We all know the stories of fathers who got it wrong. In fact, we know these stories so well we often forget the things our fathers did get right.

We believe it's important to tell the good stories. That's why we invite you to tell us how your father got it right. We're not so much after stories of "how my Dad scaled Everest" but rather just the little things that might have meant a lot. We invite you to contribute to our collection of great Dad stories from around the world.

contribute your
great dad story

My Only Daddy. Im visiting your site for the first time just by one of those google queries. Thanks for this opportunity i have to talk about my own daddy. In fact i remember with great nonstagia the very day my daddy carried myself and my late step brother on bicycle to farm (myself and my brother sat on the pole-what a wonderful love and care from daddy) also when he held me by my right hand to a local market to buy me some books. Here is a father who would always insist on having the list of school requirements for each term, do follow up on us even at that little age. I thought he was too difficult but at adulthold i give thanks to my daddy for being a disciplinarian though his constraint did n't alow him to do the best he would have wished. Above all, i chose to adore him for his roles in my life nevertheless he was never a perfect being. He is 72 years. many things to talk about but right away i found myself being emotional as tears runs down my eyes ( i remember my mother too) but i have not been able to give back to them for their wonderful parential and Godly guidiance. I look forward to when God shall give me the enablement to reward them before death.

Sep 2005

My story about my father is bittersweet ... He came from a relationship where the father simply wasnt there and had no concept of fatherhood, he is likely to have Asbergers Syndrome and this or just the times he comes from contribute to his total lack of understanding of relationships or other peoples emotions. Anyway the only time I have ever seen him cry was the time when, in the middle of a giant verbal fight with my mother he was told "I didn't love him" My mother fought him with my emotions. I did I told him I did ... When they broke up soon after I lived with my mother but never forgot how much he was hurt by thinking I didnt love him. he is still alive when I moved from the UK to Australia he followed a year later, My mother still lives in the UK .. I love them both still but for a man with problems with relationships he still tries hard in his seventies .. that never ceases to impress me.

July 2005


"In every persons life there needs to be a caring, nurturing, encouraging

The earliest memory I have of my father is one of me as a young boy holding his hand by his two last fingers as we walked together. His hands seemed so large that his fingers were all I could actually grip. He always
took me with him to ball games even at my young age. I will never forget that.

As I grew older I remember dad and I listening to high school basketball games together on an old transistor radio.  I would make a list of player's names on a piece of paper and keep track of how many points
each would score as the game went on.  Too small to stay awake for the whole game, I always fell asleep before the game ended.  When I would wake up in the morning I would find the score sheet lying next to me.  The score sheet would be filled out with the final score on it completed by my father
before he carried me to bed.

My father was a bread delivery man.  I remember the times when my father would stop by the house in the early morning on those cold days when I was home from school over Christmas break.  I used to ride on the floor
of that bread truck as he delivered the bread to the stores.  I don't know if those old trucks even had heaters but it didn't matter.  The smell and warmth from the bread that had just come from the bakery ovens would make
my mouth water and keep me warm both at the same time.

I high school I became very interested in athletics.  My father would attend all my games. My junior year something special happened. It was in algebra class during the spring of the year. Football season was long over. We had done well last season - qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in school history. I wanted us to do even better next year, my senior year. Then the idea hit me. I didn't wait till after
school. During my lunch break, I drove over to a print shop and ordered business cards with a simple, direct prophesy -


When the cards were printed, my teammates and I distributed them all over town.

Teachers pinned them to classroom bulletin boards. Merchants taped them in store windows. Pretty soon those cards were everywhere. We worked hard at getting the cards all over town. There was no escaping them, and that's what we wanted. We wanted our goal to be right in front of us, for all to see, impossible to overlook, no matter where we went.  Although we faced skepticism, it only served to strengthen our conviction to make our dream a reality. Our school had never won a state title in any sport - we were determined to change that history.

By the time football practice started in late August we were focused. There was a sense of urgency that made us a close team. From day one we gave more in practice, paid more attention to detail as we executed assignments sharply. With our goal imprinted in our minds and hearts -- "BOONVILLE PIRATES -- 1974 STATE CHAMPIONS!", we marched through the season undefeated and stepped into the playoffs with a sense of destiny.

The first playoff game matched us against a powerhouse team that was riding a 28-game winning streak. We knew we were in for a fight, but as the intensity of the game increased, so did our determination. We won, pulling away in the second half. That win
brought us to the brink of our goal, a match-up with the defending state champions for the title.

