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I Had a World-Class Dad

I Had a World-Class Dad

My Dad (we called him Pap) did a lot of great things, but maybe the best thing he ever did for me was encourage me to do things and learn things.  He never once said, “Well, that’s a crazy idea,” or “Did they get you mixed up at the hospital,” or “You’ll never be able to do that.”

BabyColonelandDad
My Dad “Pap” and Me

My Dad was not a psychologist. He had no higher learning and a limited amount of “lower” learning; however, he excelled in common sense which I think is much more valuable.

I didn’t just wake up one morning as the Colonel.  I took a lot of detours before I found my way there.  My Dad was with me and encouraging me all the way.

Once, when I was young and trying to figure things out, I had the brilliant idea that I needed to get into the hog business.  I was about as likely a candidate for the hog business as I was to be a neurosurgeon and I’m sure he knew that; but he was right there with me.

Now, I didn’t want to be just a farmer with pigs.  I wanted to do it like the agricultural experts said it should be done.  So we got in Pap’s truck and drove 100 miles to get the “registered” Durocs that I insisted on.  He had already helped get the barn ready and put up fencing.

All the way to get the pigs, I kept talking about not wanting to put the pigs in the bare truck bed . . . we needed to stop and get some straw.  See, I was already an expert.

ColonelsHogs
Daisy and Clementine Clipper doing what hogs do.

He kept saying, “Yeah, we’ll get some,” and kept on driving, probably thinking if pigs were happy in mud they’d probably be all right in the truck bed.  We got about three miles from the farm where the pigs were; and, lo and behold, there were three bales of straw in the middle of the road.  “See there, I told you we’d get some,” he said.

I interpreted the straw “find” to be an omen from God that I was on the right path; however, after the new wore off the registered hog business (which was pretty quick) I moved on to something else and my Dad became the accidental and unintentional hog farmer.  I’m sure you Dads out there can relate to that.

Then I wanted to be in the horse-drawn-buggy restoration business; so, I bought one and Dad was with me on that, too . . . most likely on the financial end of it.  Luckily, the buggy business didn’t make it too far down the road (since I was about 100 years too late) and again I moved on.

ColJeep_FathersDayBlog2017
My Dad and Me, 1948 and 2002

My Dad was a millwright by trade, so I decided I wanted to work on big construction jobs and building dams.  You had to go through an apprenticeship to be a journeyman millwright and have your own tools.  Guess who got me the tools.  He also gave me some good advice.  He said, “When you get there, they’ll put you with three or four older, experienced people.  Don’t go in there acting like you know everything, because they’ll let you know very quickly that you don’t know anything.  If you listen and ask questions and show them you want to learn, they’ll help you out.”  He was right.  I listened and learned a lot before I moved on.

ColonelsDadPapwithBalloon
Lester Coleman Littleton

When I got my first car, I wanted to tear out the engine and put in a big hot rod engine.  He was all for that, knowing that if I tore it all out and had to figure out how to put it back together, even though I might have some pieces left over I would have the experience and learn something.  I learned because he was an encourager.

Pap and I had a bond that was at least partially cemented by a mutual love of automobiles.  I grew up in the shop with him.  We talked about automobiles nonstop and worked on everything from T-Models to motorcycles.  When he was about 80 he bought, restored and rode a Cushman Scooter, which made the family more than a little nervous.  He was also a carpenter – he personally built the house we lived in from the ground up.  We shared a love for all things mechanical and a natural curiosity about how things work and why.  Whatever design ability I have, I owe to him.

Scooter
Cushman Scooter

My Dad had a fascination with people.  There was not an ounce of pretense in him . . . he was who he was no matter who he was with.  He was comfortable in his own skin and not one for “putting on airs.”  He loved people and didn’t shy away from talking to anyone.  He would have been just as comfortable striking up a conversation with the President or the Queen of England as he would have been talking to the clerk at the hardware store.  He wouldn’t have changed a thing.

He thought experience was the best teacher, and I think he was right.  Somewhere between encouragement and experience, I had a world-class education.  That’s because I had a world-class Father.

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all you Dads and Granddads out there.

