My Daddy made his living in the trade business

With Father’s Day coming up later this month, I think of my Daddy during my younger days. My daddy, Jim Mitchell, was born on Feb. 22, 1904, in Leonard, Tex. He passed away on April 8, 1975, in Brady. The first time I remember him was in 1934. Mother and daddy were picking cotton for Bob Williamson about three miles west of Rochelle. I was crying with a cut toe, and about noon he asked my mother if she wanted his sack of cotton. She said, “Sure, but what are you going to do'” He said, “I don’t know. I may go to jail or to the pen, but I promise you I will never pick another boll of cotton.” He put me on his shoulder, and we walked to Rochelle. We went to Mr. Willis’ home, and he borrowed $50 and began buying and trading anything that would make a dollar. He got big enough in trading that he borrowed up to $500 from John Patterson. Daddy had quit school in the fifth grade. I always thought if I had had his mind, and along with my college degrees, I would be a rich man in today’s world. He would catch one of Owen Roper’s trucks or the Harvison’s or Davenport’s trucks and ride to Fort Worth and buy two old cars from Frank Kent Motors. He’d tie one behind the other and drive back very slowly. He later bought and traded horses, mules, cows, land, houses or anything of value. He helped a lot of people who were down and out and never mentioned it to anyone. I never saw him pass up a hitchhiker and would give them a few dollars when he let them out. I know of three families that he paid for their funeral bills when one of them passed away. I thought his worst enemy was being extremely high tempered and always in a hurry. One time he was cranking an old car with a hand crank. My mother was in the car choking it. It would not start so he threw the crank through the windshield. She wasn’t hurt. She just said, “Now, do you feel better'” He let me drive by myself when I was in the first grade. He was always good to me and encouraged me to go to college, and he helped me go. He was my father, my daddy, and the best friend I ever had.

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