We went into preparing for the big game with the same intensity and focus we had shown as a team all season. Then it started to snow. A huge winter storm blew through the area. School was canceled; roads were closed;
transportation systems shut down. Still, somehow every member of the team made it to the school gym and we practiced for the biggest game of our lives in tennis shoes.

Our coach received a phone called before practice the day before the game telling us that state officials were thinking of canceling the game and declaring Co-champions because of the severe weather. We were asked if we would accept such a decision. "No way", was our response. This was our year. We were not going to get this close and not take a shot at the title.

That night  my father came to me and sadly announced that he would not be able to attend the game.  He had to deliver the bread to the stores and the site of the game was over a three hour drive from his route.  He vowed to listen to every play on the transistor radio.  Consumed with the anticipation of the game I acknowledged his comments without fully noticing his regret.

The next day as game time approached I couldn't help thinking about my dad.  As we arrived at the stadium we found the field buried in snow.  The goal posts stuck out above a six to eight inch blanket of snow. Someone asked if snowshoes would be allowed as legal equipment. Undaunted we dressed for the game and began our warm-ups.

Frustration grew as both teams struggled to a scoreless first half. Slip, slide, fall down, dropped pass, missed blocks, fumbles were all either team had accomplished. There was a growing sense of urgency that time was running out on our dream.

In the locker room at half-time, Coach Reagan reminded us of all we had been through to get to this moment. Then he reached in his pocket and pulled out the card. Right there in front of us once again was our vision.
"Do you want this?" he said.  That is all he needed to say.

As I lined up for the second half kickoff I happened to looked up and noticed a blue and white bread truck pulling into the parking lot.  Dad had delivered the bread and driven over three hours to see the second half of the game.

Playing conditions were as tough the second half as they were the first, but our determination won out over the playing conditions. We scored 34 points in the second half on the same field we couldn't score any on in the first half. Our year-long dream became reality. To this day I still have my card.

Years later I had become a teacher and coach.  Early one morning I was awakened by the sound of the telephone ringing at 5:30 A.M.  As I struggled to answer the phone I'll never forget the sound of the sheriff's voice on the other end telling me that my dad had just been killed in an automobile accident on his way to work.  Cattle from a nearby farm had broken through a fence and wandered onto the highway.  Being a dark, rainy morning my father never saw them as he came over a ridge.  The impact spun the car sideways in the highway before a semi-trailer collided with it.  He was killed instantly. As I listened to the story I could hear my heart beat in my ears.  I hung up the phone devastated.

For long time after that things really didn't matter to me.  I went about my life but I really didn't care.  It felt as if my heart had been torn away and in a sense it had.  I went to work.  I still taught school but I was just going through the motions.

One day I was on the school playground supervising a first grade recess when a little boy walked up to me.  As I looked down at him he reached up and grabbed my hand by my last two fingers - just like I use to do to my dad.  In that moment my father came back to me.  In that instant I realized that even though my father was gone - he had left me something behind. He had left me his smile.  He had left me his compassion. He had left me his heart.  When that little boy touched my hand I realized that all these wonderful gifts that I had loved so much about my father could be passed on to others.  In that moment I understood the meaning of the word heritage.

I now spend my days passing on that heritage to my 8 year old stepson and 3 year old son; a heritage not only about fathers, sons and sports. A heritage filled with love.

- Tom Krause
Copyright 2005

Play Catch With Me Dad

"Play catch with me-Dad?
I hope you don't forget-
About the small kid at home
with the baseball and the mitt.

I know that you've been busy
With important things all day-
But it makes me feel so special
when you take some time to play.

Learning how to throw and catch
Don't mean that much to me.
It's just being with you
that makes us family.

So even if you are feeling tired
From the day that you just had-
Please don't forget
to play catch with me-Dad."

-Tom Krause
Copyright 2000

I'm 27, male in NZ, born in Malaysia. Been in NZ for 10 yrs. Work as a information service officer now. My dad sent me to the right country NZ for education. I've now grown up here and really feel that this place really really suit my nature. I'm happy. My dad did it right to send me to learn painting when I was young, and now I can paint and others like it. It really encouraged my creativity out of me. As I'm now seen as a creative person. Another thing my dad did it right is put me in Chinese school in my secondary. This is so important to me to have no hassel about my identity in the future. I feel proud to be me. He did pay the price for that because the school is not goverment funded and he got to pay the school fee for me every month - not cheap.