 

Colonel’s Customer Letters

Colonel’s Customer Letters

  I want to hear from YOU. Send me your letters and pictures. – Colonel Email us at [email protected] Or, Mail to Colonel Littleton, 755 Abernathy Rd, Lynnville, TN 38472 Feel free to include a picture of your product, too.  (Even better if you’re in it!) READ MORE CUSTOMER LETTERS – DEAR COLONEL 2/24/2017   Continue Reading

Dear Colonel 2/24/17

Dear Colonel 2/24/17

LETTERS FROM OUR CUSTOMERS – UPDATED 2/24/17 1/23/17 I want to hear from YOU. Send me your letters and pictures. – Colonel Email us at [email protected] Or, Mail to Colonel Littleton, 755 Abernathy Rd, Lynnville, TN 38472 Feel free to include a picture of your product, too.  (Even better if you’re in it!) READ MORE CUSTOMER LETTERS… Continue Reading

Colonel’s 2017 New Year’s Philosophy

Colonel’s 2017 New Year’s Philosophy

A new year is on the horizon.  It stretches out before us like an endless highway, beckoning us on an exciting journey.  It is a new beginning – a time for reflection.  I’ve never been a big believer in New Year’s resolutions as such.  Sometimes they’re quickly made and just as quickly broken.  But, I… Continue Reading

CREATING TOMORROW’S HEIRLOOMS

CREATING TOMORROW’S HEIRLOOMS

What’s happened to our family heirlooms? I’m sure when families gathered on Thanksgiving, the conversations drifted toward memories that were special and significant. “Remember that pocket watch Daddy loved so much?  Whatever happened to it?  Remember how proud Mama was of her collection of baking tins?  Does anyone know where they are?  And what about… Continue Reading

Colonel’s Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Colonel’s Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Like lots of folks, I’ve always pictured Thanksgiving as a time when a one-horse sleigh traveled through the woods to grandma’s house where family gathered to eat turkey and the trimmings from a big platter. When everyone was nice and stuffed, the family would gather around the fireplace in the sitting room and enjoy being… Continue Reading

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Our 2017 Catalog

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Our 2017 Catalog

This holiday season marks our catalog’s 25th edition. Actually, we’ve been in business 30 years; however in our first few years we didn’t have the products or the resources to produce a catalog. Over the years, just about everything has changed from the size, printing, binding, product selection, etc. We work hard to produce this… Continue Reading

Dear Colonel 12/5/16

Dear Colonel 12/5/16

LETTERS FROM OUR CUSTOMERS I want to hear from you. Send me your letters and pictures. – Colonel Email us at [email protected] Or, Mail to Colonel Littleton, 755 Abernathy Rd, Lynnville, TN 38472 Feel free to include a picture of your product, too.  (Even better if you’re in it!) READ MORE CUSTOMER LETTERS – DEAR COLONEL 10-7-16 Continue Reading

Dear Colonel 9/2/16

Dear Colonel 9/2/16

Letters From Our Customers Mike S. shared this with us on Facebook…what he calls “Bentley Tote perfection.”   Colonel rarely meets a picker he doesn’t like, but every now and then somebody really stands out, and that’s the case with this guy. Meet Colonel’s new favorite artist, John Hound Brown, a good ole southern storyteller… Continue Reading

Col. Littleton Trunk Show Sets Off Fireworks in NC

Col. Littleton Trunk Show Sets Off Fireworks in NC

It was a festive 4th of July weekend for Colonel and his team who visited The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC for the Col. Littleton Trunk Show. Nestled among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, this grand resort hotel is over 100 years old and breathtaking. Fireworks lit up the nighttime sky while sparks were flying, you could say, inside… Continue Reading

Dear Colonel 6/16/16

Dear Colonel 6/16/16

LETTERS FROM OUR CUSTOMERS   Tommy Harrison shares his “15 minutes of fame” with his Col. Littleton No. 3 Grip Bag: –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  – IF YOU… Continue Reading

Col. Littleton Supports Children’s Music Program

Col. Littleton Supports Children’s Music Program

Have you ever seen a cuter group of violin virtuosos than this group from Richland Elementary School in Lynnville? (Front row, fifth from left is Kaitlyn, daughter of Josh Green, Leathersmith and Hide Specialist at Col. Littleton)  Photo courtesy of CWN Community Arts Academy Col. Littleton partnered with Martin Methodist College in their OpporTUNEity Music… Continue Reading

Brands As Art

Brands As Art

“Art takes many forms. At Col. Littleton you might say we have a new type of “brand awareness.” Having been in the leather business for many years I have come to appreciate the artistry of rancher’s brands . . . so much that I have designed and have a patent pending on a concept to bring this… Continue Reading

The Pocket Journal

The Pocket Journal

The New No. 27 & No. 28 Pocket Journals.   Choose the one that works best for you: No. 27 Pocket Journal Outside Dimensions: 6″H x 4″W Pocket Journal holds 5 1/2″H x 3 1/2″W journal fillers. No. 28 Pocket Journal  Outside Dimensions: 8 3/4″H x 5 1/4″W Pocket Journal holds 8 1/4″H x 5″W journal fillers.… Continue Reading

