dana andrews

     On Dana's first day off in months, son David gashed his toe and Pop zoomed him
     to hospital.  Then Kathy disappeared; frantic search found her munching cookies
     next door; calmly reported that she'd crawled under fence "like a gopher".

There were nine Andrews children, with Dana third from the top. Eight were boys, and the fact that Dad was a minister didn't keep them from raising their fair share of cain. Looking back from his present vantage, Dana's inclined to think it was more than their fair share.

When the neighbor's peaches were raided, you could count on finding the Andrews kids in the forefront. When the neighbor pelted them with stones, they'd throw peaches back, and the aim of the Andrews kids was straight and true. When she told on them, they'd take their punishment, and plan the next raid more carefully. There was always the beautiful chance that you mightn't get caught.

Dad dealt out judgement with a firm and impartial hand.
Too kindly a man to inspire fear, he was also too sensible to let his roughnecks get out of control. What he said, he meant, and what he promised -- good or bad -- he performed. Dana's earliest memories are bound up with faith in his father, who taught him to swim by tossing him into deep water.
"By the time you come up, I'll be there," he'd say.
If Dad said he'd be there, he'd be there -- and he always was. And you'd grab his shoulder and start kicking your feet and yelling for him to throw you in again.                 continue


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