Wednesday, July 26, 2017

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Song of Solomon 2:4



Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee,
that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
That thy beloved may be delivered; 
Ps 60:4 & 5

     I don't want a title so I can feel important, or a badge of honor with my significance written on it, like some banner being waived to proclaim that I am somebody. 

     But I want to do something significant, be an effectual, purposeful part that contributes to the furthering of the whole of this, the highest of purposes, that the Lord has brought me to... that is the contributing to the waiving of the banner high, for all the world to see, declaring that THIS VERY THING, is of the most  important and showing "THAT THIS "STANDARD" IS A "BADGE OF HONOR"... OUR BANNER is of the MOST HIGHEST AND MOST HONORABLE OF ALL!

Ephesians 4:16
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Roscoe J Hudgens...My Father

Me and my Dad


First came into my life two years after I was born.
My biological father left before I was born, he never was in my life.
I had a sister, Tari, she was three years old when I was born, he left her too.
So needless to say, no more need be said, about this man.

This is the story about MY Father!
As " I " knew him.



I am told that my mother was a "carhop" on roller skates at a drive-up restaurant next-door to the Dairy Queen that my dad worked at, when they met. 
As CarHop

He married my mother in 1958 Who already had children
And treated us as good as he possibly could considering the circumstances. 
He adopted us who were not his and gave us his name. 
And until 1968 endured hardships that most would have walked away from, understandably!

I don't really have any early memories of him, but this one thing I do have, is that I don't ever remember him not being there.

There ARE few memories I have of my childhood at 2410 William Street, Champaign Illinois:
Our House 1964

He was the Manager of The Dairy Queen at 1209 N. Prospect Ave. His hours were from 11 o'clock in the morning till 10 o'clock at night. So he would leave for work after we went to school and generally came home after we were in bed. And this was every day March through October. 

After he closed the Dairy Queen down October 31st, he would start the process of setting up the  DQ lots in the twin Cities (which were 3 lots ) to sell Christmas trees. Then the week or so after Christmas he would be cleaning the Christmas tree lots up.
The Urbana Lot 1960

So the two or three times I remember ever going on a vacation was in the early part of January.
I don't know of any time when we went on a vacation in the summer.

It was one of these January vacation times that we went to Winchester Kentucky, where his parents lived. The only time i met my grandma, I was 10 maybe, she wasn't much taller than me, all I remember was her hugging me, which was something I had never had experienced before! I was uncomfortable, 
With his mother 1955

but remembered I liked the idea of it! All I remember her saying " I'm kinda partial to little boys" that sounded so alien to me too! but I liked it.  She always called my dad Junior. 
Grandpa seemed like kind of a grump, like old guys are supposed to be like, I guess.
Grandpa Me And My Dad

But I remember another time with him, might have been after my grandmother died, that  he said he wanted to give me this old Cadillac in his backyard, Man! I got so excited...it was a 59 model, with those fins on the back, they were the longest car ever, but I wouldn't of cared of it was a Corvair, that didn't work!


My dad was the best whistler, he would whistle all the time, he turned on that easy listening music on station WDWS  radio in the car, and whistle all the way to Kickapoo. 

I also remember he was the best potato peeler too! And he could whistle up some tunes while doing that too! 
Perfect Picture!


Stirring strawberries at the DQ - I used to love to watch him get the toppings ready for the day, he would be whistling here too, he would just love to eat those fresh strawberries and pineapples and bananas as he's cutting and mixing with the syrups and sugars together. He had an electric drill with a long paint stirring attachment on it, that blended all together and mix it that way in metal containers. 

