Tuesday, April 07, 2009

68 Years Ago Today

I suppose it doesn’t matter at this point how they met. I know a young Ed Goddard met Naia Gonzales in her hometown of Fort Myers Florida. Naia worked for the local newspaper and Ed had moved to Fort Myers with a hardware company. They met when Ed walked in the Fort Myers News Press office one morning and the beautiful young Naia was sitting at the desk. I think it was love at first sight. But again, at this point, it really doesn’t matter.

I know Naia’s mother, Mabel, was none too excited about this tall, dashing, muscular Georgia boy with whom her daughter fell in love. And she was not excited at all when he later took her daughter back to the “God forsaken” little town of Reynolds, Ga. Mabel eventually worshiped the ground Ed Goddard walked on but at first she wanted nothing to do with him. But at this point, what Mabel Gonzales thought almost 70 years ago doesn’t matter either.

What does matter is they built a home in Reynolds Georgia. I’m not talking about a house of brick and mortar, though they built one of those too. But I’m talking a home - as in a family. And the four folks pictured above were the beneficiaries of their architectural prowess.

When I look back, I’m not sure what they did to build such a home.

I know a lot of family time took place around the table where we all took our time eating together. And we would move from the table to the den and the conversation would continue. I’m not sure many folks do that sort of mundane stuff very often anymore.

I know we could get only three channels on the television and two of those were fuzzy. So we didn’t spend a lot of time in silence watching such things as reality shows on TV. Our reality show was happening real time every day with each other.

I know the kids spent a lot of time in the yard playing with each other and with other kids. And a lot of life-long relationships were built in the process. I also know my parents had close friends who came over often. And there was always a lot of laughter.

I also know this couple had family devotions at night before everybody went to bed. The kids would gather in their bedroom. Someone would read something out of the Bible and everybody would pray. I’m sure we learned a lot at Sunday school and church - where we were every time the doors were open. But we all learned to pray in our parent’s bedroom. And when I look back I think that is probably the best place to learn.

And I also know these parents were not perfect and the neat thing is they never pretended to be. They were transparent and real at home, at church, at work, in their place of service in the community and wherever else you might find them.

Thank God you don’t have to be perfect parents to build a home. But because of what my parents taught me by their lives, I happen to think being “real” is a good place to start.

This past Saturday Kathy and I went to an Easter Egg hunt with our little grandbaby girl. I couldn’t help but think about my parents and my siblings and a few Easter Egg hunts of our own in our backyard many moons ago.

The first part of this little family video clip below was filmed Easter Sunday 1955. About halfway it moves into 1957 footage. I am the baby - the youngest of four. At one point in the video you will notice my brother George kissing me.

He hasn't kissed me since.

But I post it with a grateful heart - and in memory of Ed and Naia Goddard, who were married exactly 68 years ago today.


Beth Brawley Taylor said...

Hi Bruce. You don't know me but your sister does. We were part of the Trinity UMC family many years ago and then came back to be youth pastors there when Lindy was a teenager. I have always had great respect for Kikki and have admired how steadfast she is-now I know how she got that way. Three brothers-wow!! My husband, Eddie, and I read your blog and love your tales of a small south Georgia town, since we are both from Waycross. Just wanted to say hi and say how much we have loved the Newton branch of the Goddard family for so very long.

Judy S said...

I loved the video and the memories.

Reg S. said...

Bruce, thanks for reminding me of what a great childhood I had.

Reg S.

Bill Whatley said...

Bruce. I appreciated every word of this blog because I can relate to the time and events. It brought back a memory of the time when I had been sent to Buckingham Field in Ft. Meyers to crew up on a B-29 to go to the Pacific during WWII. I knew that Naias mother,Mrs. Gonzales, lived there so I went to her home to say hello. I was surprised when your mother came to the door and she was holding a small newly born infant which was your sister Kikki.

Nell B said...

Hi Bruce. I watched this video and believe me, it was priceless. You see, your sister, Kikky, was my 6th grade teacher at Crawford Street School in Waycross, GA. I don't think it's every day that a former student gets to see a video of their teacher as a child. Kikky is a very special lady to me and my family. I was proud and fortunate to call her my teacher but I'm even more proud and fortunate to call her my friend.

Anonymous said...

Your recent videos have been a great reminder to me on how lucky I was to grow up in Reynolds,Ga. in
the 50's & 60's. Your family was a big part of that. Thanks,Cobby

Anonymous said...

Bro Mac is stylin' ain't he.

Anonymous said...

I have watched every second of the video on this site and the ones on Facebook. I enjoyed them so much. Mac was "grown and dignified" even as a boy! When Kikki was small, I saw Lucy in her and then at another time I saw Lindy. I saw lots of Kikky in your mom--anyway, I loved watching all of them and please post more! Cheryl Thigpen