Appalachia

47 Years Young Today

An Appalachian husband

Today is The Deer Hunter’s birthday. He’s 47 years young. We were in our early 20s when we met, set up on a blind date by one of my cousins and her husband.

As with all marriages there have been ups and downs, but I’m grateful to say for us there have been mostly ups.

I could never fully describe the manner in which The Deer Hunter takes care of the girls and me: providing for us, doing all the hard things that need doing, forever making sure we’re okay. He’s always treated the girls and me like princesses-even though we know we are far from that.

He has barely left my side since Pap died, and when he has had to leave, he’s called to make sure I’m okay throughout the day.

Pap’s death has been hard on The Deer Hunter too. They worked together for many years and they shared many of the same interests.

On our wedding day I was determined not to cry. I dressed in the basement of the church and the plan was for Pap and I to wait on the first landing of stairs until we were motioned to come up and into the sanctuary.

As Pap and I stood together he said “Tipper I want you to know I couldn’t have picked a better choice than Matt for you to marry.” Of course there went the whole I’m not going to cry thing.

Over the past year Pap spoke to me more than once about his passing. He always told me it was a comfort for him to know Matt would be here to take care of the girls and me and that since Matt was so good at fixing things he was glad to know he’d be here to help Granny, Paul, and Steve and his family should they need him.

Several weeks ago the girls got to make some mighty fine music in the Dutch Cove community of Canton NC where The Deer Hunter grew up. It was a neat experience for us all, but seeing his girls play in the very community that made him who he is today especially pleased The Deer Hunter.

I never had a chance to show Pap the video above, but I know he would have liked it. Pap was smart, on our wedding day so long ago he saw the man Matt would become when I was still only seeing the handsome young fellow waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

Tipper

 

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62 Comments

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    May 4, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Your father’s blessing on your wedding day was so touching, Tipper. My brother said to some family members recently, “I have been so lucky to have three of the best brothers-in-law. The best thing about them was that they were all good to my sisters.” That is what we all want is for our loved ones to marry good people. I think you have a good one , and Pap knew it.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    May 3, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Maureen
    You can find our music here:
    https://blindpigandtheacorn.com/pickin-grinnin-in-the-kitchen-music-from-the-blind-pig-gang/
    I also sell it in my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlindPigAndTheAcorn

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    May 2, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    What precious gifts God has given each of you in each other. And, you father has been precious to all who knew him and admired him.

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    May 1, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Happy Birthday, Matthew (even though there is only one hour left…)
    Well, it’s one thing to be the luckiest man on earth, but it’s quite another to deserve it. And I think you are; and I think you do! May God continue to richly bless you and your family always. Your friend,
    Rooney

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    May 1, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Happy Birthday to the Deer Hunter! I hope he has had a wonderful day!
    Pam
    scrap-n-sewgranny.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 1, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    You know Matthew Darren “Matt” Pressley is a fine young man. Intelligent, Ingenious, Industrious and Handsome. All traits most likely inherited from his paternal grandmother Lura Ethel Ammons. All the Ammons’ are thataway. I’ll bet before Pap approved of him he checked his background and when he saw Ammons that is all he needed to know.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    May 1, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Ah, the blessing of a good man- Happy Birthday, Matt!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 1, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Tipper,
    I just found The Pressley Girls singing The Way I Am, and of all places … in your Greenhouse. What a thoughtful setting!…Ken

  • Reply
    Charline
    May 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to your Deer Hunter, as well as Pap. All good. All blessed.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    May 1, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Happy birthday, Matt! Of course, you know that now you have a whole bunch of “acorns” to hold you accountable for taking care of “your girls”! I hope you have many more healthy and happy birthdays.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    May 1, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Wishing your hubby a very Happy birthday. God Bless!!

  • Reply
    Shirley B
    May 1, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Happy Birthday,Deer Hunter! Hope Tipper has made your favorite cake!Have a good day with your family!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    May 1, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Happy birthday to the Deer Hunter.
    I only know him through your stories but I can tell he is a good man who loves his family and takes care of them. It’s so great to have a partner in life to hold you up when feel like falling and cheer you on when you feel like you are losing. What a blessing indeed. May God bless both of you with many more birthdays together.

  • Reply
    Jean
    May 1, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Hi TIPPER,Another great blog and replys from your readers.Both sides of this coin “blog” is Blessed, Thank you.And happy birthday Matt.God Bless,Jean

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    May 1, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Wonderful memories shared here.
    Happy Birthday DH, prayers for many many more!!!
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 1, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Happy birthday, Deer Hunter, Matt Pressley! I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of your “blind date,” and how that meeting all turned out for the best. Your family is delightful! It is no wonder your Dad loved and respected Matt as a son! That’s how it should be, and an example to others.
    May Deer Hunter have a wonderful birthday. And the music was superb, too. The girls joined right in in a wonderful way with the other two!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    May 1, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Happy Birthday! May you celebrate many more with your true soulmate. Good hunting, good life

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 1, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Tipper,
    I’m proud to call Matthew my friend! Happy Birthday, Matt! Just so
    you would know…my birthday just passed and my youngest daughter will be soon. You’re sandwiched exactly 5 days after mine and 5 days before Jennifer’s.
    Pap really loved you, I know because he’s told me so, and I got to meet your dad, Tony, and I already know Miss Cindy. I see where the Softness comes from. Continue to take care of the Family.
    …Ken

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    May 1, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    TIPPER,
    I MET MATT AT THE MARTIN CREEK BOOK THING. HE SEEMED VERY NICE. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MATT (deer hunter).

