Otis….Washington 1980

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I think a my two girls ‘n how they never had no father, not like a kid’s s’pose ta have. I wasn’t much a one. Never seemed ta make it livin’ the fam’ly life. Ain’t much of a fam’ly man. Their ma ‘n I couldn’t get along. She done all the raisin’, her ‘n her sister. ‘N all that time, while those young’uns was growin’ ‘n mebbe needin’ a father ta talk ta, I was out on the road. It weren’t like I didn’ love ‘em er care ‘bout ‘em, nothin’ like ‘at. Why, if I coulda taken them girls ‘long with me, I woulda, but it ain’t no place ta be raisin’ kids, on the tramp. I figger they was better off with their ma.

They was livin’ down in Los Angeles, ‘n I’d go ‘n see ‘em ‘bout once a year, see how they growed ‘n all. Always brought ‘em a present, somethin’ Injun. They liked Injun stuff, moccasins, stuff like that. Made a mind ta hide their presents in my bedroll, ‘n when I showed up at the door, them kids’d climb all over me ‘n tear that thing apart. They always knew I had somethin’ in there fer ‘em.

They’s both growed now; one’s twenty, one’s twenty-one. I’m real proud of ‘em. They’s good girls, on their own, got reg’lar jobs ‘n their own place ta live. They’re doin’ fine, jus’ fine. Jus’ hope they ain’t holdin’ no grudge against me fer not bein’ a reg’lar father. I still love ‘em. Man can’t help but love somethin’s part of his own blood. I done the bes’ thing. They was better off with their ma. I think about ‘em ‘n get ta wonderin’ what they might think a their ol’ pa. Keep their pit’chers right here in my pocket.