Dad did good

My Dad had a hard life growing up. His parents split up early and neither played a big role in his formative years. Fortunately, he was provided a safety net that would not let him fail. He was raised by his Great Aunt and Uncle.

His Uncle ran a general store in a small Georgia town. My Dad was asked to help out there. This eventually led my Dad to start his career with a regional supermarket after college and a stint in the Navy. More on that later.

He went to college in north Georgia, but it was under a required work study program.  You had to work to attend and that was the only way the students could afford the tuition costs. He met my mother there and they married in 1951 and moved to Jacksonvulle, FL.

He had a stint in the Navy when the Korean Conflict started joining with several friends. Serving on an aircraft carrier, he learned of 25 second showers, discipline and visited some exotic places,  Once home, he decided soon a supermarket career was not for him. Even with his low salary, he would have to cover bounced checks as a manager.

He and his good friend George decided to move into this career called data processing, the precursor to IT. He worked for a regional insurance company and eventually worked his way up. He was there until he retired in the early 1990s.

He and my Mom raised us three kids. She was a schoolteacher. I mentioned in my last post in a comment that he would pitch batting practice to me after work and coached me on occasion. He was a very good athlete in college playing basketball, baseball and track.

He also was a great outdoor cook. He would love to smoke hams and turkeys, and cooked a mean roast and chicken. He would tease us saying the chicken did not have any wings, as he would sample them outside. His team would have indoor office picnics and he would usually bring a ham or turkey. They tended to request this of him.

He and my Mom were a great couple, married for 54 years. He died too early after a life of smoking and drinking, even though he quit both a dozen years before he passed. Like me, my Dad was an alcoholic. I stopped drinking myself the year after he died.

When he passed in 2006, there were a half dozen couples that met in college like my parents and were still together that came to his funeral. He was remembered well, but it was a tribute to Mom, too. My Dad was not perfect, but he was a good man, husband and father. I love you Dad. Your lessons are remembered and appreciated.

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15 thoughts on “Dad did good

  1. Note to Readers: My Mom and Dad met when my father was playing basketball for the college team. My mother arrived late and had to wait until action subsided, so she could walk around the court and sit behind the home team. Dad chased a loose ball toward where Mom was sitting and ended up in her lap. The rest is history.

  2. Happy Father’s Day! Your dad and mine had a lot in common! My dad was also from a small Georgia town and lived for a while in Jacksonville, FL (where I was born). He joined the Navy in the mid-50s at the age of 17. He traveled the world, built airplanes, and even skippered John Wayne’s yacht for a short while! He died much too young at 53, but he did a lot in his short life. He drank and smoked too much as well, but everything I know about working hard and having integrity, I learned from him.

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your father, Keith! It is said that the apple does not fall far from the tree, and in your case this is true … you had a good example and you, too, are a fine man.

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