Chapter Sixteen - Tommy
|Thomas Roy Bowerman, Jr.|
|Thomas R Bowerman, III||Tiffany Bowerman|
Frances reminded me frequently that she could not have children
and she was sorry as she knew how much I loved children. The first child
was born eight months and 25 days after we were married.
We never had sex before we married, so our first child was truly
five days early. He was probably conceived at the Candlelight Motel in
Frances was getting nauseated in the mornings and concerned
about her health so she went to the doctor and the doctor told her she
was pregnant. We were happy about it but Frances was thirty eight years
old and we were concerned about it also. She had the usual weird
desires, such as wanting ice cream in the middle of the night. One night
she wanted a room divider and stayed up half the night designing the way
it should look. I had to build it the next day.
I had quit smoking so Franklin went to the hospital with me and
smoked for me. The baby was born after about two packs of cigarettes and
we named him Thomas Roy Bowerman, Jr. He had long, thick curly black
hair and was beautiful enough to be a girl. In fact, everyone who saw
him until he was six months old thought he was a girl. He was one
beautiful baby. We were so proud we could pop.
Frances went back to work and we had to get someone to come in
and keep Tommy while we were at work. We hated to leave him in the
mornings and rushed home in the afternoons. I think we were really
convinced we were not smart enough to raise a baby and were scared to
death we were going to lose him. He was too tough and healthy though and
survived our amateur efforts. He had a real personality of his own and
he blessed our lives.
Tommy did not hang on to our undivided attention long. His first
brother arrived when he was just thirteen months old. We did not love
him any less but there was another one to love. Nineteen months after
his first brother was born, a second brother came along. Frances was
forty one when the last one was born.
Tommy was always a really lovable child. He displayed his
affection for you and craved it in return. He was a camera hog, really
loving to be photographed and crazy about the movie camera. We made
thousands of pictures and hundreds and hundreds of feet of movie film.
His childhood was interwoven with the childhood of his two
brothers as when you saw one of them you saw all three of them. They
were never apart. They were very close. When one had a birthday he got
the big present but all three got presents. A lot of his childhood was
spent with Eleanor and Franklin's children as we visited a lot and they
always came to his birthday parties. Christmas time also brought them
Tommy was seldom sick but when he did run a temperature or get
the sniffles we ran poor Dr Judge crazy. Our children were always
healthy but it did not take much for us to set up a twenty four hour per
day watch over them. I guess we really thought they would never make it.
We bought a house in Delray Subdivision on highway 78 for
$12,500 and had a chain link fence put around the back yard. I built a
sand box and put up a swing set and the boys seemed happy there. We were
there when Tommy started to school and we let him ride the school bus.
We were proud of him when he got on that bus the first time and scared
to death and pacing up and down when the bus pulled in that afternoon
and he got off. I never got accustomed to that child riding in anything
when I was not in control. Frances quit work for awhile and then went
back. Eventually she quit for good and I was relieved that she was
taking care of them instead of someone else. We had a Black lady named
Rosemary for awhile and she was conscientious and loved the children,
but it was not the same.
Tommy had a normal childhood and was always a good son and still
is. We never really had to worry about him doing something wrong or
getting in trouble.
We had next door neighbors that were really great, Mr and Mrs
Thurman King. But the King's sold to a family of nuts named Driggers and
life got unbearable and we put the house up for sale. We were unable to
sell it but we found a real estate company willing to take it in on
trade and bought a house on Bramble Road in Golden Springs. The boys
grew into teenagers on Bramble Road.
Tommy never really gave us any problems. He probably did things
we did not know about but was never on drugs and did not drink. He and
his brothers and a neighborhood friend made some phone calls once and
got caught. They just dialled numbers at random but when they found a
woman it really upset they kept calling her over and over and scared her
half to death. Her son managed to trace the calls and caught them and
was going to prosecute them but relented and agreed not to prosecute if
they would apologize and promise never to do it again to anyone. They
were lucky to get out of it without a police record.
Tommy went through the bicycle and motor bike stage and finally
got his driver's license. The driver's license has to be the most
frightening experience of every parent. We lived through it and so did
Tommy, but not before totalling one car.
Tommy was shooting baskets in our driveway one day and came down
wrong and broke his foot. A bone popped through and blood was spurting
everywhere. He told Terry to go get a towel. He put the towel across his
foot so the blood did not show and then told Terry that he could go get
Mom now. He was more concerned over her than he was over his foot. The
paramedics came out and got him and he knew all of them and was telling
them what to do and how to do it. He never got excited under pressure.
We bought a tent and then a pop up camper and then a small
trailer and then a twenty five foot travel trailer. We camped out, went
fishing, went on vacations to places like Colorado, pulling that enormous
box of a trailer and we all survived somehow. We also went deeper in
debt going from tent to enormous trailer. The large trailer required a
large station wagon with special trailer package options to pull the
thing. More money down the drain.
Tommy married Susan Butler, daughter of John and Eva Butler. We
love her and consider her more the daughter we never had than daughter
in law. Tommy and Susan have two children, Thomas Roy Bowerman, III and
Tiffany Bowerman. They are great kids, as we always knew they would be.
They live in Talladega, Alabama, about twenty miles from us.
Tommy worked as a sales clerk at Britts Department Store, as a
paramedic and now as a Detective on the Talladega Police Department. He
loves to hunt, especially deer. He bowls regularly and is active in
other areas as well. Tommy is what most parents hope their child will be
and we have never been disappointed in him. We love him too much to
express. He and Susan bought a larger house recently and added a
swimming pool in 1993. Susan's Father, John Butler, died from cancer.
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