I was maybe 5 years old and the neighborhood was having a crab apple/water pistol fight. It was nighttime. My Dad had a work light in the driveway on as he was always working on cars to better ourselves…..I ran to him to refill my water pistol and he did. He handed the freshly loaded water pistol to me and told me not to shoot the work light which is EXACTLY what I did next….almost instantaneously!….I never killed a work light bulb or doubted him ever again….I sure do miss him….
My dad died when I was young. I do remember him trying to tell me not to go into the
YMCA by myself. A lot of bums and mentally ill people who would love to have fun with a little boy. I was sitting in the dark tv room on a big stuffed couch when he came looking for me.
He walks up to me in his sheriffs uniform and picks me up in the air and escorts me out.
He was 6’6″ 250 and everyone was scared of him including me.
He carried a shiny 1911 that I keep in a safe and shoot it on his birthday
He wanted me to be a marine like he was. 19 years of age your going to be a Marine
so we have to get you in shape and keep you in shape. We went to the range all the time.
Then he got shot in a shootout with five armed men.
At six or seven years old, I was pistol whipped with a metal toy six shooter by a neighbor kid (had a couple of knots on my head). I went home crying, Dad met me at the screened door. He told me I wouldn’t be allowed in the house until I went back and kicked the kids ass, he locked the door. To this day, I think he was serious.
I did, was let in the house and he told me, “you always stand up for yourself, don’t start a fight, but finish them and never allow anyone to hurt your sister”.
My Dad had a talk with me in the Summer of 1971 when I was 18 and was going to join the Navy right out of HS. He told me to wait a year since I was not eligible for the draft until the next year and the Vietnam war was still going strong. It was good advice because I got an extra year to know what to do until I received a low draft number in the 1972 draft lottery and joined the Navy. I learned a lot that year after I moved out and started my life on my own with a friend when we moved to Portland, Or. from Spokane. And besides I may never have been assigned to Navy fighter squadron VF 114 and served on board the USS Kitty Hawk and had the experiences I had making 2 trips overseas to see the World. Because he had served in the Air Force after World War 2 he knew what might lie ahead for me if I went into the Navy too soon. I wasn’t ready yet in 1971 but in 1972 I was ready to serve. Thanks Dad for giving me another year to grow up, it was worth it.
When I was just hitting puberty our family went to a Chinese restaurant. Dan and I had to take a leak. While standing at the urinals my dad said, “It feels good out tonight.” Followed by, “I think I’ll leave it out all night.” I laughed till I had tears in my eyes.
He could be a real SOB when he was young but he mellowed as he aged. The slings and arrows can do that to you. He became a very loving man. He only went to the 8th grade. Or was it the sixth? Either way, he was well read and intelligent. I view life through the lens my parents instilled in me and I’m thankful.
My Father has been gone for 51 years and I still miss him.
A few things I remember him telling me as a child.
Never hold a nail for someone else.
If your brother, comes home with a bloody lip, you better come home with bloody knuckles.
Never hit anyone wearing glasses.
Use your big head.
Don’t ever hit a girl.
Be a giver, not a thief.
“you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate”
one of my favorite stories about my old man was when he moved to Florida (’cause that’s what you do when you get to a certain age … I think it’s the law) he registered to vote. one of the questions the clerk asked was “have you committed any crimes?” …. he replied, “only once; I voted for Jimmy Carter” … the clerk couldn’t stop laughing
“Don’t try to set the hook too early.”
“Lead the birds when shooting – more than you think you need to.”
I had saved up for years for my first car. When I turned 16 he took me to the car dealer and pointed at a 10 year old Dodge Dart with a slant 6. He said “If you want to be on my insurance this is what you will buy.”
My father, God bless him, told me there are 3 types of people in this world: Those who learn by reading, those who learn by seeing, and those who actually have to urinate on the electric fence. Figure out which one you wish to be.
By gum, that has carried me a long way. I miss him daily.
On a health walk by White Rock about two years after his first heart attack. He hung the Moon as far as I was concerned. What he said to me, mattered. Always.
During the walk, I had referred to the natural assumption I had that I would follow in his footsteps.
The shocked look on his face got my attention. “NO! Do whatever it is you really want to do.”
I knew the stress, focus, dedication, and time it took. I felt relieved to be let go of all that. It was just another unknown challenge up until that point. I did not like some aspects of that life. His life was barely his own as a doctor.
I was too selfish and not inspired to go down that path. I think it served me well in advising my own sons. Take expectations of repeating what was done, and everything else opens up.
I still feel loved by Dad and he died in late `70. He made it clear how to love a son. Made it easy to pass on.
My father was a man of few words, having served 2 tours as a tail gunner in a B17 during WWII.
‘Don’t get stuck behind a desk’
And he told me several times to remember what Davey Crockett said- ‘make sure you are right, then go ahead’
My uncle was the guy who told me ‘if you cross your eyes and press your belly button, Your legs will fall off’
I was four. My older brother had done something mean or stupid and I tried fussing to my mother about it but she was busy cooking so I ventured into the garage, figuring I was going to get big bro into big trouble now. Dad listened to about a sentence and a half of my sniffly sorry complaint, put down what he was working on and said, “Nobody likes a whiny kid.” Don’t think I ever tried that on him again. He died suddenly the next year and I have spent the fifty plus years since figuring out how to fix or put up with crap, but not whining (at least not in public).
My dad wasn’t a guy who gave advise on a regular basis. However, he told me when I was twelve, my handwriting was terrible and needed lots of improvement. He was concerned poor handwriting would affect my employment in the future. I accepted his advice and get compliments to this day on my handwriting.
BTW, Happy Father’s Day!
Son, the rubbers are in the top drawer, don’t disappoint your mother.
Back then, you married the trollop.
Pre summer of love.
It was fifty years ago today
Sgt. Pepper told the band to play
They’ve been going in and out of style
But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile
Money was tight. At 12 I tried borrowing money from Dad to buy a pair pf beatle boots. He used to work in a Brown Shoe Factory in Illinois and told me they weren’t well made.
But, He told me if I got a job and earned the money I could buy anything I wanted and he wouldn’t say a word.
I got a paper route and baled hay. Bought those beatle boots……….but Dad bitched about those boots and me wasting my money for weeks until the shoes feel apart.
The saddest part was, he was right. Always bought the shoes he recommended from that time forward.
The last piece of advice my father gave me shortly before he died. This is after I’ve had my own kids. “The problem with being a father is you really only get one shot at it. I did the best I could. Just do the best you can do. That’s all anybody can ask.” A week later he was dead.
Thank you all for sharing, for both tears of joy and tears of sorrow.
I was fortunate to have several good male role-models (grand-fathers & uncles) growing up since Dad wasn’t in the picture until mid-teens.
One of the things that has stuck with me was when I was going through a lot of “I wish this” and “I wish that” Dad said “If wishes were horses beggars would ride”.