Written History of Ralph Emanuel Whitney
I remember when we were considering the purchase of a car to replace the 1936 Chevrolet pick-up. Several of us had driver’s licenses by then, and we needed a car for church attendance and dating. One day, at a used car lot, we spotted a 1939 Dodge 4-door sedan which was almost new. I was so eager for us to own the car that I volunteered to help pay for it. As I remember, I contributed very little or perhaps not at all. Dad never ever reminded me that I did not keep my part of the bargain, though I spent much time behind the wheel of that 1939 Dodge.
I could relate many more incidents where I partially or completely failed on my part of the bargain, but Dad seemed to realize it was part of my growing up experience and never held it against me.
Dad always treated Mom with respect and consideration. He never abused her in any way, yet he was unquestionably the head of the home.
Now that I’m an older man and as I observe so many dysfunctional families, I appreciate even more the atmosphere of love, trust and total security that was provided for me and my brothers and sisters. Fully accepting his role and responsibility as head of our home, Dad was always available whenever he was needed.
As I search through my memories about Dad and how he raised us there are many other instances I could relate. We were always welcome back home when we visited with our own families.
To summarize: my memories of Dad give me good feelings of growing up in a family similar to the television series of the Waltons. Dad was always the head of the home and took this responsibility with wisdom, kindness, discernment and unspoken love.
Bert N. Whitney:
As I look back on Dad’s life, I am amazed that he knew how to do so many things.
He was an expert in mining techniques including sorting ore for shipment. He spent part of his life as a cowboy and knew how to preserve meat without refrigeration. He was an excellent farmer and knew how to grow quality melons and vegetables of many varieties, as well as alfalfa hay. He could fix almost anything if he had enough bailing wire. He knew about cement and other building skills and once built a house from scrap lumber. He was also a good cook and for a few years owned and managed a full sized cafe successfully. He was quick in figuring out problems especially if they involved math. I’m sure this list is not complete.
Dad was always a positive influence in my life, always there, always stable, always working and always striving to improve things for the family. I’m sure I took him for granted, knowing he would always be there for us; and he was. I know Dad had deep feelings for each member of the family, but he seldom showed any outward emotions. I can’t ever remember him saying, “I love you,” yet there was never any doubt in my mind that I was loved by him.