Dad. My wonderful Dad.

The last photo of my dad and I together. 1981.

Lessons from my dad (with some input from my sisters, thank you!), in random order:

How to polish my shoes.

How to take calculated risks.

How to provide for your family.

How to work hard.

How to sing with your whole self (especially “How Great Thou Art”).

How to trust others.

How to fix a flat tire.

How to mow the lawn and shovel the snow.

How to be a gentleman.

How to be a Good Samaritan.

How to serve God and honor God.

How to encourage and love your wife.

How to provide for your family.

How to fly a plane.

How to fix just about any broken thing around the house.

How to be a good son-in-law.

How to give good gifts.

How to be a creative problem solver.

How to use my common sense and good judgment.

How to tie a neck tie, a half or full Windsor.

Measure twice, cut once.

How to siphon gasoline out of car and into the lawn mower can (I can still taste the gasoline, yuck).

How to properly tuck in my shirt tail.

How to garden… even gardening and raising vegetables you don’t like yourself.

How compounding interest can add up to big returns.

How to use a slide rule.

How to balance a spoon and fork on the smallest bit of toothpick.

How liquid nitrogen turns a hot dog into glass.

How to put “English” on a pool shot or a ping pong return.

Why playing the lotto is morally wrong.

How to drive. How to drive a stick shift.

How to let the School of Hard Knocks teach me a thing or two.

How to camp. How to build and start a fire.

How to swim.

How to bargain for a car. How to bargain for a casket (now that’s a funny story).

How to give grace. How to laugh. How to love. How to live. How to die.


My favorite story about my Dad: He was a Gideon — best known for being one of those folks who place Bibles in hotels.  He was also a private pilot and he would go flying on Saturday mornings.  At his memorial service over 30 years ago, his good friend Lou — also a pilot and a Gideon —  produced a talley sheet from Dad’s pilot log book that included the names of many, many small airports in the midwest.  Lou explained that these were places where he and my Dad had flown to on many a Saturday and placed a Gideon Bible in the pilot’s lounge.  And it was something only he and Lou knew about.  He combined two loves, flying and the Lord, into something that blessed God and many unknown souls.

What lessons did you learn from your dad?


(First published on Father’s Day 2012…)

2 thoughts on “Dad. My wonderful Dad.

  1. Rich – thanks for this bittersweet trip down memory lane. And I surely don’t remember that pic, but it’s a winner! What a blessing our sweet dad continues to be… can’t wait for him to show us around his heavenly digs!

  2. Love this, especially the photo. I did not know your Dad, but over 30 years, have watched the obvious love you and Nancy had for him. And now I know a little more about him. Next you will have to tell the story about the casket bargain, and maybe a lament over the disappearance of compounding interest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s