My dad passed away 5 yrs ago, if I can see him again, I would look into his eyes and tell him I love him for whoever he and whatever he did. Guy who love life,  my hero, the fool, my mentor.

March 2004
I grew up in suburban New Jersey and as most boys, my dad was the toughest, strongest dad of all. he was my hero , there wasn't anything he couldn't do.

I grew into a teen, and became rebellious. I began to see my fathers failings, began to understand what my parents sometimes argued about. He became the fool, he didn't understand anything.

Then I became a father and understood, there's no hand book, no doctrine that fits all children. You have to feel your way through, learn as you go. He taught me the most important thing I have ever learned.

We all make mistakes, we all fail some time. Its how you recover that proves your worth as a father.

I thank god for my father, he taught me more than I can ever relate by just being there.

Thank you Alex
Doug Goldberg May 19 03

My  lovely Dad

I realy love my dad but sometime I'm disappointed with my dad because he never notices me , never asks me about my study, my health, my finance, my life ect.
Sometime I want my dad to ask me. He is not like my mother. She always notice me and always makes contant. My mother has gone and I feel I live life alone. I stay in a different city than my dad and my brother and sister as well. But I still love my dad. Sometime I cry when I remember him. Dad I always pray for you

Yusuf Ridwan 21/4/02

My Dad is the Greatest Dad of All

i say the above words because i believe that if God was to crown a father and i being a judge, definately it would be my dad! I believe, i am what i am today, because of my father. all my successes are build by him, my failure, are parts of learning. Though he passed away in 1997, but in me he is alive and helps me on. His memories are always there to hold the truth inside me and gives me a reason to believe that he lives. my dad was a great to me and he will always be, i have no reason to doubt on his presence, but i believe every step that i make today, all that i do today couldnt have been possible if it was not for my dad! Dad, you are apart from me, my mom and family but in our hearts, the
memories that you left behind, feel your presence.
i love you dad

written by Austin Makani
dar es salaam - tanzania

I always felt ok with my Dad, though for a long  time I thought

My Dad,

He could be a very awkward man, my Mother  always made sure that everybody knew that. I didn't realise how difficult  life was for him and how unprepared he was for it. He is dead now but there  is hardly a day goes by without him being in my thoughts.

I was ten when my mother and sister left, I  came home from school one afternoon to an empty locked house and sat on the step  outside. Dad came home much later to find me, I was too young to realise how he  felt but he cried a lot. We lived out of our car until we were able to rent a  small house and for the next seven years I lived with my Dad.

When I think of him I realised how much he loved  me, he always did what ever I wanted, fishing, modelmaking, car racing. He  always was enthusiastic for me, when he had the opportunity he let me experience  the finer things in life. I realise now he gave me the most valuable  thing he could, himself.

When I got to my teens I wanted to be  independent and we started to have arguments, he still wanted to be  involved with me all time, I didn't understand. I wanted friends of my  own, I felt I was being smothered by him. About that time I started to have  a lot more to do with my Mother and sister, I decided to leave home and go  and live in London. When I left my Dad it was the worst day of my  life, on the way to my new home I had to pull the car over to the side, I  cried so much. I knew a big part of my life was over and I had hurt my Dad. I  was 18 he was 58.

Though he wasn't happy with me being in London, he  accepted it and we still looked forward to seeing each other, many times he came  to my rescue when I had gotten myself in a fix. A little later I decided to  emigrate to Australia, a woman was involved and again he was very upset  but knew I was not going to change my mind so he helped me. I was away two  years, we wrote and called each other and again he still bailed me out of  jams.

On seeing each other for the first time he  gave me the biggest, warmest hug I can ever remember. The feelings of love  I felt for him there was some thing I will never forget. He died suddenly a  short time after that, I wish we could have had more adult time together  but the older I get the more I remember him. His warmth, smile, his jokes and  his terrible tempers but always his love for me.

I have a son of my own who is now 17 and as fate  would have it the two of us are together, though I make plenty of mistakes with  him he knows that he is loved. When he decides to leave home I  hope I will make it easy for him and be there for him if he needs me, for it  will be a new stage of his life.

You are always with me Dad, I love  you.
Herbert William Porter.

Contributed by Stephen Porter, Cairns  Australia, 24th July 2001.

My dad left home when I was 9. He did many things wrong: adultery, lying, cheating, drinking....my childhood was emotionally devastating. I have a lot to complain about.

