42 years, 9 months and 5 days…that is how long I’ve had one, or more, of my children continually in the household. It started with my oldest son, J.T., in 1973 and continued through Robert who just started college. Of course, it really doesn’t end there as my step-daughter, Becca Lynn, will place me in 50+ year category before she starts college. That is a lot of years. As I said in a prior post, I think I deserve a monument or something!

Robert (a.k.a. Bo or Dabney) is the fifth son, and the youngest of my children. My oldest son is named after me, but the other children are named after my Southern heroes. Robert is named after the great Southern Presbyterian theologian, Robert Lewis Dabney, who was also adjutant (chief of staff) to Stonewall Jackson. It’s a tall name to live up to as the late Dabney was a great visionary scholar and one of the great (if not greatest) theologian America has ever produced.

Rock and Roll
If there is one thing that sums up Robert Lewis Dabney Cripps it’s rock and roll! He has been a rocker since he started wearing ears. You can see it so strikingly in the photos below. He’s got R ‘n’ R written all over him. From the t-shirts to the dancing, from the band instruments to the poses – you can see what flows through his veins. His music is constantly playing and if he’s outdoors, he’s always rocking out to his media player.

Further, he is a walking encyclopedia and constantly fascinates people with his knowledge of bands, albums and tracks. Just say “Any Colour You Like” and he’ll reply “Pink Floyd, ‘Dark Side of The Moon’, 1973, Track 8 [he grew up with CDs, not LPs], 3 minutes and 25 seconds long.” We have been to numerous concerts where he stood and sang along with every song. The people around us were always blown away that “this kid” knew the old songs better than they did. I have often been congratulated, as a parent, for “raising him right.”

Slippery When Wet
What kid doesn’t like water…all of it…the beach, the creek, swimming pools, drainage ditches and bath tubs. Perhaps, not always the latter. Robert is no exception. I was a little surprised when he told me he favored creeks over beaches. We spent years canoeing and kayaking, mostly on Okatoma Creek. If you gave him a choice of Disney World or a creek adventure, Mickey Mouse would have been out of luck.

Confederate
Robert loves history. His favorite subjects are Celtic history, World War II and the late lamentable War of Northern Aggression. I’ll admit to being real concerned about Robert as he was growing up. He was the “baby” of the family and his siblings seemed hell bent to keep him that way. I was especially worried when he entered high school. He was already 1-2 years younger than everyone in his class and he looked (and, in many ways, acted) like a middle-schooler. This all changed in 2015…and changed quickly.

The Mississippi State Flag fight started back up in the summer of last year. I ran the FreeMississippi.org organization back in 2000-2001 when the first fight was raging. A lot of the old members came out of the woodwork and Robert jumped right in there with them. These are seasoned political activists, men of strong courage and conviction…men of grit…in short, real men! Being around these men was like plugging Robert into a testosterone-fueled electrical socket. He grew into his balls fast. He began standing up to both friend and foe to defend his beliefs. He stood up against teachers. He committed all of his spare time to helping out with booths and organizing events. He walked the highways carrying a flag. He debated with scores of people over the issues. I never once saw him back down. I can’t tell you how proud it is for a father to see his son grow into real manhood in the midst of this limp-wristed, touchy-feely generation.

A man stands up for what he believe in
A wimp runs home to his video games

Working with me
One other benefit that came out of this period was Robert’s desire to help my around the farm like never before. Instead of trying to find excuses to get out of work, he actually began to push me. He started getting up early on his off-school days and was anxious to jump right into work, after the obligatory cup of coffee. I started doing a room by room renovation of my house in Foxworth this past April. Robert has been there every single off day that I was there, and his help has really sped up the work. At times I get depressed over the project and he continues to inspire me with his enthusiasm to see it through.

Off to College
All of my children have been blessed with great intelligence. They attended home school for all, or part, of their K-12 education. In high school, and college, they were all honor roll students. In many ways, it seems Robert had it the easiest…or tried the least. I am not saying he is “smarter” than his siblings, just that academia seems to come to him much easier. He also strives for perfection and ended up with a 4.0 GPA upon high school graduation.

When it came time for college, he surprised most everyone. We all thought he was going to be a meteorologists as that is what he talked about the most growing up. When the time came he chose biology. His desire is to study nutrition in general, as well the chemicals and additives found in our processed foods. At this point he doesn’t desire to be a doctor but he wants to makes a difference when it comes to health and fitness. He believes Americans are killing themselves due to their lifestyle choices. His path seems to be one of alerting the public and fighting against the big business food industry and anyone/anything else that propagates this modern lifestyle of destruction.

We all wish him the best. We know that what he sets out to accomplish, he will finish.

bo-finale

 

Note: Since this is the last of my children, I’ve added a few more photo sheets than before as I have sought to add a lot of “group” shots with all the siblings.

See the others: Dixie Lee CrippsPätrick Henry CrippsNathaniel Levi Cripps