Appalachia Holidays in Appalachia

Father’s Day

Pap, Steve, and Tipper - early 70s.

Pap, Steve, and me – early 70s.

Today is Father’s Day which always makes me a little teary eyed. I am a true Daddy’s Girl-I always have been. Anyone who’s read the Blind Pig for a while knows I think Pap hung the Moon and the Sun.

Ever since I can remember I’ve thought he was the wisest person I knew. Not only the wisest, but the kindest as well.

A father's wisdom


Like many Fathers, Pap imparted wise counsel on living a good life to my brothers and me, but sometimes it’s the little tidbits of advice that stick in my mind. For example:

*Never go home without at least a half a tank of gas in your car because you never know what might happen during the night. I always hear Pap’s voice in my head when I drive my car into the garage with the needle sitting near E.

*Use your best first-that way as you move forward you’ll always be using your best. Seems Pap has a different outlook than folks who say ‘save your best for last.

*If you hurt yourself-rub it has hard as you can and it’ll get the soreness out. One time when Paul was about 10, the mayo fell out of the frig and landed on his foot. As he went limping into the living room Pap put his foot on Paul’s and started pressing down hard. At first Paul resisted but then he agreed it made his foot feel better and he let Pap continue to put pressure on his sore foot. If I stump my toe or slam my hand in something I always rub the area and it does seem to help relive the pain. Science or Pap’s positive reinforcement? Who knows, but it seems to work for me.

*Always leave earlier than you think you need to in order to reach your destination. There’s a running joke in our family about how early Pap thinks you need to be for an appointment. Yet as I look back over my life Pap’s needling me to leave earlier than I thought we needed to has paid off in more than ways than I can count.

What tidbits of wisdom did your father impart to you?


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  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    June 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Dad always taught me to keep my car in good repair. He said there was nothing worse than hearing folks say they couldn’t go somewhere they needed to go because their car wouldn’t make it. He also told me to always have polished shoes and clean, trimmed nails. My favorite, he told me to stay in school and always learn as much as I could. Then he would say “you never see the guys with the medals on their chest at the front lines gettin’ shot at.”(I thank Korea for that one!)

  • Reply
    June 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    I remember our Dad saying many of those old sayings, but the one that still tickles me BIG is, he read the newspaper over his cuppa coffee each morning. As he got older, we noticed he always read the obits first; now we knew he did that to see if any of his friends were there, but one time when I was home on vacation, just to tease him, I asked him why he read the obits first. He looked up from his reading of the obit listing, said, “Well, because if my name’s there, I don’t need to read any more.”
    (Well, ya, I sure do guess.) I laughed and laughed at that and still do remembering it.
    (Love ya Daddy, and miss you. Be seeing you and Momma one day soon.)
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Joyce Heishman
    June 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Papa would say not to worry about the Rapture, Just be ready today. He was a retired Methodist Preacher.

  • Reply
    jane bolden
    June 15, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    My dad also said to have gas in your tank at night. His twenty yr. old sister got sick unexpectedly during the night and passed away. He didn’t have enough gas to get there.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    June 15, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    My Father told me I had two arms, two legs and a head just like everyone else. So, if someone could do something I could do it too.
    The word can’t was not in my vocabulary.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    My dad taught me to cook and to use my imagination when I was doing it. He use to say ” the first thing you do when you get ready to cook is run dishwater in the sink and you wash the dishes as you go along and you wont have a mess at the end” Good advise that I have followed.
    I know Pap and your right he is as fine a dad as anyone could have.
    I also need to make a comment on your daughters dad. He is one fine dad too. Loves his girls and demonstrates that on a daily basis.
    Congratulations to all our Blind Pig Dads!!

