I’ve written about my dad many times over the years, along with other fathers who play a part of my life, so it only seemed fair to open the mic and allow some friends to share stories about their dads in honor of Father’s day. I put a little post online asking for stories, and quickly learned much about my friend’s dads. Like, for instance, how some are capable of achieving the impossible.
From Leigh Shell of Charleston: “My sweet Daddy, ‘Diamond Dallas,’ took my mother and his grandchildren to the beach. He was playing in the ocean, chest-deep with the kids. When they decided to come in, he (and my horrified mom) discovered he had no keys to get in the room or drive the car. They’d been lost in the surf.
“Diamond Dallas announced he was going back in to find them, amidst eye-rolls and sighs from everyone. He quickly calculated his approximate whereabouts in the water and then waded out and came up with his keys in his toes.”
I also learned that Dads are good at making holidays even more fun.
Sarah Blizzard Robinson of Morgantown shared how her Dad would go over to a neighboring farm on Christmas Eve night in order to get a shovel full of manure, which he would then leave on their lawn while the rest of the family was sleeping.
“The next morning,” said Sarah, “we would awaken to evidence that Rudolph and his band of reindeer had stopped at our house long enough to poop in our yard.”
On Halloween, Sarah said her mom would carve the Jack-o-lantern and then her dad would add his contribution—by removing his own false teeth and putting them in the pumpkin’s mouth.
Sharon Summers McClanahan of Poca also had a creative dad. She wrote: “Before Dad retired, he worked every Thanksgiving. One year Mom made his lunch with Thanksgiving leftovers. Dad made it to the break room before the other men, took out his pumpkin pie and smeared some on his boots. The other men proceeded to come in for lunch. One saw the gunk on Dad’s boot and asked if he knew he had dog poop on his boots. Dad reached down and wiped it off with his finger and said, ‘Looks like it.’ He sniffed it. ‘Smells like it.’ And then he tasted it. ‘Yep. It even tastes like it.’
“The other men all threw their lunches away.”
I learned father’s skill sets can include an ability to feign comatose well enough to terrify the innocent.
Mike Passerotti of Ohio told about his dad being a strong man and a hard worker who installed tile the old way. And he said his dad was also capable of falling deeply asleep very quickly anytime, anywhere. And that was how he often spent his lunch hour.
“Dad had been doing an especially difficult remodeling job when lunch hour came and he just laid down where he was and fell deeply asleep,” wrote Mike. “Except the homeowner decided to run by during lunch to check on the progress and found him stretched out on the floor, not moving.”
She screamed. Luckily, the scream was loud enough to wake the dead.
“Dad rested sitting up after that,” Mike said.
I also learned dads can trick us into learning life skills.
My coworker Lara Lawson of Milton said her dad taught her to be fearless—in a sneaky sort of way.
“He tricked me into thinking that worms were snakes and snakes were worms,” Lara said. “When worms would be covering the driveway after it rained, Dad would holler ‘Snakes!’ So I would pick my way across quickly. Then, when he would find a snake, we would play with it.”
Rather than be snake-phobic like most of us, Lara has never had a problem playing with snakes. But thanks to her dad, she can’t bait a hook.
It was from my own dad that I’ve learned the most. He’s the one who first taught me how to tell stories with his Three Little Pups. He introduced me to walks in the woods and Indian food and practical jokes. The perils of pulling a finger.
So many lessons on life.
And no matter how old I am, I love that I’m still his little girl.