Today I’d like to tell a “Fanny story” in honor of my Dad. If you haven’t read my award-winning memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, Fanny is the stellar character in the narrative. Although, you’ll realize my parents are pretty special people too!
Here goeth the story –
Between my mother, who is rarely at a shortage for words, twin daughters who when paired together is enough to make anyone ask for some earplugs and the self-appointed boss (our beloved Fanny), my father often got over-ruled by women. Yes, it happens!
Anyway, my Dad is patriarch of the Batton clan and the family custom home building business, now five generations deep. Until his “renaissance years” he had a home office and often met with his clients at our house.
One day a couple who my father was building a home for arrived at our front door for their meeting at the appointed time. They knocked and were greeted by Fanny wearing her unique hat on her head. (You’ll have to learn more about that by reading Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.) She kindly welcomed them in and called throughout the house “Mr. Battoney, Mr. Battoney (aka Mr. Batton)….dey is a man and lady here ta see ya.”
My father came from the back end of the house. Immediately Fanny began giving my father marching orders that went something like this. “Mr. Battoney, when I gets done moppin’ dis floor I needs ya to move dis furniture back inta place. Ya’ll move along now so I can mop under yo’ feet. Den, Mr. Battoney, I needs ya to go get da ladder and change da light bub here in da foyer,” she said, pointing up to the cathedral ceiling above her head. “Den when you is done wid dat…….” Fanny continued on as she started down the stairs to the lower level of the house to get something.
My Dad’s clients stood silently and wide-eyed looking at the woman with the strange hat on her head. When Fanny was well out of sight the woman, my father’s client, turned to my father and said “Clearly, we know who is the boss in this house. There is no question!”
“Uh-huh,” said my father in his typical less words said the better fashion. No other words were needed.
On this Father’s Day, I’d just like to tell my father that he takes the cake! He is my hero for putting up with every one of us!
This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.