  • Reply
    jane bolden
    June 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Sweet picture of you and your daddy!We would always leave very early for a doctor’s appointments in Atlanta. It was 30 miles away. Daddy said that you never know what might happen on the way. I’m never late for the doctor.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    My Dad was a true believer in attending Church each week that your days would be better. Also, if you are going to drive a car, you best know how to service it and most of all change a tire. No AAA for us or him. Pray while driving; it will keep you calm and make you think first before the drivers around you make you crazy. And another thing I can remember is to always be thankful for what you have and not be jealous of another’s fortune. You don’t need to be rich (money) to have a truly fruitful and happy life. Always be and do your best!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    June 15, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    My Dad, who is still thriving at age 91, taught me about consequences. Every action has a consequence, either good or bad. That lesson kept me from making many mistakes in my life.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2014 at 10:30 am

    When Loretta wrote “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like My Daddy Anymore”, I thought the song could have been written by me. I’m sure you feel the same way about Pap.
    Wishing Pap and The Deer Hunter the happiest Father’s Day ever!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    June 15, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Tipper, your tribute to your wonderful father, Jerry Wilson, and the comments and memories of others about positive influences of a steadfast daddy helped me to be grateful all over again for the influence of a godly father. He was doubly hard-working, and taught us the value of filling our time with worthwhile labor. Not only did he work a rather large (and productive) mountain farm, but from the time I was 14 when my mother died, he assumed the role of both father and mother–giving that manly advice, and also conscious that a teenage girl also needed gentle guidance. If it was a subject he didn’t want to approach, he had the ready help from his sister next door, my wonderful Aunt Northa, who also helped to “raise” me! I recall much of his advice, but when I was ready to go to college, he sat me down for a very serious conversation and said, “Remember who you are and where you’re from.” With this advice he let me know that whatever I did as I faced the world, I would still be reflecting on my upraising and my community. Today I am grateful for a wonderful father and the positive influence he had on my life. A special salute to godly fathers!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    June 15, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I looked up to my daddy as if he was
    the smartest person in my world, about
    the way you do yours. We didn’t have
    any girls in our family, but daddy led
    by example, teaching all 6 of his boys
    how to prepare for life. I don’t know
    how he made time for us so much, cause
    he worked a job too. He’d lay on the
    couch after supper for awhile resting,
    then up from there he’d come and a
    bunch of us was going fishing. He
    was just a ‘master’ at everything.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 15, 2014 at 8:43 am

    My dad taught me how to cook, when I got to the age to help, my mom was working until after supper needed to be fixed, my dad got home early so he cooked and I helped.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    June 15, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Daddy died when I was twelve. He left a hole in my heart that has never healed. When I go walking in woods, I hear him whispering in my inner ear; “Never run downhill in the woods.” I look upon a pair of my baby shoes with one toe dragged out and recall Mama telling of the many times he pushed me in my stroller down the sidewalks of our small town. I recall hours spent with him looking through the pages of the encyclopedia he bought for me. My first trip to Fontana came because he, as an electrician, wanted me to see a power plant. In my mind’s eye I see his manual with diagrams of dynamos and turbines. Men who nurture their children are the best of fathers. I was blessed to have such a man.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Wonderful memories of a wonderful Dad. My Dad also told me to always keep the gas tank at least half full, and this has caused me to feel the tank is getting empty when it gets down to half a tank. Much wise advice was given by my own Dad through the years. He always said never diet in the Winter as you are more apt to get sick (eg flu colds). Sadly I have noticed this to be true through the years–He said you can tell what type of person you are dealing with when they are given power.
    I am so grateful for such a wonderful Dad who always took time to talk to folks no matter how busy he was. The men of that generation often possessed something called integrity. They always seemed to know how to do the right thing.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Tipper, being a “daddy’s girl” also, I think back on all the tidbits of wisdom that my Daddy taught me. With no internet or cable TV, my time was spent on my Daddy’s heels from the time he came home from work until bedtime. I also asked “why” to everything he did. My Daddy was a self-employed General Contractor. I learned everything from how to clean out a paintbrush to building houses. I remember spending time with him doing body-work on my first car. It was a “hand-me-down” from my oldest brother. My Dad said that before I could get my drivers license, I needed to learn to change my car’s oil and tire, should one go flat. At some point this came in handy, when on a date I had a flat tire. My date didn’t know how to change it so there I was in a dress, on the side of the road, squatting beside my car. Needless to say, I was glad for what my Daddy taught me. What my Daddy didn’t need to teach me was there would not be a second date with that fellow! Happy Father’s Day to all the men!

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