Thoughts and memories of dad and granddad

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 23, 2014

This year Father’s Day in our family was even more special because of the newest member of our family, my granddaughter, Clara. After having two grandsons, it’s been kind of fun to watch my husband, Michael, relate to her. It does seem like he holds her a little more gently than he did the boys at that age. I guess that’s because he has visions of them playing football.
This past week on Facebook I asked the questions, “What’s special about your dad?” and “What are some of your favorite memories?” Thinking I would get a few responses, I was surprised when 26 people answered. Ranging in age from seventh grade to senior citizens, those who responded shared memories of riding motorcycles, driving stick shifts, playing basketball and going fishing. Some responses made me laugh while others made me cry. Heartwarming, to say the least, see if you don’t agree …
Sue Richardson: My dad took me to the drive-in when I was a teenager and we had a great time. The movie was “White Lightning,” starring Robert Mitchum. Another fun time was when my mom was in the hospital and my dad and I had to cook the meals. One day Daddy wanted fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy. Well the fried chicken and mashed potatoes went along fine, but the gravy was another story. I had seen Mom fix it, but wasn’t sure of the amount of drippings, flour and water. I added the flour to the drippings and then the water, but it wasn’t enough. Daddy came in and added more flour. It was too thick, so I added more water. When all was said and done, we had enough gravy to feed all of the Duke Power Plant employees. Even so, it was pretty good and Mom got a good laugh out of that story. (Growing up, Sue lived near the Buck Steam Power Plant on Dukeville Road).
Joy Roy: Eating ice-cream in Dad’s convertible with the top down. I’ll never forget his face when he turned around and saw us covered with ice-cream!
Carol Alley: My favorite memory of Bob Harrison … I had been begging for a dog, so one Saturday Dad and I loaded up in the Chevy Nova and drove to Landis to pick out my dalmatian puppy! I named her “Queenie” and loved her so much! She often rode on the Spencer Fire Dept. Fire trucks.
Jessie Cook: My dad was a very busy man with work, but he never ever turned down a chance to play catch in the backyard with my brother and me. He played basketball with us all the time, even installing a light outside so we could play into the wee hours. He took us fishing, mushroom hunting and ice skating on the pond. There were the big family vacations where tons of family memories were made. He made sure we worked hard and always gave it our all.
Grace Stodard: Dad is a servant. Always wanting to help fix what needs it.
Leanne Stanley: Getting up before the sun to go deep sea fishing.
Lydia Steele Richmond: My dad meets NO strangers.
Betty Massey: My daddy worked at Rowan Flour Mill in Cleveland and one part of his job was to go around to different stores taking orders for the flour. During the summer, he would let me occasionally go with him. At just about every store, he would buy me a piece of candy, a soft drink, or ice cream. It was a wonderful day spent “helping” my daddy!
Kelly Hain: My daddy was on television for thirty years. He had lots of children on his local show. He believed good manners were extremely important. He’d always end his shows with the phrase, “Mind your manners.” He taught my brother and I how to be mannerly and to this day when people find out he is my dad they will say something about “minding your manners.”
Janet Keys: My daddy always brought me a pack of juicy fruit gum home with him after work. I would search his pockets and he’d say, not today and laugh. But it would be there!
Laura Powell: My dad was an amazing man! He taught me so much about life. Looking back, now I wish I had paid more attention to the details. I was probably one of the few 5 year olds in Rowan County that could operate a backhoe!
Angela Harkey: My daddy, Jimmy Moore, taught me how to drive a stick shift on Mountain Rd., when I was about 13 years old! That’s the road I grew up on and the part we lived on was dirt. One Sunday, as we were getting ready for church, Dad and I got in the truck to ride up to the yield sign and back. I think we were trying to give Mom time to finish getting dressed. Anyway, I had on these little high heel Candies and when I turned the wheel to turn around, my foot slipped off the clutch and I threw a “doughnut,” scaring the crap out of me. My daddy thought that was the funniest thing ever! I shared that story with my 15-year-old son, Vance, since his dad and I are teaching him how to drive a stick shift!
