Appalachia

Fathers According to Blind Pig Readers

The Deer Hunter explaining something to the girls while he rested from cutting wood

Rose: Yes I also learned a lot from my dad handing him tools, and listening to the stories of him growing up. How they lived during the depression and WWII, great lesson. He is gone from earth but not my heart!

PinnacleCreek: Father’s Day has become a day of reflection. It is so easy to let my mind wander back to those days when I still had my Dad, and he taught me lessons each and every day we shared. I never carried water for him, but I sure enjoyed doing his grocery shopping and helping him harvest the garden he never quit planting. He called me “young’un” most of the time. Could he have really been as perfect as I remember him? I picked beans one year until I was exhausted, and covered with chigger bites and a few yellow jacket stings. He decided to give the last bucket full to a needy cousin. I complained that I didn’t really pick those for somebody else. In the calmest most gentle voice one could ever hear my Dad said, “You are gettin’ greedy young’un.” It made me stop to think how fortunate we were, and taught me great humility. Ever since that time I feel blessed, and I became very giving of my time and labor. Yes, he taught me well!

Ed Ammons: I remember carrying water in a quart mason jar to my father out in fields. I started out with the jar full but no matter hard I tried I never made it to him without sloshing out at least a little. He would turn it up, drink the whole jar without taking it down and hand it back to me. I would go for a refill. He would take that quart and pour it over his head and neck.

Melanie: Here are three random facts about my Dad:
He’s a musician.
He’s steady.
He quit a thirty year, pack a day smoking habit just because my boy asked him to.

Miss Cindy: My Dad was smart. He was handsome. He was a great cook. My Dad was out of town when my son was born but he returned by the next day. I knew he was back when I heard him arguing with a nurse in the hall, demanding to see his grandson even though it was past visiting hours. He won the argument, he could be very persuasive!

Janera: Three things: he had opinions and didn’t mind sharing them; he would do anything to help another human being; he loved his wife, his kids and his grandkids deeply. Oh, just one more, please? We miss him. That’s also a fact.

Jim Casada: As you know, my siblings and I were more blessed than most in that Daddy enjoyed an exceptionally long life–101 well-lived years, with his mind being sound and incisive right to the end. All of us children were blessed, although we probably didn’t appreciate it sufficiently at the time, by taking turns living with him and looking after him in his final years. There’s never a day that passes that I don’t think of something he said or did or of some question I wished I had asked him. His entire life was lived in Clay County (first five years), Haywood County (a year or so working at Unagusta), and Swain County (well over 90 years). He was truly a son of the Smokies in every way. Practical, gifted in terms of being able to figure out or engineer what was needed to suit most any task, incredibly hard working, and caring in his own quiet, reserved way. I miss him terribly

Carolyn A.: Our Dad has passed on, but he left us with values that we use everyday of our lives. Work hard, be good and kind, and help others when you can. He didn’t make much, raised 7 children on his salary, and was loved and respected by many. He made us laugh too which was better than gold. Our Grandad also passed this on to me. Work hard, dance when you can, and give thanks to the Lord above for all you have. Two great men who taught me how to be as independent as I am. xxoo

Martina: My Dad was very good at seeing a problem and fixing it with what was at hand. One was a door closer that involved eyebolts, twine, a plastic cigar tube and lead shot. Dad liked to draw and paint seascapes and building “stuff” in his workshop. However what I remember most about him were his laugh and the way he could hug-powerful hugs! That and singing On Top of Old Smokey when we went on car vacations. He is still loved and missed daily by his family, 24 years after he went “home”. His word of wisdom to me when I got my own apartment? “If it doesn’t smell good, don’t eat it”. 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed reading all the comments about fathers and please, if you’d like to, leave a comment about your father.

Tipper

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Papaw
    June 16, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    I can remember back to when I was a little thumb sucking baby sitting on my Daddy’s lap. He told me I needed to quit sucking my thumb if I was going to be a big boy. I remember telling him I would quit my nasty habit if he would quit smoking. He made the deal and I quit my thumb sucking. He couldn’t stick to his side of the bargain.
    Not many people can remember sixty five or more years ago but I can. I only remember little snippets though and this is one of them. It is a treasured memory I hope I never lose.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    June 16, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    These wonderful stories about dad’s made my eyes mist.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    June 16, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Dear Tipper,

    I have enjoyed reading all the posts about fathers. I miss my own father so much it makes it hard for me to write about him. Just thinking about him brings tears to my eyes. He was kind, gentle, and loving every day of his life. He never gave me a spanking, but my mother sure did. When I was really young and he wanted me to do something I didn’t want to do he would look at me so sadly and say, “I’m old and gray and bit by the chills of a cold winter day.” Even though he wasn’t old and gray that would make me so sad just considering it that I would do most anything he wanted me to. Every now and then that wouldn’t work, so he would say “I’ll just go off to the big mountains where the bears live.” That would do it for me, and I could never resist that. Like you, Tipper, I was a big “daddy’s girl.” He could do no wrong in my eyes. I could go on for hours, but I will spare everyone. I loved my Pap and he loved me.