Milky Way Farm

Milky Way Farm

The Giles county countryside is looking beautiful as ever as the leaves turn and autumn greets us. This is a great time of year to visit our neighbors down the road, MILKY WAY FARM, so we thought we would tell you about them and take you on a little tour. Milky Way Farm is indeed… Continue Reading

Now Shipping to 36 Countries

Now Shipping to 36 Countries

Colonel can’t exactly fly the plane himself, but we do have a way to deliver to 36 countries. For any questions about international shipping, please email [email protected] TO ORDER: 1. Shop our website and add products to checkout cart. 2. Click on “Cart” in the website header to review products. 3. Look below cart total and click… Continue Reading

Final Touches to the Tavern Restoration

Final Touches to the Tavern Restoration

It was over a year ago when Colonel first laid eyes on a sad, decaying building that didn’t seem worthy of another look. But, the walls spoke of history that could not be overlooked. Luckily, the building was framed with original materials that could be saved, and Colonel’s vision led him and a team of craftsmen on the… Continue Reading

Stencil Boards

Stencil Boards

When it comes to historic restoration, it’s not unusual to face some challenges along the way. Colonel and the team have had their share during this project.  But, Colonel felt quite lucky with a particular surprise that showed up – something he’d never dream of finding. The Legacy of Moses Eaton Comes to Lynnville, Tenn. Payton Hewitt made a rare… Continue Reading

Col. Littleton in Nashville Lifestyles Magazine

Col. Littleton in Nashville Lifestyles Magazine

Pick up the July issue of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine and you’ll see Colonel and the town of Lynnville on page 50! They’ve included us in their article detailing “Three Charming Day Drives.”  Some of our neighbors are mentioned as well – Whitehorse Trading Company, Soda Pop Junction, Tenn South Distillery and the Lynnville Railroad Museum. Click on… Continue Reading

The Andrew Jackson Tavern – First Impression

The Andrew Jackson Tavern – First Impression

Colonel Littleton is a preservationist at heart with an appetite for restoring old buildings and preserving the history and the stories so deeply woven into the crevices of their walls. It’s disheartening for him to watch these buildings fall to neglect. Because, “Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever,” says Colonel.  But, when does Colonel decide to take on… Continue Reading

Colonel and the Tavern – A Love Story

Colonel and the Tavern – A Love Story

Colonel is Featured in County Life Magazine Fern Greenbank, publisher of County Life Marshall Magazine and community storyteller, wrote a wonderful article about the Colonel saving the Andrew Jackson Tavern and the history that goes along with it . . . Fern writes, “The colonel is known to love good old-fashioned stories and, well, anything old. This… Continue Reading

Col. Littleton Featured on RFD-TV’s “Small Town Big Deal”

Col. Littleton Featured on RFD-TV’s “Small Town Big Deal”

Col. Littleton will be featured on the series “Small Town Big Deal” which airs on RFD-TV Thursday, April 9 at 8:30pm CST.  (Dish Network Channel 231 / Direct TV Channel 345 / Check your local listing) The hosts of the show, Jann Carl and Rodney Miller, visited our little town of Lynnville, Tennessee and were treated… Continue Reading

Command Car Restoration

Command Car Restoration

THE DISCOVERY Having been a long-time aficionado of anything with wheels, and especially military vehicles, it was no surprise to anyone (especially my wife) that I ended up acquiring a 1941 Army Command Car. As you can see in these pictures, it was in need of more than a tune up. After receiving a lead from a friend, I found myself driving… Continue Reading

American Buffalo by Colonel Littleton

American Buffalo by Colonel Littleton

Nothing Says “AMERICANA” like American Buffalo. Our history is filled with stories of this majestic animal that thundered across the plains in the early days of America and is forever a symbol of our heritage. Watch the video to learn more about Colonel’s vision for our unique American Buffalo products. Shop American Buffalo Collection HERITAGE… Continue Reading

Andrew Jackson Tavern – The Journey Home

Andrew Jackson Tavern – The Journey Home

A Saved Building Takes The Journey Home There was a fragile, broken-down building in Belfast, Tennessee, the last remaining structure of what was a 200-year-old inn and tavern. The building was picked up and taken on its final journey home to Foxfire Farm in Lynnville on May 8, 2014. It has been undergoing a careful… Continue Reading

Dave Ramsey visits Col. Littleton Leather Workshop

Dave Ramsey visits Col. Littleton Leather Workshop

Financial author, fellow Tennessean and all-around good guy, Dave Ramsey stopped by Col. Littleton Friday for the 50 cent tour. (We all hid our credit cards.) Dave and his friend, (and Col. Littleton customer) Barry McCall, visited with Colonel getting a firsthand look at our leather manufacturing workshop.  The tour ended with a visit to our Private Stock and Classic… Continue Reading