Gitter Dunn - 2nd HALF in Text - plus full AUDIO version
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This is the 2nd Half - sorry, this is the only way to get my long pieces posted - an full length audio version is also posted
“Every single person, and the minister agreed…and just to raise a little more, they passed the plate again!
Three years later Hattie died…the next year Merlin joined her, and in his will - to thank him for the friend that he had been -
“Everything they’d owned he had bequeathed to your old man. Not forgetting how - when he had found them in the lurch -
He’d organized the group who’d put a roof above their heads…and gathered up some badly needed money from the church!
“And for your information, son…the “Merlin Willard Trust Fund”…set up by your daddy - at the Union City Bank… Takes in every penny of the profit from that farm…so lots of Rockford County folks have Gitter Dunn to thank
“For takin’ care o’ doctor bills they have no means to pay…badly needed mortgage help for those who’ve run astray…
And funds for fighting back when devastation strikes the way it did when poor old Merle and Hattie lost their home that day!
“And that’s not all. The year they built the feed mill down in Paxton, Sonny Porch - (your neighbor then) - was crossing Walnut street,
When Lester Pitlick had a stroke and winged him with his pickup. Didn’t break a single bone - just knocked him off his feet -
“But just a little farther down the road he jumped the curb. Hit a big ol’ high-line pole - got boogered up real bad.
Only seconds later Gitter happened on the scene, an’ ain’t too many folks - I’m guessin’ -- other than your dad --
“Could o’ saved old Lester’s life, but, quickly as he could, Gitter gently pulled him out and laid him by his car.
Then, droppin’ down beside ‘im, wrapped his belt around his arm - to help control his bleeding some - then gave him CPR!
“Twenty-five years later…when it got to hurtin’ bad…Lester’s daughter - Casey Joe -replaced your daddy’s knee.
Martha told my sister - when she sent his bill - it read, ‘Because you saved my father’s life…my services are free!’
“Ever kept a man from dyin’? Trust me, son…it’s awesome. Even if they never actually know you saved their life.
And that reminds me…don’t suppose your daddy ever told you how it was he came to ask your mom to be his wife.
“Well, back in 1946, Martha was a beauty…raven hair a mile long, and eyes of emerald green.
And Gaylord, as I’m sure you know, is not exactly squeamish, and thinking her the finest lookin’ girl he’d ever seen,
“Attempting to impress her, at the county fair in Jasper…knowing how a Ferris wheel repeatedly will stop…
When their pod had fin’ly peaked - he slithered ‘neath the hand-bar, taking full advantage of his - moment at the top!
“On one knee, he asked her for her hand, but when the ‘carney’ threw the wheel in gear again, your father lost his grip!
The rocking of the capsule had him swinging to and fro - until, at last - despite his youth and nimbleness - he’d slip!
“Dangling like a monkey at a hundred fifty feet above the ground young Gaylord drew a massive frantic crowd.
The operator quickly stopped the wheel and started shouting, “What the hell’s he doing? Getting out is not allowed!”
“Afraid to start it up again, the carney stood there trembling…absolutely terrified your dad was going to fall.
Luckily your mother kept her wits and very wisely braced herself and - leaning out -extended him her shawl!
“She wrapped her legs securely ‘round the hand-bar of the capsule, then leaning out and downward, hollered, ‘Gaylord…take a hold.’
Gitter claims that Martha’s bravery likely saved his life…and gives her ample credit every time the story’s told.
“The ending of the story is that - later on that evening - telling Martha - had she panicked - he’d ‘ve likely died,
? He proclaimed - because she’d risked her life, it meant she loved him - and that he wouldn’t rest ‘til she agreed to be his bride!
“Haven’t got the time right now to tell ya’ all the tales about how Gitter touched the lives of folks throughout the years…
But I can guarantee ya’, sonny…even Reverend Baxter isn’t more respected than your daddy by his peers!
“Like I told ya’…all ya’ had to do to get this job was bring to my attention that your pop is Gitter Dunn,
And you should be the proudest kid in Pinkerton, young man. Proud o’ what your father’s done.....and proud to be his son!”
Copyright © Mark Stellinga | Year Posted 2021
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