We would go ice fishing - this was something I didn't have much use for, we d be out on a frozen wind whipped lake huddled around a little hole in the ice sitting on 5 gallon buckets, with our string and hook with frozen worm on it waiting to catch a fish, I don't even remember us catching anything to keep. 
And the worst part was there were others out there doing the same thing but they had these nice little igloos to sit in.
At 8 years old Rosiclaire Illinois 

Going to Kickapoo - this was the state park that was the nearest to us, he used to like to go fishing over there. Aunt Betty said that's all Junior would want to do when he was a boy, he would always be out there by himself fishing. I didn't care too much for fishing I never ever caught a fish in my life, I would normally go off walking the paths trying to imagine something up to interest myself. 
Robin with our Station Wagon

He always had a station wagon, and we would go to Drive-in movies once or twice a month. My mother made the best popcorn, we all learned how to make it like her. You melt the right amount of bacon grease in the popcorn pot, pour just enough kernels to cover the bottom without over lapping them, put lid on as fire turned up all the way, shake now and then and wait just long enough to hear the very last kernel pop. Take off fire immediately, take lid off and salt while still in the pot, shaking it all the while, then pour into the Tupperware bowls. Then melt a quarter stick of butter and pour over the popcorn shaking it at the the same time also. Each of us olders would have our own bowls, but we all would have to share with Jill and Robin. 
 When we got to the movie, we would roll the windows down and I would sit on the window ledge, arms over the roof with our popcorn. Tari and Cheryl doing the same but on the tailgate of the car. 

On the way home most everybody would be asleep. We would always have to stop by the Dairy Queen, So he could pick up the end of day monies and close up. I'd always be awake, so I would get to go inside with my dad and get one of the mistakes that was made. 

I remember him driving to the old lady's house where he rented out her garage and stored all his paper goods for the store.

I remember going to the bank with him and I always get a lollipop.

He was the best at making an ice cream cone, with the perfect curlicue on top, just like the picture of a DQ cone on his sign on top the store.

When I was about nine or 10 years old, He would take me to the store and I would pick up all the trash around the lot, and pay me a little.

I was just so happy not to have to be at home.
Xmas Tree Inventory 1960

About that same, He let me help them at the Christmas tree lot, that was the chance to actually got to be with working men.Doing real man things.
They let me get up on the top of the Christmas tree truck, that brought the frozen trees down from northern Michigan, and hurl all those Christmas trees down butt first. 
We used to like to see how close we could get to Mr. Johnson.
Richard Johnson And My Dad

We would drink hot chocolate and hamburgers from Top Boy across the street, while we were all huddled up in that small 6 foot wide 10 foot long shed with a heater inside.

February was always the time of painting and getting the Dairy Queen ready to open. I used to watch him paint the walls inside. He could paint straight lines and not make any mess painting, also he could paint around glass and do it so precisely, right to the edge, no mess no scraping no tape, I learned to do that too.

Not long before the divorce I remember going to see him his work room that was such a place of awe to me, it had the neatest stuff in it,

I remember the picture of his grandfather sitting in a rocking chair, this is about the time his mother died, he told me he was going to have to leave for a little while I was very sad and full of dread.
Daniel Boone Hudgens "Dan"

I think he was gone for the whole winter. I remember nothing about what happened them.
But when he came back, he told me that my mother and two sisters where going to live in the other house that he still had six blocks away on Carrolton Street.
And then he said something, like lifted a great weight off of me!... That me and Jill and Robin we're going to stay with him.
By the time the summer was over Tari and Cheryl was back at our house.

I remember the towel fights. 
He would come home late 11 - 11:30 most of time us older ones and him would sit downstairs and watch TV,  The Johnny Carson show, eat popcorn and drink hot tea, but there times...somebody would smack somebody with a towel and a huge towel fight would erupt.
He could whip a towel better than anyone! Me and Tari and Cheryl got pretty good too! The fight would eventually go outside so not to wake up Jill and Robin. 
We be running around all over the neighborhood, one of us would pop Tari, it would all be over then, she could let out a bloodcurdling scream and we start seeing lights come on so we all have to go home and watch TV.

The ping-pong games - My dad, could play one mean game of ping pong, we had a table in the basement. He would always win and on the winning point could spike that ball, no body could do anything with!
Tari in 1971

Very soon afterward Tari left.

He couldn't keep live in housekeepers very long.
But were all getting old enough to do all the housework anyway.


Well I was such a messed up boy, running around with kids smoking cigarettes, drinking boons farm wine and beer, started with drugs wanted to grow my hair long.
I was convinced that he was an unreasonable tyrant, by the kids I was running around with, but I also know they really didn't like me, I know because they used to talk behind my back... Right to my face! They told me that I should run away, don't put up with it! 

