Posts Tagged ‘Clyde D Bryan’

Clyde D Bryan


How does one describe his Dad in a few sentences for a post?  I’ll try a list.

  1. Born 2nd (& last) son, 2/5/04, in southern OH.

  2. Graduated from h.s. in 1923 (era when a smaller % finished school).

  3. Married Mom, 5/10/27 – fathered 4 (I’m youngest & only 1 left).

  4. Was a welder till his eyes went bad – later sold Life Time Cookware.

  5. Lived in the “glory days” of trains & loved them – especially the steamers.

  6. Owned (in my memory) ‘37 ’50 ‘52 & ’57 Chevrolets, ‘41 Pontiac, ‘53 Cadillac, 2 VW Beatles, 2 VW Squarebacks, 1 Karmann Ghia, 2 Volvos.

  7. Stuttered but improved after he bought a tape recorder – never stuttered when he sang in church.

  8. Loved my wife (his only d-n-l) like she was his daughter.

  9. Carried a New Testament in his work-shirt pocket.

  10. Always wore green, blue or gray dress shirts – 1st time I saw him in a white shirt was at my wedding!

I never doubted his love to me.  Never!  I had a good man for a Father!

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Allow a personal note.  Today would have been my dad’s 111th Birthday.  His signature was a scrolling Clyde D Bryan (D stood for Durwood, a name he did not like but I think is OK, even fine).  Dad was born to Charles Edgar Bryan & Bertha Powers Bryan February 5, 1904.  As I’m told, somewhere in childhood (age 4?) he had a tricycle wreck & a stick went completely through his tongue.  The end turned black & the doctor snipped the black end off 😦 (have no idea of how much).  That was the reason given for Dad’s life-long stuttering.  He graduated from High School at Rutland, Ohio in 1923.

Dad married Mom (Ruth Evelyn) on 5/10/1927 also in southeastern Ohio.  Their children were Helen M Bryan Stump, Virginia M Bryan Dugan, Keith R Bryan, and yours truly, in that order.  (Dad lived to be the last of his family [“Last leaf upon the tree” –Oliver Wendell Holmes] Mom was the last of her family, and now I am the last of mine.) 

Before my memory begins Dad was a welder for Anchor Hocking (glass people).  Later he welded for Timken Roller Bearings.  It was there his eyes began to hurt him every time he welded and he had to stop.  He worked for Belden Brick for a while; and he sold Watkins Products.  Some of you will remember that Dad also sold Lifetime Stainless Steel Cookware.  A salesman that stuttered?  Yes, though he had this limitation, he was one of those about which we say, “he never met a stranger.”

The first car I remember Dad having was a 37 medium blue, Chevy.  (Before my time, I think, he owned a Pierce Arrow, a Graham.)  Then came a black 41 Pontiac followed by a one-owner 50 Chevy.  His first new car (I believe) was a green, 52 Chevy 4 door deluxe, bought as the 53’s were coming out.  He bought a new two-tone blue, 57 Chevy 210, then a 53 Cadillac Sedan deville.  I was with him when he drove the Cadillac to Columbus and we came home in a gold-colored, 58 VW (German model i.e. kilometers, etc).  Unless you are a car buff you have already too much, but he went on the own a 2nd Beetle, 2 Volvos, a Karmann Ghia, and 2 VW Squarbacks. 

Dad was 39 when I was born so could have been my grandpa but made a good Dad. I learned to work with his man and liked his humor (he even tell stuttering jokes 🙂 ).

I loved him and find myself saying things like, “Never see it on a galloping horse,” or “1 boy is a boy, 2 boys is ½ a boy, & 3 boys is no boy at all,” maybe “A miss is as good as a mile.” 

“If there are BDs in heaven Dad, I wish you a great one.  Love, your younger son, Edgar.” 

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5/10/1927, Clyde D. married Ruth E. establishing the Bryan household.

Sadly dad backslid, divorced mom, and married another woman. 

After getting reclaimed by Christ near a railroad track (in PA),

dad left the second woman and later made overtures back to mom.

She forgave him – a Biblical thing to do 🙂 – and they were re-married

(1941).  I am the product of that second marriage.  My three siblings

(all dead) and I were full-blood but there was a devilish divorce

between our births.    

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“One boy’s a boy, two boys is ½ a boy, and three boys

is no boy at all.”


“A bargain’s not a bargain if you don’t need it.”


John Frederick Arwishus Archibald Wildflower” – he “rattled off” as a boy’s name.

