me know and I will be in touch with you and
straighten it out with you as closely as I can."

Charles H. Estes, Jr. (December 1922-October 1999) 

1 comment:

  1. Reading this was like talking to Papa again. I miss him.