BUT, I still love him. I forgive him. He still gets it wrong and I hurt.

But I remember things he did when I was a little girl (and not so little) and it makes me cry. He taught me how to ride a bicycle; he taught me to fight back when I was bullied; he spent hours working on some of my homework; and he encouraged me in school by buying me presents every time I excelled. He talked to me and listened to me; taught me how to swim, play bridge, enjoy the world around us. I got my love for scenery and photography from him! He's easily worried and often cries and is more like a friend in need than a parent. He lives a continent away and I see him every 2-3 years now if I'm lucky. And he still gets it terribly wrong.

But he's my dad, and although I've never ever told him this: I love him.


He`s my idol
When people ask me who is your idol, I tell them my dad. He has always been there for my sisters and my mother no matter what the issue or problem.
He is a wealth of wisdom and was a huge help during my schooling years. When my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Dad comforted us and told
us that we would be alright if we stuck together. Three years after her diagnoses Dad has taken nine months off work to travel around the world with
her and make the time that she has left the best of time. They have been married for 28 years and have only had minor hick-ups. Dad has been my inspiration
for writing, undertaking extra study and living my life to the fullest. I Love you Dad.

Contributed by Susan Connolly, Gladstone, Qld on 23 May 2001

Last Hug
A day or so before my dads death he knew he was very sick and not much time was left. I spent some quiet time with him. He asked about small things till I had to go. As I was leaving he beckond to me to slow down. He struggled to get up and tottered over to me beaming at me. He was so happy he just wanted to give me a hug. He gave me the warmest hug ever then went back to bed. He told me he loved me and I said I love him too. That was the last I saw of him till he was dead.
I sat with him still and cold, cried for about 90 min letting thoughts run through my head about his life. He was a good dad. I have no complaints, he did the very best he could.

Contributed by Paul Whyte on 27 Apr 2001


From day One
I was born two months early at home. The year is 1962, somehow I made it to the hospital alive. The neighbor was a doctor, and he put ice on me to get me to breathe. I only weighed 3 lbs. 7 oz.
It was told to me that my father watched me every day for three months till I came home.

For whatever reason I was more like my dad than my other two brothers. We were both middle children, and both had health problems early in life. He even picked me to play the Accordian, I do not know why he picked me. It was a good pick. I was about 8 when I started to play.
He would pay me to practice. He wanted us to be a Polka Band. That is if my younger brother could figure out which instument he would settle on. I still play now and again.
When I was 10 my dad had open heart surgery, I knew it was serious. Prior to the surgery our family went camping the summer before all over Michigan. It was a great time. We camped a great deal in the northern parts of the state.
My childhood was spent in Petoskey, MI. The following November, if my memory is correct, we went to Florida. The chances of my dad making it through surergy were not that great, and if he survived two years that was how much time it would extend his life. Two years was about right. The one thing I liked about the time after the surgery was having him around. He finally went back to work part time, but then on December 3, 1975 he had his first of fourteen recorded heart attacks. That Christmas was the last time he was home. I still cry a little when I see that picture from Christmas. I love my Father John Andrew Kullik, and always will.

This year I am his age when he died. And when, hopefully soon, I will have children and will be looking through the glass window at my child.

Thanks for listening to part of my story.

Contributed by Michael Joseph Kullik, Michigan on 16 Apr 2001


Upside down
Some Fifty years ago when I was five or six or
seven, my dad got a piece of paper and pencil.
`lets draw a car upside down` he drew the four
wheels (four oblongs) the engine another oblong,
drive shaft the diff. no more complication. Simple.
I had a go and he was excited, so was I.I recall
this vividly. Drawing became something important
to me , it earnt me a living for a while my son
is now a succesful newspaper illustrater
(funny that).Chances are my father wouldnt recall
the event.
I learnt confidence with a pencil from that single
few precious moments. To all the dads out there
Go for it!

Contributed by Howard Wilkinson Perth Western Australia on 19 Feb 2001


My very special father - my Abba
What makes my father so special is how much he cares, how much he supports, without imposition.
He gave me all the tools to believe in myself and be my absolute, total best. My best, not his.
He allowed me to learn, and let me discover what values are, and what is really important.

He did this without ever raising his voice, with reason and authority, with so much love I cannot even measure.

I know for sure, that anything I ever do I will have his full support and he will forever be proud of me, of my decision-making, of my actions.

Abba, my Abba, you`re the best ever.