  • Reply
    Virginia Malone
    June 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Who couldn’t stop and think of their dad for a moment after reading all those wonderful stories. Love them.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    June 16, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    My daddy was a man of infinite patience and kindness. One of my favorite memories is the several-times-each week morning routine of him standing in the hall, holding his razor, his face half shaved, waiting patiently for one of the three females in his house — Mama, my two sisters, and me — to use the bathroom. He never once complained.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    June 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Tipper,
    Daddy and Mama was born in the early times, way before the Great Depression, lived through it and when it was over, daddy said “we couldn’t tell any difference down here in the Mountains.” They raised 6 boys, right in the middle of a bunch of Moonshiners, but none of us took to Drinkin”. We were raised to respect our elders, to know what hard work was, and when we were old enough to ask, enjoy the Salvation of our Lord.

    Daddy died in ’82 and Mama in ’86, and I’m the last of our Generation. How I miss ’em!!! …Ken

  • Reply
    Neva [Wyatt} Slocum
    June 16, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    My father was a very loving dad, he had a very special way with his grandkids and any neighbor kids. When the kids were able to talk he would start teaching them “Ten little indians”. When they learned the song forwards they would get a dollar. Then when they could also sing it backwards they would get another dollar. Those dollars were like a million to each of them. They would try every time they came to Papa Wyatt’s.

  • Reply
    Liz Hart
    June 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    You surely can’t print this about my daddy. In the early 40’s I carried a pint of water to daddy in the field (it was all I could carry). When he asked why mama didn’t bring it, I told him “The damned old bitch was too sorry!” As he was getting the switch and I was crying I said “But daddy you said that to the mule”. Never heard him curse the mule or anything ever again…..and I didn’t get switched.

    • Reply
      tipper
      June 16, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      Liz-your comment reminds me of the time Chatter told Pap to turn the damn radio down on the way back from church one day. She’d heard her Daddy say that word 🙂

  • Reply
    aw griffgrowin
    June 16, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Dad was such a busy man but he would find time to take us squirrel hunting and fishing. He’s been gone home now 7 yrs. and in some ways I miss him more now than when he left but they are good memories, I’ll see him again in the not too distance future.

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    June 16, 2018 at 9:39 am

    My father was like all those men in the stories and I surely do miss him. He was always up early and would come into the living room and say “Good Nite” when he was heading to bed. He was such a worker that when I was in my teens I thought can’t you sit down and just relax. I wondered if my grandparents had read that verse in the Bible “idle hands are the devils workshop. When he retired, I could see how he loved to work outside in the yard and would get so tickled at his pointer pups. He trained bird dogs and that training starts as puppies. I remember one day we were walking out to the peach orchard and he reached down and picked up a tiny little dandelion cradled in his big calloused hand and said gently “Who could not believe in God.” He was always pointing out some of God’s creative beauty as we traipsed through the woods. Honest, hard-working, God fearing and a family loving man. I am so glad that the good Lord blessed me with him for my Father.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 16, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Oddly enough, BP&A has caused me to think about my Dad a lot. You all probably haven’t noticed but of my growing number of posts Dad figures in many of them; things he said or did or his attitudes about work and life with its troubles. His life was mostly hard but he would say, “You can do what you have to,” and simply soldiered on. He is still teaching me by the example he left. From him I learned one doesn’t have to be a perfect Dad for your children to love you. If not so, none of us Dads would have a chance.

    Thanks Tipper. These tributes to fathers brighten the world. They are a glimpse of one reason our Father thinks we are worth saving.

  • Reply
    Colleen Holmes
    June 16, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Thank you. Wonderful stories. Made me miss my daddy.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 16, 2018 at 7:10 am

    Oh Tip, these are beautiful snippets from real life. Fathers are such a wonderful thing and I still think you picked the best father in the world for your children, He’s always been loving and protective!

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