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Father's Day 2004
I have a chiferla plant in my office that reminds me of my father each day. The company always sends flowers when kin folks die and they sent this one in 1986 when my father died.
He was, in a lot of ways, like a lot of other fathers around here. Honest, hard working, salt of the earth. He was proud of his kids and though he didn't have but a few years of school, intuitively knew the importance of an education. On more than one occasion, when my older brother Neil had problems with his grades, "you know son, you're going to have a high school diploma even if it takes you until your 50." It was a matter-of-fact statement that apparently Neil believed, because he would always pull his grades up and he graduated on time.
He and my mother came to all our ball games when I was a kid. He taught me how to throw a curve ball and how to work on cars, how to skin a catfish and how to build a minnow trap so that we could have bait when went fishing.
He was a miner and later in his life, a welder. He believed in giving "the company" their money's worth. You get paid to do a job, he'd say, don't take shortcuts, always do a job that you can be proud of. Be smart with your money. Buy some good term life insurance to help care for your family in case something happens to you. I know that these things might be profound, but they are the things that make me who I am.
Sunday June 20th is Fathers Day. If your father is still alive, I encourage you to hug him and tell him you love him, because there will come a time when he will be gone and all you have left are the memories.


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