Contributed by Talya Shachar, Jerusalem, Israel on 21 Jan 2001


Why is my dad so amazing?
I could tell you all these great stories that my Dad did, but if I did that, this would just be another one of those tiny boring tales. What my Dad is to me is to amazing for me to put into words. I could say that we always get along, but we don`t. In all honest truth, we disagree all the time, sometimes into long battles that can last for days.
But I love him. I love him because of the generosity he gives. I love him because he does so ever try to understand the new generation, but fails so miserably. I love him because he is him, and he doesn`t try to be anyone else.

Contributed by Gary; Auckland New Zealand on 17 Jan 2001


Why he`s great? I dunno!!
I could tell you all these great stories that my Dad did, but if I did that, this would just be another one of those tiny boring tales. What my Dad is to me is to amazing for me to put into words. I could say that we always get along, but we don`t. In all honest truth, we disagree all the time, sometimes into long battles that can last for days.
But I love him. I love him because of the generosity he gives. I love him because he does so ever try to understand the new generation, but fails so miserably. I love him because he is him, and he doesn`t try to be anyone else.

Contributed by Gary; Auckland New Zealand on 17 Jan 2001


I was twelve years old when my parents seperated
my Mother left and had nothing to do with me or my little brothers or sister but dad chose to stay when most dads would run he did not. He worked his job and then came home only to have to work another job. When court time came he was given custody of us children that was the best day of his life he would later say.It was no bed of roses but he stuck in there when most would have gave up he stayed with it to keep his family together we still have are arguments but that dont
mean i dont love him. He is my best friend and my hero when I have children i want to be just like Dad.

I Love You Dad

Contributed by ROBERT JONES III MOULTON ALABAMA on 10 Jan 2001


My dad has given me whatever I have asked for and he is not great just because he did those each and every things for me.
He has lived for everyone and took care that the roots of humanity would hold every heart and soul

Contributed by Sachin on 08 Dec 2000


Reg`s son
Reg`s son is my Dad.
He taught me to learn and keep learning.
He showed me how to give up smoking and cry in public.
He urged me to set goals and better myself.
He strived to be a better Dad than his Dad, Reg.

Contributed by Mark Casswell on 22 Nov 2000


role model
Well I wan tto share with you that my dad has stood strong as a man of character supporting what is right and not wavering from the truth. He has counseled me every night after I turned 16 until I was 20 yrs. He told me and taught right from wrong and took time to monitor my progress in Education. He was a very busy man but always taught that time to share and reflect on is very important. He tought me the value of expressing love when ever possible because we never know how time turns. He instilled in me the value of faith and prayers. I believe My dad is the best and You all have the right to think the same for yours. He is and was until I grew up to be a man a strict father enforsing the rules of life and conduct and behaviour at the right time and yet he is my best friend now that I`ve grown up and he doesn`t need to do the thing he had to when I was growing up.

I ask you guys to set and example in the future because setting an example is not the easiest thing but the most respected thing . And that in itself will give tremendous meaning to you r life as a father.

Contributed by sameer and I`m from India on 04 Oct 2000


Everyday above the grounds a Good Day!
My dad is so full of shit at times it`s hilarious. He can tell a tale like no other and has had complete strangers rolling on the floor with laughter at one of his childhood antics. He is a strong and wholesome man who knows his faults and never passes judgement of others. Everyday he lives is a good thing for us and he can often be heard reiterating this to others `Everyday above the ground is a Good Day` has been his life`s moto. He has suffered great losses and personal tragedy that would crush a weaker soul but he remains forever optomistic. The best thing my dad does is live, he is 60 next year and he told me just the other day. `I am going to dive deeper, swim further, sing louder and I am going to live, for it`s better to burn out then fade away`. He touches everyone he meets and no-one knows him without feeling him touch your soul. His spirit is infectious and his humbleness a blessing and lesson to all. He contributes to the souls around him and learns from them as well. He hasn`t done just one good thing or been nice just once. Like I said the Good things my Dad does and did is LIVE!

Contributed by Julie Lawson - Sydney on 18 Sep 2000


Dealing with a difficult teenager
I wasn`t always the saint I am now. When I was 13 I decided that I wanted to get my ears pierced and asked my Mum and Dad if I could spend my saved pocket money on having it done. They said no.

Always with a strong sense of justice, I found this hard to accept. After all, it was my money and they were my ears. Who were they to say no?

