Billie Silvey
Three
Fathers
July 2006
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Cecil LaRoe Wesley. Cecil Wesley was my father.  A
jack of all trades, he worked first in a newspaper office as
a teenager.  He flew planes and taught instrument flying in
the Army Air Corps, leaving after World War II to work
for my grandfather in his dry goods store.  He was a good
salesman, but he found it hard to work for his father-in-
law.  The greatest day of his life was when he bought the
Happy Herald, the newspaper he’d worked on
growing up.

Not having had a father of his own (his father died in the
influenza epidemic of 1918 when he was a baby), he
lacked first-hand experience at being fathered.  He was
such a demanding teacher that he couldn’t teach me
to drive because he got too angry.  But he did teach me
to work, to learn and to have confidence in my abilities.  
He let me run any machine in the shop that I was able to.

One day, he took me around some of the machines,
explaining how gears worked.  Another day, he taught me
that you didn’t need to know everything, but you do
need to know where to find out.  We never had much
money, but we had an unabridged dictionary at the shop,
where I was expected to look up any words I didn’t
understand, and a set of the
Encyclopedia Britannica at
home for other facts.
Billie with her parents
in downtown Amarillo.
Frank Edward Silvey. Frank Silvey is my childrenâ
€™s father.  He is a brilliant man of varied interests.  A
voracious reader, he goes through books twice as fast as
I do.  Phi Beta Kappa in philosophy at UCLA, he taught
Kathy logic when she was just a child.

After graduating, he joined the Navy ahead of the draft
where he served as a journalist on the aircraft carrier
Ticonderoga in the Gulf of Tonkin and on the staff of All
Hands
, the Navy-wide magazine in Washington, D. C.

Returning to civilian life at a time when philosophy jobs
were scarce, he began working for IBM, taking early
retirement and becoming a specialist in computer media at
Aon, an international brokerage firm.

He loves music, singing with the Mansfield Chamber
Singers, a local semi-professional ensemble, in two or
three annual concerts.  They have also performed at
Carnegie Hall and toured Germany, Austria and Prague.

A highly ethical person, Frank values honesty as the basis
of any relationship.  That brought him into conflict with his
son, Robert, who tends to be a bit looser with the truth.  
But they overcame the difficulty and now are very close.  
In addition to his intelligence and compassion, Robert
appreciates his father’s sense of humor.
Frank would "honk" when
Robert squeezed his nose.
Frank and Kathy built
"the world's skinniest
snowman" at Lake
Arrowhead.
Andrew Casbey Hall. Andy Hall is my granddaughterâ
€™s father.  By far the most coordinated member of our
family, he was an alternate for the 1984 Olympics in judo,
and later was a professional dirt bike racer.

He’s a hard worker, repairing and restoring classic
Volkswagens for racing for a company that sells
worldwide--even in Germany!  He loves to ride his classic
Harley and to race the VW bug he built from a shell.

He has a master's degree in chemical engineering from
UCLA and worked for a while for an oil company.  But
after a friend died, he quit in protest of their loose safety
standards.
A doting husband and father, he’s proud of his
prodigiously clever and strong baby daughter.

Our three fathers are very different and still have a lot in
common.  The women in our family are fortunate that all
of them are hardworking, devoted to their families, and
men of high principles.
Proud father Andy holding
newborn Katyana.
Patriarchy
God My Father