Mr. Speaker, Theodore Otto Herman Hill--with a nickname of ``Thunderhead'' because of his fiery red hair--was my mom's father. He was born in Texas in 1899 and his grandparents were early Texas settlers from Germany.
Theodore was a cotton farmer, raised bees, and raised cattle. He married young and had three daughters that he called ``the boys'' who were expected to help him pick cotton.
Papa, as we called him, was a hunter, a taxidermist and a Teddy Roosevelt conservationist. He found on his land hundreds of Apache and Comanche arrowheads that he organized, and his collection will soon be turned over to the Texas Ranger Museum.
He could tell the type of tree by looking at the bark or observing the leaves. He predicted the weather by watching the animals.
One afternoon in the 1950s while he was laying asphalt as a foreman of a work crew for the Texas Highway Department, a drunk driver broke through the barricade and killed my grandfather. I was 5 years old. My grandmother lived another 50 years after his death.
What I know of my grandfather makes me proud of my heritage.
This Father's Day we remember our fathers and grandfathers and know that a lot of good men have made us who we are today.
And that's just the way it is.
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