So I did it anyway. I got my ears pierced, with a friend for moral support, and then I went to stay at that friend`s place for a few nights.

A few nights stretched out to a week and each night I was on the phone to one of my parents asking if it was okay to stay longer. Okay, they said. Just one more night.

I bumped into my Dad one day and I covered my ears with my hair. Did he see? No, I was lucky. But I was being very sneaky and it couldn`t last forever.

After about a week and a half my Dad turned up to my friend`s house to pick me up. He had been told by someone else that I`d had my ears done and he was VERY angry. I knew I was in for it, packed my bags and got in the car. It was a silent ride home.

Instead of the row I was expecting, Dad dropped me home and immediately disappeared outside.

`Where is he?` I was asking Mum. We looked out the window and he was mowing the lawn.

`I think he is calming himself down,` she said.

After an hour or so he came up to me and wanted to talk. He allowed me to bring my cat and we went into my room for our discussion. After about half an hour of going back and forth with our opposing arguments, I said something I`m still ashamed of.

`You want to hit me, don`t you?` I said. `Go on, then, just hit me.` Dad again disappeared.

This time he was gone for a very long time. Mum and I looked out the window again and couldn`t see him in the yard. Further investigation revealed that he was now mowing the lawns of the local playground. I really was in the bad books.

When he returned Dad and I went back into my room. He said it was a difficult situation because he could understand my wish to take responsibility for my appearance but he could not condone the way I had lied and been deceitful about doing it.

He had a proposal. I would remove my earrings and let my ears close up. In a year`s time, on my 14th birthday, if I still wanted my ears pierced, he would pay for it to be done.

I cried and removed my earrings and was still feeling hard-done-by as teenagers do when they`ve been proven wrong. And then Dad came up to me and hugged me and as I cried he said `I really love you, you know.`

The following year, on my 14th birthday, Dad took me to get my ears pierced. Afterwards we went for a hot chocolate at a local cafe and we had a long talk.

Tears come to my eyes as I write this. My father was one of the greatest people I have known. He was able to be strong, responsible, loving, warm, strict, approachable and good fun all together. Most of all it was obvious how much he loved us and my sister and I have always held our memories of him very dearly.

He always said that fathers were the best people in the world. Being a teacher, he was well aware that was not the case in all families. If they were all a little more like him I don`t think any of us would have disputed it.

Contributed by Fiona, South Australia on 13 Sep 2000



Being Open to Others and the World
Dad was a great teacher. There were times we spent as just father and son when he took me out to explore the great, wide world. A few miles from our home was a ruined Benedictine monastery hidden in overgrown woodland. Patiently he told me about how the monks lived all those centuries ago and he spoke with respect and compassion.

When I was old enough, he taught me to read maps, to find my way around the world with confidence and ease.

I have accepted these gifts with joy. I now feel `at home` in the world, have learned languages and made friends across linguistic and cultural divides. I now work as a tour-guide, sharing my respect for the world`s cultural heritage with others. My spiritual principle is: `Here is something of worth, and I want to share it with you, my neighbour`.

Thanks Dad - I`m passing on your gifts and mine to create international harmony, mutual respect, love and understanding. And it all began because you spent time with me as teacher, guide and friend.

Contributed by Keith, United Kingdom on 01 Sep 2000



It`s a wonderful life !
Growing up with three older brothers was very good being the youngest. I always learned from them the mistakes in life.My father shared his love between us and never had a special one that I can think of. We all had our times to remember with him though. He always provided for the family making sure we would have the things we needed. Christmas was always happy times, Getting together with the rest of the family. I will always remember the Christmas I was sick and couldn`t go the the family get together. My dad stayed home with me and I felt so special being his only concern. I was about 12 at the time and looked up to him as a great man. He grew up in a orphange with the rest of his sisters and one brother. I felt sorry for him about that. He had good foster parents that we all knew well.During our evening together we watched It`s a wonderful life and the movie touched me so much. I looked over to see my dad crying at the last part of the movie. Just then I realized he was not the big man that I seen all the time but a person with feelings like me.I still watch the movie now with my three boys and get the same feeling I had back then. We lost our dad two years ago. I seen him take his last breath while I held his hand. I`m a grownup now and don`t hesitate to show all my love to my boys. They get made sometimes but I know they will have the same feeling I have now for my father.

