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All About Dad’s

Whether it’s fixing a flat tire, unstopping a toilet, doctoring a steer, or lighting a campfire; dad’s are some of the best teachers. Hats off to all of the men out there, whether they be dads, grandpas, uncles, brothers, friends, or neighbors who spend time with us and teach us.

My dad owned a welding and repair business he called The Workshop. He had a great talent for designing plows, livestock pens, decorative iron like light fixtures and staircase banisters, and repairing anything that showed up at his shop door. Some of my best memories are fetching tools, painting, and helping him with various projects. At an early age I knew the difference between a phillips and a flathead. He might call out, “bring me that socket wrench with a 3/16th” or “I’m gonna need that come-a-long”. Summers would find me tagging along to different job sites where I was the official welders’ assistant. We’d pack our lunch and eat under a shade tree, and had some great talks particularly about history. He ordered every Time Life book series they published.

I usually hung out at The Workshop every Saturday during school, until the day my mother dropped by the Dimmitt Supermarket to discover me walking across the roof with a bucket of bolts. She must have thrown some kind of fit, because the next Saturday I was instructed on how to record payments in the check register and assigned putting up tools and sweeping. I wish my father would have argued a little harder on my behalf. He died at a very young 61 after a seven year battle with cancer. Mom and I learned that he had donated his body to Texas Tech while making last minute funeral preparations; he was generous and giving to the very last. Although our time was cut short, I really appreciate all of the handy things he taught me. The only regret is that I never could grasp  playing a musical instrument. He drove me to piano lessons. He was an amazing guitar player. As I look at the Gibson that he bought at sixteen, I regret not trying harder during those jamming sessions.

 

Aren’t dads the best? Kerry Dean and Tinley rounding up cows.

Nothin’ better than hangin’ out with Grandpa. Stetson and her grandpa, Billy Paul, are in the saddle early.

 

My kids learning how to construct a chicken coop with their dad.

Our great neighbor Addis has taught our youngest everything he needs to know about running a branding iron.

 

The kids’ Uncle Randy was able to join us at branding this year to help shuttle pick ups and run the vaccine gun. I know they enjoyed having him around.

 

My mother’s little brother playing UNO with the boys. Uncles are great teachers too.

It’s not the big life events or grand vacations that make an impression on  your heart.  Unhooking a catfish from a hook with my grandfather. Having my dad explain in great detail his hog farm design and the behavior of pigs, or teaching me how to run a cutting torch. Watching the kids laugh with their dad about a joke I am clueless to understand. As I grow older, it’s the smallest tugs of memories that I want to relive.

Our lives are much more richer and blessed because of the men we know. Happy Father’s Day!

 

“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”

BERTRAND RUSSELL

Natalie Bright is an author, blogger, speaker and aspiring photographer. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, and she is the author of the TROUBLE IN TEXAS Series, adventure books for kids set in the Texas frontier, Ages 8-10. She also has a series of easy readers based on true stories about rescue horses. She is currently working on a book about the history of chuck wagons featuring archival photos and original chuck wagon recipes, scheduled for Fall 2020 publication.