My Daddy, Floyd Otto Spencer, age 18 (?)
BY THEODORE ROETHKE
All rights reserved.
- A Note To My Readers: I have edited, added to, and rewritten a lot of my first two blogs, Chapters One and Two of “My Memoirs” titled: I Was Born a “Saint,” and “House of Cards.”
You may want to go back and reread those two blogs because it will help you better understand what my intentions are in writing my life’s history. Plus it will fill you in on a lot of information I hadn’t thought to put in my Memoir blogs when I dived in head first and began writing “my book” two weeks ago.
Also, I realized, it’s probably pertinent to tell you a bit about my roots — my parents, et Al — before I get into a full-fledged writing of my own story. I was tempted to go on where I left off last week when I “entered this world bass-ackwards,” but decided some backstory would be relevant right now, instead.
But in a sense, I have continued where I left off last week, because I put the cart before the horse: I started my memoirs bass-ackwards, it appears, by getting myself born before I told you anything about how I got here in the first place — That is, as the quote says above, “We all come from the past, and children — or in this case, my readers — ought to know what it is that went into my making.”
So here goes — a bit of the tale of how I got here “from the past,” and some of what went into my making: (I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. It was sort of like having Daddy around again!)
My Daddy, Part 1
My handsome five-foot-10.5-inch, black-haired, black-eyed, dark-skinned (when tanned) father was a hot-tempered, strict, shy, witty, sharp-tongued, short-fused and gifted man. “Daddy,” as we called him, was also a sensitive Artist and Creative.
Born July 27, 1895 in Marion, Michigan. He died on my birthday, April 18, 1965, in Colonia LeBaron, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico. His death was the outcome of a freak “accident.” I believe Mother (Esther LeBaron Spencer) and her brother, my Uncle Ervil LeBaron, had a hand in it. (I will relate this whole incident in my upcoming Memoirs.)
Born in a backwoods frontier town, Daddy was very much of pioneer stock. His parents were mostly of English descent, he believed. He was unable to track his full genealogy. But one thing we know for sure is Winston Spencer Churchhill, former statesman and Prime Minister of Great Britain, was his second cousin.
One Sunday afternoon, in our small living room, lit only by light from the windows and fireplace, Mother was giving Daddy his routine, expert-looking haircut, when we children, catching Daddy “Captive,” saw a good chance to gather around his knees and pepper him with questions about his parents, grandparents, and past.
He was usually busy working. And even now he was hesitant to answer all our forward questions. But when asked about his bloodline, he sheepishly responded:
“My grandmother on my mother’s side was a full-blooded Mohawk Indian squaw. I used to visit her in her hogan from time to time.” He was embarrassed to admit this. But then he added:
“She was a typical Indian … Sweet, poor, and no furniture to speak of. I can still see her squatting on the floor as she did her routine work in her dark little hogan that had only one window and a fire burning in the middle of the room — smoke rising up and out through a hole in the ceiling.”
This helps to explain why Daddy used to chide Mother, when he saw her squatting on the floor sorting beans or such. He’d cry: “You look like an old Indian squaw! Get up and sit on a chair at the table to sort your beans — like a civilized human being!!”
However, after joining the LeBaron cult and learning from my uncles the Mormon beliefs Joseph Smith taught about the American Indians — that they “were part of the lost ten tribes of Israel, and were going to play a very important role in the last days,” Daddy made an effort to get in touch with the indigenous American Indian side of himself.
He even began to exhibit pride in being at least one-quarter American Indian. I say “at least” because he was not sure of his full heritage — only that his mother was half American Indian.
But one day he took a trip to visit the Hopi and Navajo Indian villages in Arizona and New Mexico, returning home feeling very exhilarated, uplifted, and more proud than ever of his Indian heritage. It rubbed off on me: I’m at least one-eighth American Indian, and proud of it.
*Continued in My Memoirs: My Daddy, Pt 2.
PS: It has come to my attention that some people think they can only get to my website through one of my social media sites such as Facebook. So let me give you my URL. That way you may access my Website directly: https://StephanySpencer.com — Stephany with a “y.”
If you click on my “Follow” button and leave me your e-mail address, each time a new blog is posted, you will get an e-mail alerting you. My cell phone number, in case you would like to call me, is 818-624-8522.
I would love feedback from my readers. Your comments, “Like’s,” etc., help guide and motivate what I, a writer, will write next. I would really appreciate it, also, if you would let me know, through comments or calls, if you find any spelling or grammatical errors — or any other errors in my writings.
I have nobody editing nor critiquing what I write before I post it. So your feedback is important. Thank you in advance for any time you take to let me know these vital things. And know you are much appreciated!
Now, till next time, thank you for visiting my website — And for reading especially my blogs that tell you what my Memoir’s intentions are. And thank you for just being you!
Cheers and enjoy!
Stephany Spencer/AKA: Beulah Spencer Tucker de LeBaron