A thread for some positive words, history, lessons learned, quotes and such having to do with our Dads.
My pop is an engineer on the railroad in Kentucky. He drives coal trains (miles long) across the state. He is a redneck, no doubt - but he is also one hell of an intelligent man. He is a damn good chess player - we have had some great battles. He has a small arsenal of weapons which made growing up fun: Guns, Knives, Bows, Cross-Bows, BB-guns. We were always taught strict rules of safety, and the guns were needed to kill snakes and such. They are also very cool.
He left home at the age of 12, preferring to work for himself instead of go to school. He traveled up and down the East coast, convincing people he was older than he was. He worked many jobs and he worked them hard. He is a very strong and tough man and he always was able to take care of himself. He convinced the army he was old enough to join, and did a few years in the army starting when he was 16. When he got out he met my mother in a diner in Florida. She was a waiter at the local IHOP, and asked if he needed anything else. He replied “How about a place to live?”. Well it just so happened the house right next to my mothers was for rent. He moved into that house the next day and the rest is history.
He was a gambler and a great pool player, but gave up that lifestyle when I was born. He taught me well though, and I am dangerous in a poker game and aint to shabby on the pool table either.
His advice to me has been to get a job where you use your mind and not your might. Get a job where you come home with clean clothes. I wanted to work at a fast-food restauraunt, and he wouldn’t let me. He thought I could do better. One summer he did have me work for my grandfathers blacktop laying company to show me just how hard physical labor was (although it paid pretty well for a 14 year old kid!).
He ended up tricking me into learning about computers. Initially resistant, once I found out you could download free games off of “bulletin board” systems, I was hooked. I ended up learning quite a bit from him about computers inside and out. He taught himself and gave me skills that pay my rent.
He loves to fish and he has a house boat. We spent many a night on the lake and we always bet a dollar on who catches the next fish. He has always bailed me out when I get into trouble, and he has been a very supportive and loving Dad. I consider myself lucky.