Here are a few stories that we have about Dad/Papa/Digger.
- “The Dunking Story”
I believe the year was 1989/1990 and Dad had installed our basketball hoop next to our driveway in the grass. The driveway was a single car driveway so the basketball hoop was actually 6-8 feet away from the cement in the dirt/grass, so that we would have extra space to play basketball. Well one night while playing basketball with my brother and a few friends, we lowered the basketball hoop to 8 or 8 1/2 feet, as it was an adjustable backboard. My bro and friends were practicing their dunking skills. Well Dad in his infinite wisdom watched us and then came up with the famous, “Want to see me dunk?” “I can dunk on that”. Well being in his 40’s he may have been able to do it, but one small thing came in his way to be Michael Jordan and show us all up, HE HAD BOOTS ON! Well you should have seen his running start, it was a good 20 feet to the basket… and then 15 feet into the run when he ran into the sand/grass area, down went Digger! He sprained his ankle real bad! He ate the dirt. We all had a wonderful laugh. I think he had to take a few days off from work, if I remember correctly. But we’ll never forgot the time that Digger “showed” us how to dunk!
- “The Take Your Kids to the Civitan Turkey Shoot Stories”
Some of the times that always comes back to me in memories (when I hear a song from the 80’s) of Ft. Pierce and Digger are when he donated his time to the Civitan organization which helped children. Well every year he was in charge of setting up the tents and other things for the public when they would come out to the annual Turkey Shoot to win money and turkeys. My brother and I would tag along and help him setup for the turkey shoot and then hang out all day watching people shoot at targets to try to win money and prizes. Well one year, when I was old enough, he allowed me to shoot a 12 gauge gun… well that was not what I expected. It was LOUD! I thought I blew out my ear drum, and the kick back on my shoulder was not fun. I think I was a 14 year old at the time. But I remember that as my One and Only time I have ever shot a gun in my life, and a 12 gauge at that.
- “The Take Your Kids to Work During the Summer Stories”
For a few summers before I was old enough to actually work at a real job, my dad would take me a few times a week to work with him, digging graves! So I had to be 12-14 years old when I would tag along. We would go to the Circle-K, buy snacks and drinks. We would then go out to the cemetery and do all the things needed to get that hole ready for the funeral service later that day. It was some back breaking work! I have no idea how Digger did that for all those years! I remember helping with the backho, manually digging with the shovel, putting up the tents, placing the chairs out, even lowering the dead body in the ground. Morbid, yes. But I remember the long days doing the work, and then getting paid 10 or 20 bucks for helping out. Prolly didn’t do 20 bucks of work, but it was fun none-the-less.
- “The Fish Stick Story”
One summer when my mom went to Tampa for training for her job, Dad was left in charge of “Mr. Mom” duties. Well my bro and I got our fair share of fish sticks over that week while mom was away. Ohh how I grew into hating the smell of fish sticks. I don’t think I hate the taste or anything, but even to this day I am not a fan of fish sticks. I definitely grew tired of those quick and easy food supply dishes. Every once in a while my son asks me to make him some, so when I make them for him and I smell that smell, it reminds me of the week Dad would make us fish sticks. 🙂
- “The Fort Story”
One year, I think 1987/88 Digger decided to build us a wooden fort in our backyard. My brother and I would bike around the neighborhood looking for scrap wood and nails, and since we had an empty lot next to us that our grandmother owned, we would build make shift forts. Well we finally talked Dad into building a good one on our property. He went out and bought cement, some good wooden posts and some plywood. Well we got it built about 60% of the way, and then we just piece-mailed the last parts. I am not sure why we stopped or never completely finished the fort in it’s entirety, but we did have a fort of some sort on the back corner of the property. I was grateful that he had started it. I wish I had a picture of it, it would be a classic piece of history for the Krause House.
- “The Bowling Alley Name Story”
By far one of my favorite Digger stories is the Bowling Alley Almost Fight Story. As I mentioned before in a story, our second home was the bowling alley. We loved that place. My parents both bowled in leagues. My brother and I both bowled in leagues. During the summertime the bowling alley offered Free Bowling to anyone who bowled in a summer league. So we were up there all the time during the summer months. We knew everyone, and everyone knew us. So one day we came to the bowling alley for a No-Tap tournament. On the way in the front door, one of my dad’s friends saw him come in, and he yelled out, “Hey Digger!” Well low and behold, behind my dad walking around was an African American male who thought my dad’s friend said, “Hey *igger!” A few words were thrown around, and the bowling alley security guard had to come in between them to explain to the guy that my dad was a Grave Digger, and that his nickname was “Digger”. It was interesting, that with a nickname like that, you’d think we’d have many other run-ins like that, but that was the only one that I know of where it was a case of mistaken name-identity. lol