Saluting our unique dads

Published 10:11 am Friday, June 16, 2017

Saluting our unique dads

My grandfather Mack was tall (6’5” as a matter of fact) and slim with a great sense of humor.  His professional baseball career was cut short by WWI but he lived to tell about it and came back to Mississippi to farm, raise 5 children with my grandmother Annie Valentine, and drive a rural mail route.   He was happy, loved to tell funny stories, drank Coca-Colas, and always enjoyed visiting with his friends in town and he had a kind heart.  Don’t believe I ever heard him utter a cross word.  I had many cousins on that side of the family and he loved to entertain us all at the farm. Got my height from PawPaw.
On the Tennessee side of the family was my grandfather Goff. I was his first grandchild and just happened to be born on his birthday.  I named him Boppie.  We had lots of fun together, especially on trips back to Tennessee. He was quiet, reserved, and extremely conscientious.  He loved to fish, drink hot coffee and to do a little picking on the mandolin.  And oh, could he whistle.  He whistled while he worked as a watch maker and repairman, usually hymns, but sometimes you might catch a little Hank Williams tune.  One would expect him to be rather meticulous about his work but he was as careful and fastidious in everything he did — in his shop, his garden, around their house and in the yard, and on his car.  And he adored my grandmother.  But when she might be gone he would make the best hot water cornbread ever for supper.  I have his blue eyes but not his wavy hair.
Now my daddy loved to fish, too. And cook fish. And he was good at both.  But he didn’t like to tell anyone where he caught ‘em. Nor did he like anyone who wouldn’t paddle.  That person wasn’t likely to go fishing with him more than once.
Daddy loved local news, events, and sports and piqued my interest in all three as well as local journalism.  He too loved music and was gifted with the ability to play any instrument by ear. He did learn to read a little music by playing trumpet in the Holly High School Marching Band but he always favored the guitar.  His stayed hooked up to the amplifier propped at the end of the sofa just waiting to be turned on. He’d sit on the arm of the sofa and pick and sing us a tune every night.  Sometimes he played the piano and we’d sing together.  Any song he had heard, he played.  I have his nose, but not his ear.
My boys learned to be good fathers from theirs.  DW was a hands-on dad from the very start, but with twins there was no choice.  We had an on-the-job crash course in parenting!  As they grew, he taught them life skills (and continues to) in the shop, in the yard, under the hood, and around the house.  I’m thankful that Zachary, Nicholas, and James all saw him work diligently at his job and at home and watched him lead in our home, in the church, and in the community.   And thankfully they all became hands-on-dads too, setting an example for their children to learn from and follow with the same love, joy and respect that they saw in DW.  Full circle.
So, men I said all of this to say please be the best you can, every day, in every way.  Someone is watching. I’m thankful for the fathers in my life.

Happy Father’s Day.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Recipe of the Week

Nice Pork Chops
I don’t even have to ask what DW wants for his Father’s Day dinner!

4 thick pork chops (about 1 ½ inches thick)
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup soy sauce
1 – 2 teaspoons oriental hot chili sauce

Mix ingredients together and pour over pork chops in a glass baking dish.  Marinate about 2 hours, turning at least once.  Preheat grill.  Grill pork chops over high heat (450 – 500 degrees, or hot coals) for 5 – 7 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of meat.  Use marinade to baste pork chops before and after turning and one last time before removing from grill.  Place on platter and wrap immediately with heavy duty foil.  Allow meat to stand at least 10 minutes before serving.  Note: this marinade can be made in any amount, always use equal portions of Worcestershire and soy sauces.  Chili sauce can be omitted.  Serve with dad’s favorite sides.