One day after smoking pot with some of them I was at the supper table, got up and passed out. He said "I'm gonna have to take you to the doctor tomorrow see what's wrong with you". Yikes!!
The next morning when I was supposed to go to school I didn't. That night I slept in a utility closet I knew of that were in some apartments I used to deliver newspapers.
The next day as I was standing with couple of those guys, one said, "hey there's your dad, you better take off ", which I did, he chased me in his car, I wouldn't get near as he angrily pleaded with me to get in, but I wouldn't. That was the beginning of my crazy new but soon to be dark life.
I didn't run away from him or any harsh rules, that's just a front, I was just so scared and messed up, I just ran away!


A few years later; The night he picked me up at the airport  - After being flown back up from Orlando where I was arrested for being a runaway, He took me to the house, where I slept the night, then in the morning he asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to go back to Danville, Where that adventure started. He took me interstate 74.

I went by there again in the winter of 1977, He received The call that his dad died during his sleep.
He asked if I wanted to go to the funeral, and I said no. I took off again. 

Later that year was when I had that experience I wrote on earlier, that started in Van Horn Texas up thru Wyoming, then to California. Then to Idaho where I made my decision, that I did not want to die out there on the side of the road one day,  I made it back to Champaign. 
I was standing in that line at the Dairy Queen window waiting my turn to get to the window, then looking at me and asking "what can I get for you?"
- Then to see his eyes open wide, He was actually glad to see me!! I had never seen that look on any ones face! I had only seen that look for others, I had always wanted someone to show me I was wanted, and that knowing before! 
He said "give me a minute I'll meet you out back". I asked him if I could stay at his house, I couldn't live out there anymore.
He didn't question me at all,  he said of course! But I don't have a bed for you to sleep on. I said I could sleep on the floor.

A couple months later he told me he had seen a doctor and as soon as he closed the store down for the year he was going to have surgery because he had lung cancer.
I really didn't understand the severity of what he was telling me.
I do know, later that day I was sitting there in my room started to cry, really heavily!  I never had before  been this sad. I couldn't stop.

We never really had a talking relationship, nothing real deep. He did most of the talking. He was a very smart, insightful man.
I think it was impossible for me to have a one - on - one conversation with anyone. Still not great at that. I can seem to write out what I have to say understandable though.
I was such a messed up and bound in fear kid.
All my feelings which were completely confused were all bottled up inside of me, words that were bound up inside me, with no way to be expressed, for I knew not how to say them till now.
But he was my father as much as he could possibly be to the me that I was.
Considering the messed up person I was, and still was at that time. I think he understood.

After the surgery I around there during the week, we talked a little, but on the weekends I would go off on my driving excursions.
They did not do chemotherapy but they did do radiation treatments on him, that drained  all the energy out of him.
I would go to the Dairy Queen and help him when he was getting it ready to open and find him laying on the freezer drained of all energy.
Tari, Robin, Cheryl
Me, Jill and Dad
Christmas 1978

August 1979 all the trouble that I had accumulated caught up with me in Gary Indiana while on one of my drinking expeditions.
I called and told him, he got a lawyer and got me out of that temporarily, because he knew he was going to die soon.
He died the next month.
At his funeral Tari was sitting behind me, She wasn't really being disrespectful.
You just have to know Tari!
But as soon as the singing started she couldn't help herself she let out this bloodcurdling shreek of laughter! At least it curdled my blood, I wanted to strangle her, not only was I embarrassed but she scared the living daylights out of me, which is embarrassing too

But when they handed me the flag...



So I wanted to write about the man, who took me as his own and didn't have to. He adopted me and gave me his honorable name, and didn't have to. I've been told he found me passed out drunk in the yard and carried me inside. Hes the only one that never left me, and could've. Hes the one who wanted me, tho I was not his! 
Hes the man that showed me not with his words but with his life, showed me what a father is supposed to be: To fulfill your responsibility no matter the obstacles, and we saw some! 
Stick with it no matter what!

