Memories of Daddy
Leland Victor “Bob” Hicks
1894 – 1986
Today I am beginning a new series of memories from my childhood, and the man who helped shape who I am — my father. He was an amazing role model. He saved my life. He was a wounded war hero from World War I. My sister Jan wanted me to write a biography of Daddy for family members, so he would not be forgotten.
For it is written in Psalm 103: As for man, his days are as grass, as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
The last time I saw Daddy was 1984 when he was 90 years old.
We were sitting on the porch after dinner, watching the sun slowly go down behind the chicken coop, with the golden rays shimmering through the leaves of the willow tree. It was completely quiet, not a breath of wind, and a peaceful time we both cherished.
Suddenly Daddy said, “Well, Robbie, I guess we’ve had our day,” then fell silent again. I was stunned, Daddy rarely said anything personal, and I was so dumbfounded I couldn’t think of anything to say. The moment passed, and the mosquitos got our attention, and we went back inside.
Recalling Daddy’s declaration, I wish I had replied, “Yes, and what a day it has been!”
DADDY’S EARLY DAYS
Daddy’s “day” began July 8, 1894, with the announcement: Leland Victor Hicks was born to John and Gazella Hicks of 558 Union Street, Ionia, Michigan. Leland has an older brother, Ernest Lee, age two.
For perspective, in 1903, when Leland Hicks was nine years old, he may have heard the men laughing about those crazy Wright brothers flying a machine at Kitty Hawk, and hearing that the Ford motor company had rolled out the first production automobile.