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The Floods
Chapter 1 - Tearing Out Tree Roots Along the Banks


Mr. Flood, my father in-law, was a descendant of Daniel Boone and he had the records and pictures to prove it. Well, I never knew old Dan'l but if he was anything like John he must have been a wonderment. John was the caretaker for Lew Wentz before I knew him and, in fact, before Rod, his son, and I were married. The tales folks told me about his trapping beaver for Mr. Wentz so they wouldn't dam up the streams made me see him in my mind's eye setting traps with bait. He knew every animal by their tracks and would make plaster of Paris molds of those tracks so the boys in his Scout groups could see them as well. They said he would crawl on his belly for a distance to get up close to the ridge along a pond so he could get a clear shot of a goose. Fishing was just a lark for him. He never brought anything home that wasn't of a good size. The fillet from the sides of the fish was all he wanted. John was a man who enjoyed the efforts of the big oil men, Lew Wentz and E.W. Marland. Those men's projects for creating game preserves agreed so much with his ancestor's pioneering spirit. It was true the pioneer's days were gone but the heart of their descendants still held a love of an undisturbed terrain.

John worked shift work for, first of all, City Services and then later Conoco oil. He always kept a secluded place in his house where a fan roared a noisy buffer between him and anything to disturb his sleep. It was, on his time off, week-ends, he worked his care taking of the great estates of Lew Wentz. If the shift work allowed him to sleep part of the day then the other time was spent covering by foot, the miles of his employer's great high deer-fenced-grounds. The tall fences kept the deer from going over the top easily but some did, anyway. Other exotic game was held there, too.

Mrs. Flood, my mother-in-law, told that John could walk up a wall.In my youth and ignorance as well as innocence I really had no way to understand the man. I didn't really try. I was handicapped by my Mother's culture of the Native American which did not let me speak to my father-in-law, traditionally. Of course, it wasn't my idea to follow to the letter those old laws. Still, there was a reserve I had to hold with John. He seemed to always respect my personality. His mother was a teacher and had taught Native American children. Their ways were no mystery to him. My father-in-law was well acquainted, for a life time, in fact, of the character and behavior of my ancestors.

Of all the things I want to remember about John Flood was his always being there for me, and many times when I didn't even ask. It was a strange association we had. Very much like father and daughter, rather than father-in-law and daughter-in-law. Years later when I began studying the Flood name and the family history how I wish I had done it earlier so that we could have talked of things only he knew.


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