  • Reply
    Charles Fletcher
    May 1, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Happy birthday cousin.
    Charles Fletcher

  • Reply
    TimMc
    May 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Mighty fine Fiddling,, Happy Birthday Deer Hunter, your a truly blessed Man..

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    May 1, 2016 at 11:55 am

    matt: the happiest of birthdays i know what 47 feels like ,it happened to me 30 years ago. i can see you’ve had many blessings already. many more . regards k.o.h.

  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    May 1, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Tipper,
    Thanks for sharing all that has happened over the last couple of weeks. I have not responded, it’s hard to know what to say, especially to someone you’ve never met, but feel you kind of know through your sharing on this blog. I am proud for you and your family, you are a wonderful example of what a family should be. You, Matt and the girls and all your extended family are a blessing to all.
    My Dad passed December 6. We moved him up from Florida to live with us last June. He didn’t like doctors much, but I talked him in to seeing one when we got him to TN. Turns out he was pretty far along with leukemia. We spent 6 months really enjoying our time together. I know you spent many years enjoying your time with your Dad. That time was a blessing we will always have.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 1, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Happy Birthday Mr. Pressley! Just think, only 20 years to retirement.
    I noticed the picture badge clipped to your collar. I used to have to wear one of those. It had my first name in a BOLD font, EDWIN. When you are named Edwin and people ask your name they hear Edward or Edmond. When I was at work and people asked my name I would hold the badge out toward them.
    When I retired in ’14, I took the badge and clipped it on the mirror in my truck. The sun has faded my picture almost to nothing and the card is yellow but my EDWIN is BOLD as ever.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    May 1, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Happy Birthday Matt. May it be one of the Great days for you and your family!

  • Reply
    Chuck Howell
    May 1, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Happy Birthday. Hard times come and go. This too shall pass. Time will tell, we must remember our loved ones. Music lives on. I’m looking for original tunes about the most loved “Pap.” They are sure to come from his family and friends. Does the “Deer Hunter” really hunt Deer? Driving through Texas for the first time, I stopped for breakfast, asked the waitress which was better, the ham or sausage. “I’m a vegetarian” she replied. Texas-vegetarian seemed like an oxymoron at he time. All those steers! Oh well, just askin about the “Deer Hunter.” One never knows. Love to all Uncle Chuck

  • Reply
    Jeanne
    May 1, 2016 at 10:58 am

    My boys are 48 (April 30) and 46 (May 31) this year. Both are “deer hunters”, along with the grandsons’, and men who work hard, you can rely on, thoughtful and civic minded. You are blessed Tipper and so am I. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATT.

  • Reply
    Eleanor Loos
    May 1, 2016 at 10:45 am

    How fun to read that The Deer Hunter really has another first name and that would be “Matt” … or even possibly Matthew? Heretofore one could’ve thought his first name is “Deer” and his last name is “Hunter”.
    :-)) Best wishes and God’s blessings, Matt, for another good year walking with the Lord and your precious family.

  • Reply
    Tom
    May 1, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Wishing the Deer Hunter a very Happy 47th birthday! You are all still in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Reply
    Dolores
    May 1, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Happy Birthday to the Deer Hunter! Bless your day and may you have many more years together. Hum! I wonder what kind of special cake you will have today!

  • Reply
    Guitar Man
    May 1, 2016 at 10:18 am

    He is quite the man, and helped to make the last few weeks much more bearable. I just hope that he’ll be able to help build me a home some day, so that I can live in a Wilson-built home in the Mountains.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    May 1, 2016 at 10:13 am

    One more thing…..
    “Happy May Day”, and a pinch and a punch for the first of the month!
    I just can’t believe it is May already!
    What a great day for a birthday!

  • Reply
    maureen
    May 1, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Where can I buy your CD’s? Do you sell them?