Contributed by tsteinbart@*aol.com Lumberton Texas on 23 Aug 2000
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The best thing my Dad, Ron Croom, ever did for me, was be an example. He has made mistakes in the past, but he was wise enough to let me see them. More importantly, he`s grown. As for my fathers father, Rev. J.W. Croom Jr., he too, (a minister, a man of God even when he`s not in the pulpit) taught me a lot just by being cool, and by taking that big leather belt and tanning my hide with it when I was six. He never had to do it again.

Contributed by Randall Croom, Birmingham, AL on 01 Jul 2000


My Dad
My Dad taught us to swim when we could barely walk , he taught us to ride bikes with patience and love, he played with us and our neighborhood of friends (there was always a yard full of kids at our house) and now he`s doing all those things and more with my boys. He had a very serious heart attack three years ago and had 7 by-passes done. I don`t honestly know what I would have done if things hadn`t turned out the way they did he survived and still has time for all of us. He`s retired now and I hope he enjoys all the years to come. My boys were lucky in that they will always have wonderful memories of most of their great-grandparents as well as their grandparents. I only hope my Dad is around for my grandchildren to have special memories of him. People tell me that the older I get the more like my Dad I get. I just tell them that I could do a helluva alot worse. I love you Dad.

Contributed by Cindy Wert, Milroy, PA on 17 Jun 2000


Baron the Boxer
My Father died when I was twelve , so this happene dwhen I was about 10, living in suburban Melbourne. I had been playing around with the incinerator and had decorated my boxer dog, baron with ash from the old fire. My Dad, Ben found the dog and was furious with what I had done. It would be the only time he would try to hit me. Ben went to strike me and Baron leapt up and took him by the throat and knocked him over. Baron then let go and Dad stood up. I was horrified and completely stunned by what i had seen, Dad then looked at Baron, who was waiting for his fate with calm, and said `Good boy` and then walked off. I was even more stunned and can barely now, 25 years later, understand the emotion and wisdom that stopped my Dad from punishing my dog that had protected me.
My eldest son is now ten and I do not wish to be missing from his life. I only wish I had more of Ben`s wisdom and understanding to take with me.

Contributed by Michael Wierenga on 06 Jun 2000


anger management
My Dad used to drink a fair bit when I was younger and he had a foul temper. He would rant and rave about the smallest irritations and I could never really understand what the big deal was. Looking back, he was obviously reacting to (among other things) the stress of being the sole breadwinner on a not-very-large wage. His temper moderated a little when he stopped drinking (when I was about 15), but was still pretty fierce.
Despite his rages my father never once hit, pushed or physically manhandled my mother or his three children. There were some fairly furious verbal arguments but my father would sometimes, when it obviously got too much, go out into the backyard and dig a huge hole in the ground, burning up his anger. He would use the hole to bury rubbish or would sometimes just fill it in after he had cooled down.
I learned that no matter how angry you are, you never need to resort to physical violence and that you never, ever hit women (not that I ever saw my Dad hit man either).
The physical punishment that Dad gave us as children were always on the bottom or legs and only ever with the hand. To me this showed a restraint that was admirable. He was a product of his time and so corporal punishment was accepted, in fact expected. I don`t believe corporal punishment breeds a generation of child and woman bashers because the example my father set showed me that a good role model of anger management is far more important in how you grow up than whether you were spanked as a child.

Contributed by rod from WA on 23 May 2000


My Dad is bald
He hasn`t had hair for as long as I can remember.
When I was 16, he said, son, your gonna be bald too.
I worried a lot about that. Now I`m
34 and still have all my hair. Ha ha. If your reading
this, you bald bastard, YOU WERE WRONG.

People are afraid of my Dad which I always thought
was cool. They aren`t really afraid of me, but
they are afraid of my kids. Funny how that skips
a generation.

Machiavelli stated in the Prince that
it`s better to be feared than loved because you
can control fear.

My kids really like my Dad. I can`t work it out. He just
reads the Economist and let`s them play around his

Contributed by Tibor Ferenc on 20 May 2000


Freedom flies on little wings
My Dad. A father, a husband, a teacher, a man.
I was and will always be, his girl. His name was my first utterance, his advice always my last word.
Not an altogether emotional man, he has always strived to enlist in me confidence, enthusiasm and passion in all I do - whether I do it well, medium or rare.
Watching me move out of home at 15 to do matric, then at 18 to travel the world on my own, and now accepting myself and my partner as we grow into full adults has no doubt been a struggle for him. Through it all he has offered the support, guidance and reality checks of which one can only dream.
Now, on the verge of making the life changing trip to teach in China, I can only hope that I am able to reciprocate all he gave me.