So if I were to be proud of anything
I'm proud to be a Hudgens
But I will be forever grateful to be the only son of Roscoe J Hudgens
He showed me to be the man that I am.
His Son

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is My Story, The Way I Did See It...........

 This is My Story, The Way I Did See It...........

My mother Patricia Mae was born in Maui, Hawaii December 7, 1935 – Her Mother Teresa Farias was the youngest of the 12 children of Joseph and Teresa (Pavou) Farias both from Portugal. It is said that Joseph as an infant was taken from a family by the name of Fontez in Portugal, and sold to a family in Hawaii, named Farias. So he, his children, and their children were born and raised in Hawaii, which are many!


Not the Hawaii we know of today, “Very poor Island”. She was in and out of relatives houses and orphanages throughout her childhood. She was abused much and neglected, not much love. Her father left early on, reasons I know not, and came back to mainland; he was from the Scottsboro Alabama area. His name was Gilbert ; he died at 41 years old at Chicago 1952.

My mother met Bill of Elkhart, Indiana in 1952, in the Air Force being stationed in Hawaii, when she was just 16 years old. He became her first love, (though later she finally received a letter, which I now have) from her father that he wrote just weeks before he died, which assured her of the love he had for her, it meant a lot to her. Bill and Patsy married in late 1952.


June 16, 1953 my oldest sister was born – Teresa Ann , the three of them  "the picture of a happy little family". They left Hawaii in 1954 (mom, never being off the islands), he was stationed some time in California then at Valdosta, Georgia then to Maryland and finally to Chanute AFB Rantoul, Illinois.

Bill was in and out of the picture a lot back then while mom was pregnant with me; This was during the cold winter of central Illinois 1955-56, she was living in an apartment in Paxton, Illinois. I was due to be born in late February 1956, but was born March 20, the first day of Spring (Spring was the name she picked if I were a girl, didn’t really know till delivery in those days) She was rushed by ambulance to Chanute AFB Hospital where I was born 7:30 in the morning, the Chaplain performed emergency baptism on me for I was not expected to live. After 3 weeks of “ups-and-downs” I was released from hospital and went home with mother, sister but no father. Bill was not in picture again till much later! They were divorced in November 1956.

My arrival happened at a very hard time of my mother’s life, 20 years old, with a 3 year old girl, and me, pretty rough time. My mother’s only friend was Tari and I was a baby. I don’t think I meant the same to my mother as my sister did, she was kind of special (even to the end).

As far back as I remember until I was 12 years old was filled with screaming, yelling, rage, anger, put downs, belittling, beatings and worse even than that - the nightmares I had, constantly of the above mentioned abuses. I was scared, I had physical, mental, and verbal abuse that I still battle with.(but I will overcome) I was never told “I love You”  never hugged,  I knew I was not loved that’s probably the worst scar I had. But my wife and 2 sons(and I hope my daughter will someday) know that I love them, not just because I tell them daily, but because I really do and I know that they must know this, so as to not end up scarred like their daddy was!
My mother met Roscoe  in Rantoul, Illinois and married in 1958. He was a good man from Southern Illinois. They had 3 more children: Cheryl, Jill and Robin. He adopted Tari and I in 1961, changing our name , I didn’t know that he wasn’t my biological father until much later.

 I did finally meet my biological father in May 1980 when he came to my sister’s funeral. She was killed in a car accident in San Diego, California at 26 years old. He didn’t seem to want much to do with me, and I really didn’t care either, my mother set the whole thing up, I’m not sure he would have come to Tari’s funeral if it were up to him(I just don’t know). My mother talked me into calling him a couple times which I did, but he didn’t seem to want to talk to me, and I am not real comfortable talking to people in the first place, let alone someone who don’t want to talk to me!

My Dad (step-dad) tried to be my father as much as he could, but I was so messed up and she just kept things so violent around there taking out most of her frustrations on us kids (especially me) he stayed at work most of the time till real late, came home  after we went to bed, then the yelling and arguments would continue, this was a daily – this was our childhood!