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    May 1, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Tipper,
    I loved this post…
    “Happy Birthday Deer Hunter” as affectionately known, and to Matt Pressley, the husband, father, son, uncle and son-in-law. The devoted caretaker of his most precious dears, Tipper, Chitter and Chatter….
    “Happy Birthday”
    Thanks Tipper for this post,

  • Reply
    Zelma
    May 1, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Happy Birthday to Matt, and best wishes for many more wonderful years! He sounds like a keeper.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    May 1, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Happy Birthday to the Deer Hunter, and so wonderful he was able to have such an awesome family to spend all those birthdays with. It is so great to have a really solid friend or companion beside you when you go through the troubles of life–as the trouble do come as do the blessings. Choosing a good partner even assures your entire family is better off. Great post, Tipper, and I can only hope your dedicated Blind Pig readers bring comfort to you at this time.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 1, 2016 at 9:42 am

    A birthday full of family, friends and fun to ‘Dear Hunter’

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 1, 2016 at 9:42 am

    A birthday full of family, friends and fun to ‘Dear Hunter’

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 1, 2016 at 9:42 am

    A birthday full of family, friends and fun to ‘Dear Hunter’

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 1, 2016 at 9:42 am

    A birthday full of family, friends and fun to ‘Dear Hunter’

  • Reply
    Cullen in Clyde
    May 1, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I’m sure couldn’t nothing but the love of a good woman draw a fellow out of a wonderful spot in the world like Dutch Cove. I’m not originally from Haywood County, but have wanted to be ever since I got here. Hope you all have a wonderful day! Enjoy the times, people, and memories that have brought you to this day! PS: Y’all’s baby girls sure can pick-n-grin right well!

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    May 1, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Happy birthday to you, Deer Hunter.Be blessed.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    May 1, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Happy Birthday to Matt. There’s a whole bunch of folks over in Wilson Hollow who have been blessed by Matt’s presence, and I’m sure that Matt would say that he was the one who had been blessed.

  • Reply
    betty richards
    May 1, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Happy birthday to the Deer hunter!
    Hank & Betty Richards.
    Love the music!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    May 1, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Even though we independent women think we can make the best choices for ourselves, I think many of us would have been better off if we had let our fathers pick our husbands for us!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 1, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Your post is a wonderful birthday present for Matt. I don’t expect any of it is new to him but still it is words to be cherished.
    We each know we are not as good a person as we’d like to be or even as some others seem to think we are. But to be loved in spite of our mistakes is priceless grace. My advice to young grooms is to never stop courting their wife. Good for you Matt. The world needs these kinds of stories.
    I can tell you are finding consolation in unexpected ways and places. That alone is a tribute to your Dad. He did just what a good father does, looked out ahead, saw a need coming and prepared for it.
    Happy birthday Matt. I hope it is a greatly blessed one in every way

  • Reply
    Aline Tanner spencer
    May 1, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Happy Birthday Deer Hunter

  • Reply
    Tamela
    May 1, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Wishing continued blessings and strength for your whole family – a wish that is hardly necessary when you have each other working and growing together in such a beautiful partnership.
    Happy birthday to the Deerhunter; and congratulations to all of you.

  • Reply
    colleen Holmes
    May 1, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Yup, you got a gooden.

  • Reply
    colleen Holmes
    May 1, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Yup, you got a golden. My story could be your story.

  • Reply
    Richar Beauchamp
    May 1, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Wishing Matt a very Happy Birthday and many more to come!! Although I have never met any of you, I feel like I know all of you. You and the Deer hunter have done a wonderful job bringing ut those very talented and smart girls. They are a blessed gift to the world.
    I have thought of the family many times since Pap died. You are a strong family and I think you have done well helping each other through this.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 1, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I remember that day 47 years ago! The deer Hunter was such a sweet beautiful child everyone who met him loved him. Tip, when he met you he blossomed like a flower in the spring. He has always adored you and the girls. I am so proud of the fine man he is and his devotion to family.
    Happy Birthday !

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    May 1, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Here3’s wishing the Deer Hunter a nice buck come fall.

  • Reply
    Patsy
    May 1, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Happy birthday wishes to your hubby!

  • Reply
    marshall
    May 1, 2016 at 8:00 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEERHUNTER . I have a brother who,s birthday is today also .

  • Reply
    William Dotson
    May 1, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Have a great and happy birthday, Deer Hunter.

  • Reply
    Vann Helms
    May 1, 2016 at 7:39 am

    May Day is Deer Hunter Day.. All the best….

  • Reply
    Quinn
    May 1, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Happy birthday to The Deer Hunter 🙂

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 1, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Here’s wishing a happiness to this birthday of Matt’s,
    A man who delights in herding three lovely cats.
    Methinks that in his beard I spy a hint of grey,
    Mayhap from dealing with the three lassies day by day?
    Fear not though staunch son of the hills,
    We all know they’ve provided endless thrills.
    And as your age reaches two score and seven,
    Know that you are surely living in an earthly heaven.
    **********************************************************
    With that singular lack of success and making of a poetic mess. Like a lot of others I wish you all the best, happy hunting, and good luck in keeping the gals more or less straight.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Amy
    May 1, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Happy birthday to the Deer Hunter! (from a fellow Taurus)

  • Reply
    Julia
    May 1, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Love this! So blessed to know you both! Happy Birthday to the Deer Hunter!!!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    May 1, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Happy birthday to The Deer Hunter! Keeping yall in my prayers.

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