    – Sayings may not have been “his” but my mind associates them with him.


“We’d rather see you go to the mission field and never see you again, as see you fail to mind God.”                    – what Dad said to me in the 50’s

Clyde D. (Durwood) Bryan was born this date, 2/5/1904, at Jobs, Ohio.  (Pronounced as plural of the Book in the Bible.)  He was the second and last son of Charles Edgar “Ed” Bryan and Bertha Alice Power.  His only sibling was Leo Jennings Bryan (1898-1953).

Dad (who he was to me) married Ruth Evelyn Colwell Bryan (Mom) 5/10/1927 and remarried her 12/20/1941.  Helen, Virginia, and Keith were born before the breakup and I was born after it – we were full-blood siblings.

Dad and Mom traveled to Nebraska and South Dakota and saw Mount Rushmore when George Washington was the only face emerging from it. (I got to show Rushmore to Mom 60 years later.)  They traveled to several other states and had numerious friends.  

Dad stuttered all his life yet had the personality that never met a stranger.  He bought a reel-to-reel recorder in the 50’s, heard himself, and improved his speech a little.  He did not mind stuttering jokes and I have one in my memory he used to tell.

Dad worked on a farm, worked with chickens, was a welder (till his eyes went bad), sold Watkins Products, and Life-time Cookware (several-ply stainless steel), and was doing maintenance work for a marble company when he died, 12/24/1976.

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C. D. B.

Three months and past have fled through space,

Since I saw last his mortal face.

Since I last saw in burning pain,

The face of “Pa” in final strain.

Three months and past I saw him last,

On the morning of Christmas Eve. [1]


[1] Clyde D. Bryan, my dad, was born 2/5/1904 and died the morning of 12/24/1976.

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William Holmes McGuffey was born this date, 9/23/1800, in western PA.  Later his family moved to the Ohio frontier where he was raised.  He became a professor of languages at Miami University in Ohio.  McGuffey was a minister and an advocate of public education when it was in a much purer stage. 


He compiled six readers (in progressive levels which carried true moral tones. 

His McGuffey Readers may have sold as many as 120 million copies. 

Personal note – my dad, Clyde D. Bryan, used McGuffey’s Electic Spelling Book in Murry City, Ohio in 1912.  I possess that book with Dad’s childish signature.

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Christmas eve came and went,

The year’s most prestigious event,

Without one gift received or sent from home.

The place where once had been seen,

Things that build memory so keen,

When days were hard and times were lean, at home.[1]


A lonely man knelt by his bed,

Wrinkled hands held his graying head,

As slowly these sad words he said down home,

“Lord, I don’t understand

All the ways of God with man;

Why I, alone, of all the clan am home.”


Then rising deliberately,

His hands toward heaven in a plea,

With eyes tear-blurred, he could not see his home.

He talked at length to His God,

‘Bout the graves under winter’s sod,

Where loved ones lay who used to trod in home.


“Amen,” he said, and clinched his prayer,

Between God, so gloriously fair,

And his mortal soul, earth-bound there, to home.

Satisfied that God’s way is best,

He blew out the light of his nest,

And gave the grate a log to bless the home.


He went to sleep that Christmas Eve,

Believing as saints do believe,

Trusting God, he’d no longer grieve ’round home.

For the three who’d passed death’s door,

To walk familiar paths no more,

Making him the last of four, now home.


Little did the gentleman dream,

That the world which sad did seem,

He’d be leaving ere sun’s first gleam lit home.

The foursome would that Christmas morn.

No longer to be sad and torn,

Gone now would be the long forlorn of home.


The close circle, broken of yore,

Then met [2] inside the Pearly Door,

The old man made the last of four come home.

They now were there in perfect love,

They’d traded partridge for the dove,

Never to say “Good-bye” above. THAT’S HOME!

                – eab, 12/76 (pre-23rd )

Note the footnote.  Clyde D Bryan, my dad, was born this date (2/5/1904) in Murry City, Ohio.  This poem was not written about him but was penned just prior to his untimely death.  As some parallels existed it seemed fitting to place it here for Dad’s birthday.  One never fully gets over the loss of his dad. (He died before the sun came up on the 24th 1976.)

[1] My dad, Clyde D. Bryan, was severely burned on the 23rd and died the morning of the of 24th .  There was no premonition, yet dad was the last to die of his family of four. 

[2] I wish all four Bryans made heaven, but my poem is not claiming that.

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