Then the big and often very violent divorce happened 1968. He ended up with custody of my 4 sisters and me, an unheard-of thing back then. That is when “normal” started for us – But not soon enough for Tari and me. She ran away in 1969, and I in 1971. She was in the 1970s Hippie scene with all its weird stuff. She lived with my mother off and on, and with the college bunch around Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Eventually traveling around with a local band that hit the big time. As I said, it was during this time she was driving her Mustang, (under the influence) crashing into a house in San Diego, dying instantly!

Me, on the other hand – I was the result of a messed up childhood, insecure, was convinced that I was no good for nothing, and worthless I had no friends, my sisters didn’t seem to like me much, the only one who ever gave me any attention(bad) was gone! I hated school I hated everyone and everything, I didn’t even like the way the 1960 Ford station wagon my dad had, looked at me as if laughing at me! Me and Okeefe ran away. We hitch-hiked over to Springfield,Illinois and got on Route 66 and headed west. We got to Spencer, Oklahoma where he turned around and went back home to Danville. I (in my mind) had no choice but to stay on the road thumbing to San Diego then up the coast to Seattle then back and forth to Virginia, Texas, Florida, California, when I got to the end of the road, I would turn around and thumb it till the road ran out again. This was the only way I could survive asking for money or beer or odd job which I had many, but I was too scarred to stop and rough it long enough till I got a pay check so I kept moving. Sometimes I would end up in jail for shoplifting, or some other thing like that, for the winter, which wasn’t so bad “3 hots and a cot”
I did this for almost 9 years, saw 38 states, saw a lot of stuff, that song the Eagles sang “standing on a corner of Winslow Arizona, what a fine site to see……” was my theme song! I was picked up thumbing by many kinds of people. I remember hearing how dangerous it was to pick-up hitch-hikers, but I’ll tell of a fact – there are many more weirdo’s with cars than there are thumbing!  But still looking back at it all, my childhood was the pits, and this part of my life is pretty low also, but a level up from where I came from. I have been progressively going up in my journey.

It was in 1978 on a dark highway in Idaho, I hadn’t seen a car in hours, that I thought of my grandfather who died drunk at 41 years old, alone in a Chicago apartment, I decided I did not want to die that way on the road, (which I knew I was going to do) I woke up many times covered in my own blood (probably caused by something I said!) on the side of the road or in a corn field. So I started my journey off the road which still took a few months because I didn’t think I had any place to go. I finally mustered up enough guts to ask my dad if I could move back into the house. So I went back to Champaign ,Illinois and  went up to the Dairy Queen window(which he managed) and stood there for a minute and he looked at me and said(as if I were a customer, for he didn’t recognize me)Can I help you? I stood there like an idiot (I had no money) couldn’t order anything, “I um” He said wait a minute! Tony? I said “yes!” He said “come around to the back” It was kind of like the Prodigal Son in the book of Luke that I read about a few years later. He said yes, but I don’t have anything for you to sleep on except for an air mattress, I said no problem!

October 1978, my dad was diagnosed with cancer in one lung, he quit smoking that day. The surgery to remove it was scheduled after the Dairy Queen closed for winter October 31. He and I grew close during his last months; he died September 13, 1979. I was a bad mess at this time.

November 18, 1979, I started the day drinking beer by myself (as was my custom) in my mobile home at Leverette, Illinois watching a football game on TV, I got in my car (which was also my custom) I was so lonely! (I remember nothing except I had already drank 1 case of beer) drove 70 miles ended up going the wrong way on l-57 just south of Kankakee, I had a head-on crash with another vehicle (no one was hurt in the other car), I woke up in the hospital a week later.

When I got out of the hospital a couple weeks later, it was advised that I check into an alcoholic halfway house for a few months. I did the program, which helped me with all the legal problems I had accumulated in all the years on the road and of late, it all caught up with me right there in that period. The money that my dad left me after he died was spent on getting me out of all the trouble I was looking at (a good investment though). God has been so good to me even before I ever knew anything about Him. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” You know, I haven’t got into any trouble since I quit drinking; I did suffer consequence and had to pay the price of this nonsense, and that, not as bad as it could have been or what I deserved!

