The Glue

Musings by Arnold Robert Liesch, July 1, 2000

DOLOP Family Reunion, Grass Valley California

I want to tell you of a unique family. The Poteete Family. It isn't often that you see a family of ten that still love each other, and enjoy each others' company. This family does that and actually regales in family fellowship–and everyone of us is the benefactor of this. Witness this reunion. Now to say that this just happened; or they were just lucky; or it was the times; or they were too poor to know better–is irrational (even though some of these things are true.) No, there is something striking, something powerful, and something very real that has held this family together for all these years and I'll simply call it...

"the Glue"

To try to explain about the ingredients that make up a quality glue product might be OK, but suffice to say that there are ingredients, and in this glue I am referring to there are just three:

1. Respect for parental authority

2. Respect for each other

3. Respect and love for the Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ

1. Respect for parental authority

Grandpa Poteete wasn't a perfect man, and if I were to ask for "Amen's" on that I'm sure there would be a few in the crowd. But really, how many men do you know that worked as long and hard to support a large family as Lowery Poteete did? Working at Standard Oil at different locations and different shifts including days, afternoons, and grave yard was his occupation. And he did this well until his retirement.

But his real vocation was to put food on the table for his children by sweating, plowing, and planting; sweating, plowing, and planting; and sweating, plowing, and planting again. Early he did this with a big horse and plow, and I can still see him doing this. Later he bought a tractor–the one Dean restored–and this cut his workload down. You need only ask the siblings about the fried chicken, eggs, milk, and other meat products; vegetables, fruit and other good tasting products produced by his sweat, sweat, and more sweat. I know because I tried to keep up with him. His children respected him as a father and bread winner deluxe–maybe not always in early life when he took a switch to them, but for sure as they grew older. He had their respect.

Granny, God bless her, ran the household, milked the cow, churned the butter, hoed the corn, sewed the dresses, entertained relatives, cooked every day, baked a million biscuits, and as she rested, prayed for her children. Each child was taught manners, sometimes the hard way, respect for their father, respect for each other, respect for their school teachers, and to honor their country. Later on she gave finishing lessons to eight son in laws and two daughter in laws. Granny earned and had the respect of each child and their spouses and the respect of her grandchildren.

2. Respect for each other

In the growing up years the family grew to respect each other as they sang together, read any book they could borrow or get hold of, washed dishes, helped grandpa with the hay, made all kinds of jellies and jams, and ate regular means together at regular times. Yeah–that's right. They actually set the table and sat down for breakfast, went off to school, and later had supper together. Almost a lost are isn't it? But the respect they developed for each other was due in large part to the ongoing family fellowship.

3. Respect and love for the Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ

Early in her motherhood, Granny saw that the children were dressed and were off to attend Sunday School and church at the Sunshine Gospel Church on Roberts Lane that was only a few blocks for their home. She would get them off and then take the opportunity to just plop and rest as this didn't happen often. Later, as the family grew in size and number, Granny recognized leadership and responsibility skills in her first child, Monteen, and was intelligent enough to use those, and turned the responsibility of getting the kids dressed and off to church over to Monteen.

Monteen, to her credit took hold and saw that all the siblings were dressed and personally took them to the Sunshine Gospel Church every Sunday. Later when Monteen learned to drive they attended the First Baptist Church and I believe all the children were married there, with the exception of Alan and Beverly who were married in Japan. All this time the children were exposed to parental love, the love of Monteen, and to the love of God our Heavenly Father. They learned to read the Bible, learned many great songs, and enjoyed church life. But soon it became more than just going to church and one by one, individually, they accepted Jesus the Son of God into their hearts, asked Him to take away all their sins, and promised to serve Him the rest of their lives. Church life was a joy and they participated in as many activities as time and transportation allowed. The importance of the Christian life, and the teachings they learned revealed themselves as each one married, and all ten children chose mates that shared their love for the Heavenly Father.

So there it is, as I see it–"The Glue"–Love and respect your parents, love and respect each other regardless of personalities, and love and respect and serve God our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. To say they all lived happily ever after without any problems, any troubles, or sorrows, is simply not true. But The Glue is still there. And if you are looking for and need a product in raising your family, I heartily recommend the version of the "Poteete Glue" to you. You need to know that I only scratched the surface of life in the Poteete Family and maybe some of them might want to add to this, but believe me, the glue is genuine!