Sunday, May 17, 2015

Daddy Long Legs

Sidney Ervin Hughes
Born 10 May 1836 Yancey North Carolina
Died 19 Oct 1920 Bradshaw, North Carolina

Sidney Ervin Hughes was my great-great grandfather.  His daughter Mary Alice Hughes (1858-1916) was my great grandmother.

Mary Alice Hughes - my great grandmother

She was married to Isaac Lewis (1856-1944) who was my great grandfather and father of my grandmother Hester Lewis (1892-1945).

Isaac Lewis, my great grandfather

Hester was the mother of my grandfather Fieldon Jacob Tipton (1884-1939) who was my grandfather and the father of my father Isaac W. Tipton, Sr. (1920-2000). 

Hester Lewis - my grandmother

Hester was a tall woman.  Her father Isaac was a tall man. Her husband and my grandfather Fieldon Tipton was tall also.

Fieldon Jacob Tipton - my grandfather
Fields and Hester had twelve children, all sons of which eleven survived birth.

Eleven Tipton Brothers at 1960 Family Reunion

You see the tall man in the back to the right?  That's my dad, the tallest of the Tipton brothers.  

When I was young, I was tall for my age.  If I remember right, when I was eleven years old I was six feet already (chew on that Tom Cruise). I frequently had these questions hurled at me:

"Are you really only eleven years old?"

"Do you play basketball?" 

"How did you get so tall?"

Well, the answers to those questions were:

Yes, I was really that young and TALL.

No, I didn't play basketball - too uncoordinated (clumsy).

And how did I get so tall?  Well, I was born that way.  

A few months ago I came across the photo of my great great grandfather Sidney Ervin Hughes and the mystery of my tallness was finally and forever solved.  Damn, check out that man's legs.  Talk about a daddy-long-legs.  That's where my tallness comes from folks, the good old gene pool.  

Me in Provincetown, Mass. 1976

Bill told me the first thing he noticed about me when he saw me for the first time across the Westbury Bar in Philly, was my long legs. 

He said he was a "leg man."  Lucky for me he likes long legs or else I would never be where I am today, with this wonderful man who has devoted the last fifty years of his life to making me happy in every way possible. 

Of course regular followers of this blog know that one of my legs was injured a few months back.  I'm on the mend now and those long legs are going to be on full display soon.  

First bout of physical therapy right after my surgery to reattach my quadricep muscle on my left leg which was severed when I fell on the ice February 18th, 2015 -  painful and laborious

These days I'm walking around still holding my cane but rarely leaning on it.  My leg is still stiff but I can now bend it 85 degrees which is a big improvement over the 30 degrees when I first started physical therapy last month.  

I can now sit in the passenger seat of the car, still can't drive though.  

My leg is still swollen, painfully at times but most times bearable.  

Next week my friend Pat arrives for his annual spring time visit to LSD (Lower Slower Delaware).  

He will be chauffeuring me around during our visit to my home state of Pennsylvania and a few days here in LSD.  My leg should get a good workout. 

When Pat leaves, I return to work at the hotel for two nights a week.  Right after Memorial Day and the onslaught of summertime guests and all their needs and wants.  Should be fun.  

And that folks is the status of yours truly, Daddy Long Legs. Soon to return.

Me at the local flower nursery, sans brace but still with my cane to steady me and make sure my repaired leg doesn't buckle - recovery for this injury is a long process


  1. I am not sure I perceived you as having particularly long legs. But then, you don't wear your pants pulled up to your armpits either! But I do see that when you are in shorter shorts. And that first picture! Oh my goodness! His legs are longer than the lady next to him, save her head!

    Peace <3

    1. Jay,
      I used to have a 36 inch inseam. These days (I'm obviously shrinking) my pants inseam is 34 inches, which makes shopping for pants easier these days.

  2. Holy Tamale - - your great-grandfather really did have loooong legs! It's amazing that there were so many tall men in your family. None of the men in my father's family were tall - - but all the men in my mother's family were tall. I'm 6'1" and I'm happy to be tall. I hated it when I was a kid, though. I used to get the same questions you did - - "Do you play basketball?"

    It's also incredible that your grandparents had twelve sons. My great-grandparents had twelve children, but their eldest daughter was murdered (by my great-uncle). I love to hear about family histories..

    1. Jon,
      Something else we have in common, I used to get so tired of the question "Do you play basketball?" And like you, I hated being tall when I was a kid because I felt like like the ugly duckling, the big goof in with the younger kids when in actuality I was younger than about half the kids in my grade school because I missed kindergarten (my Mother didn't know about kindergarten when she enrolled me into elementary school, but she did with both of my younger brothers).
      I remember reading about your relative being murdered. Very sad. I haven't had that happen in my family, not that I know of anyway. I also love hearing about family histories. Yours is always very interesting.

  3. I still like the notion of peglegs. They are adjustable you know, although most stay well over four feet.

    1. Dr. Spo,
      Forget the peglegs. Not going to happen. My leg is almost better now, but still a little stiff and as you often say "Just the way I like my men."

  4. Ron,
    Kind of amazing how the genes keep on going from generation to generation. In my family 5' 8" is considered tall, at least from my maternal side. My dad's side was a bit taller but we didn't carry too many of the "tall" genes. I am actually 5' 7" but I cheat up another inch. Apparently you not only have the tall gene in your family, they apparently had longevity. Another thing my family on both sides had so we can look forward to at least 20 years or more.
    Sorry I haven't been commenting lately, had some health issues that prevented me from staying on the computer for too long but I have read the blog every day.
    Glad the leg is healing, pretty soon it will just be a bad memory.

    1. Jack,
      I was wondering why I haven't heard from you. When I don't, I worry. I understand the health problem issues. Even though my leg is getting better I fear I have another health problem which I will write about in todays blog posting.
      I still have a ways to go on my leg healing completely but I can walk around now without the cane but I keep it with me in case I feel my knee buckling. And I can now sit at my computer without pain, which wasn't the case when I first injured my leg. I couldn't take more than a half an hour until I had to get up to relieve the pain. I'm still not driving though but I think that's going to happen soon. Again, good to hear from you Jack.

  5. Good to see your blog. My acesso will be limited for a while yet to my phone. I have short legs for my height. Makes it easier to fly.

    1. David,
      You're right about short legs making it easier to fly. My long legs have always been a problem trying to fit into those airplane seats. My brother John, who is taller and heavier than me really has a problem. A few years back he had to fly to Scotland. I was expressing my envy of his free trip (church related) but he told me "I don't envy the flight because I will be in pain the whole time I'm scrunched into that airline seat".

  6. Since I got my new knees and my legs are straighter I am back up to 5'11"! Whodda thought at this age?

    1. Jono,
      How about that! You got taller as you're getting older. Me? I'm shrinking. Used to be 6'3" and 3/4" inches (almost 6'4"). Now if I can claim to be 6'2" I'll be doing good.


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