There was a councilor there, Christine, a recovered alcoholic. After I left there Christine and I started seeing each other. In 1981 she was diagnosed with late stage of Hodgkin’s disease (cancer of lymph nodes). So we went through the chemo/radiation treatments for two years. May 1983 while in remission she moved here to Jacksonville, Florida, to take care of her mother. I moved here in November 1983.
I Needed To See More Than The Tip Of The Tree
We married July 28, 1984. I was a well driller and she kept working as a case worker for drug addicts/substance abusers. We attended AA meetings at this time. She met a young lady named Deana during one of these functions, they became good friends kind of big sister, little sister thing. Chris was 14 years older than Deana.

July 1987, Chris got sick went downhill and died of a blood infection July 24. She was buried on our third anniversary. She could never have children. It was at her burial that I met Deana, she was so sad and crying, I had to take notice! I did not talk to her till later. That winter was a very dark gloomy time of my life. I found Deana’s phone number and called her. She was so good to me, nice, kind and soft. I kind of liked this girl! Deana had a son “JD” from a previous marriage and he was her “only” in her life.

Things were pretty good then, Deana still had her ex-husband wanting to see JD now and then (though he was not holding up to his part of the legal arrangements) so I kind of thought she didn’t owe him anything. Never-the-less, I figured we could work around all that. We got married July 16,1988, On the way back from Folkston Georgia (where we went to get married) it was a long quiet trip back to Jacksonville, I looked over at her in the car, and saw something I have never seen before, I could tell that she realized that she just made the worst mistake of her life!!(That’s the first thing I thought, though I said nothing) and it turned out, I was right in my perception. That didn’t make me feel good about myself. I also realized something soon thereafter - I was heading into a very dark chapter of my life! I was right there too.

My intention was to be married to Deana, even if I had made a mistake,(though I didnt think I did, still don't, good things came of it!) unto the end! I might still would be, if she didnt leave and divorce me.

Then things started changing (I won’t say much but what is needful) The ex was in background where he belonged at the beginning, seeing JD now and then, but soon he was in foreground and I was in the background. I had lost “my” rights in my own house. Not long after we married, Deana took JD to his house for the weekend visitation and we didn’t see JD for almost a year, they were caught in California, He did time in prison for that. I wonder that maybe she never stopped loving him and could never love me? I think I have seen this before!

Then there appeared the first anything that I ever had a right to, the first love of my life. March 9, 1990 Patricia Elizabeth “Patti”. I was there at her delivery, I held her then, it all started then. I started loving her and kept doing that till finally she started recognizing me and reciprocated as much as her little self could. We spent a lot of time together and she liked it too. Her pretty smile (she still has) her little giggle (she still has) when she saw me as I pulled her up into my arms. I was her daddy and she was my little girl. She showed me for the first time in my life that I was capable of love and being loved. Even Deana would not get between her and me. She wouldn’t violate this bond in its beginning. She did respect my right to her. I appreciate her for that. She has never been my “just biological daughter” this paragraph belongs to Patti and no one else, and I am the only one that can and do give it to its rightful owner. I would have stayed with Deana for Patti!

Deana wanted to give up and leave January 1991, I then took Patti, for I was fearful for her safety and I didn’t want to lose her, not only that, she told me to take her! So I did! I had Patti for 2 months when March 8, 1991 happened, Deana came to the babysitter I had while I was at work, and took her. I have not seen them since that day.  I am not the one that did what I had to, Deana is the one that applies to, I believe that Deana did what she had to do, she was desperate, I understand totally!

But, I did what I was forced to have to do - loose Patti :(       and I lost the first one I ever had a right to,
I lost -----my little love.

I wrote this to Patti in a letter in October 2009 (along with much of this article)

One thing, I don’t know if anyone told you this, when you were a few months old it was found you had a serious heart problem that a fairly serious operation was being planned on your little self. Deana and I took you up for prayer at church. The next day they checked and found surgery was not necessary.

I have not seen Deana or Patti since March 8, 1990. I talked to Patti in October 2009 on the phone, but not again as of January 1, 2010.


This is the end of " The way I did see it "

The next article I write will be the beginning of " The way I now see it "

The Jacksonville Assembly