Norma Thomas: There were five of us kids with 19 years between the oldest and the youngest. Dad always found ways to spend special time with each of us. He played cards with us and took us on individual motorcycle rides to see the ships at Port Canaveral, Fla. He built us wonderful playhouses that were so nice you could live in them. He made each of us feel valued and taught us how to value others. I remember him saying over and over, “Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff. After serving in WWII and seeing the things he saw and enduring the things he endured, I imagine everything else was “small stuff.” I’m so thankful for the dad I had and more thankful because of Jesus I’ll spend eternity with him. Can’t wait for that day.
Connie Rotenberry-Ryan: My dad always letting me put my little hand in his big hand when we would go to a new school or when I was afraid. My dad was 6’2” and had been a military policeman in the Air Force. I was never afraid when he was around.
Sam Spear: My dad came to see our eighth grade talent show. He was self-employed by that time and was hesitant to take time away from his work, especially at 10:30 in the morning on a work day. But he took the time to come see our show. I’ve never forgotten it, and it’s one of my lasting memories of him.
Carson Foster: Everything we did was special. Miss him so much … Rick Foster.
Vickie Goodman: Being small, all the water skis were too big. I wanted to learn to water ski like all my cousins, so Dad made a pair for me! I had to wear a size bigger tennis shoe to keep them on, but I got up after a few tries. He worked so hard bending the wood over an old barrel that had fire in it! The skis were blue with a white stripe!
Sylvia Kerr White: Always bringing chocolate home!
John Hoffman: Dad would come home from work “dead tired,” but not too tired to chase four kids through the house with a balled up piece of aluminum foil for a game. He’d toss it at us and hit us with it. Drove Mom crazy as she tried to cook supper.
Brenda Carter: Everything we did was special. Miss his smile. Love you DAD and miss you!
Betsy Hood: My dad equipped our old fiberglass rowboat with a little 20 hp. Mercury outboard motor and when he saw my sister and I trying to steer it sitting sideways, he decided to install cables and a steering wheel facing the bow so that we could be more comfortable. There were many fond memories of pretending we were race boat drivers, flying across the water in a hydroplane! Despite the fiberglass slivers and having to bail the rowboat out after a heavy rain, we loved that boat and took it out every chance we had. Dad kept the gas tank full and every summer made sure we had a blast on Lake Chautauqua. He built friends and neighborhood kids a huge raft so we could play King of the Mountain on the raft out past the dock as well. We were full time water bugs day in and day out. Some of the best memories from growing up.
Robin Havner Drye: My trips with daddy when I was little and having coffee with him as I got older. I lost him to lung cancer in 2007.
Joyce S. Poole: My dad had an antique car and loved to ride around in it. He let me drive it one time and I didn’t even know how to change gears! He loved to hunt — mostly rabbits. Took us to the beach every summer even though he had to stay covered up from the sun because he burned so badly.
Monica Dillon: His kindness towards all people. He was one of the most unselfish people I have ever known in my whole life. He had a heart of gold. Many people who knew him told me this after he died. Wink Wansley … one good-hearted man!
Ginger Cameron: I have lots of good memories of my grandpa. I loved him and he loved me! Period! I remember going with Grandpa to the store and getting a Little Debbie double decker oatmeal cookie. We’d eat it in the car and then he’d tell me not to tell Grandma because he wasn’t supposed to eat stuff like that. Of course, I didn’t tell. He was my buddy.
Skip Causby: I constantly reach for my phone to call my dad and tell him about where I am, what I’m seeing, how I’m doing, or to ask his advice. He’s always that near in my heart. I miss his voice, his laugh and his timely direction and encouragement. But most of all, I miss being able to tell him thank-you one more time for all he means to me.
Lisa Dixon: My dad’s a wonderful man! Always there for me and for anyone! I had a wonderful childhood because of this man. My dad loved to farm and loved his cows and loved to fish and taught us all about it. He still loves his wife of 60 years. My mom is now at the Laurels nursing home due to a stroke almost 3 years ago. Although Dad’s in the early stages of dementia, every day someone takes him to the nursing home so he can sit with his wife. He has a heart of gold! I’m thankful for my dad who has taught me so many life long lessons.
As you can see, you don’t have to wait until a special day once a year to build memories or tell your dad how much you care. Don’t live with regret, call your dad right now. You’ll be glad you did.