Thank you Dad.

Contributed by Bec from Australia on 26 Apr 2000


My dad was a rail guard and would spend two and three nights away from home as I was growing up. So a lot of my parenting came from my mother. And so my relationship with my mother was much stronger. I would spend quite a bit of time with mum, after school and on weekends. The times that dad was home he would often spend at the hotel.
But one significant time I remember is when my dad took me with him to work. It was only an overnight job, but we had to leave really late one night. After I had my things together I went into mum`s bedroom to say goodbye and mum was crying. She did not want me to go, she thought it was too dangerous and not a place for a ten year old boy. Well it was hard to go, but I did. Dad took me on the train in a primative guard`s van with only one stretcher for a bed and a single gas element cook top. He cooked my hot chocolate and let me sleep on the stretcher and I remember what an excellent time we had.
I really feel that this was the time when my dad started me on a path of initiation into manhood. I don`t think he knew it but I am so grateful for that memory. And I love my dad

Contributed by D. Jaeschke from Adelaide, Australia on 12 Mar 2000


Making Waves
People have often told me that I am the type of
woman who goes for the gusto.

Maybe people tell me this because I surf
(albeit badly), as well as snowboard
(wipe outs take a greater toll here) and have run
the LA marathon (don`t ask me my completion time).

The point is--I try.

I was encouraged at a very early age to take
a shot at things--and stand face to face with those
fear demeons that so often paralyze us
into complacency.

I remember facing such fears at 10 years old
when I would go to the beach with my family and look out on
the crashing waves. I thought, `those waves are
really, really, really big and it would only
take one wave to pull me under the ocean.`

As a child, my imagination ran wild with this thought
and I could picture my mom at the beach calling us
for lunch and looking out into that infinite ocean,
while I layed at the bottem of it. Well, I spent
enough days at the beach to eventually overcome
this fear--with the support and help from my dad.

At the beach, my dad would walk into the water,
and keep walking until I could barely see his head
bobbing above the waves. Then he would call
out to me and say, `o.k., Marci, go for it.
You can make it now--there are no waves.`

I would run into the surf and swim to my dad as
fast as I could, hoping to reach him before the
next wave hit. When I got to him, my feet could
not touch the ground. I climbed on his back, with
my little, skinny legs curled around his pot belly.

As the waves got closer, my death grip got tighter.
We waited until the next wave was just about to
crash upon us--then dove under it, holding our breath
and coming out on the other side--where a calm
ocean greated us.

We played this game for about an hour (maybe it was
15 minutes--but back then it seemed like a long time).

Then my dad would say, `o.k., it`s your sister`s
turn.` I would swim back to shore, and tell my
sister that daddy was ready. My brother followed
my sister.

Who really knows what exact moments in life
shape your very being. But I would have to
guess that those moments with my dad
gave me the gusto to `go for it.`

Today, I am still making waves. Thanks Dad.

Contributed by Marci Ramirez on 01 Mar 2000


Our Struggle
Now I am older I have been able to glean an assortment of details ( not yet the complete story) from my fathers upbringing. Learning about some of these things has always made my love & respect for my father grow a little more each time.
My father was born at the close of WW2 in England & my grandfather was a classic bastard from all accounts, who left Grandma to raise her son on her own. The resulting problems led to dad being raised for some years by an Aunt who treated Dad like a second rate child, always giving major preference to her own kids first and relegating dad to the leftovers. When he finally got to live with his mother again she could not cope and subjected him to a very harsh regime.
When she remarried, his new stepdad was not interested in him, and was very abusive physically and emotionally.
Dad never discusses this part of his life, and mum beleives most of this time is suppressed in his memory, so he can rarely recall the details himself.
My early life is a suppressed blur as well for very similar reasons, ( the wheel turns !).
Although dad was abusive to us all, at least he stood by us and showed intense loyalty to us as his family.
In fact, Dad`s anger taught me one of my early lessons in Manhood. After a very difficult period in our lives He lost it completely and started pushing us around & throwing things at us and around us in his usual rage. I was 16 at the time and had just got my driver`s license. During his outburst I had manouvered my mother and younger brother to the back of the caravan behind me to protect them ( as mum had done for us on numerous occasions ). Mum said something, and Dad in his rage started after her.This is when my balls dropped ! I stood up infront of dad (who terrified me with his berserker strength and rage) and told him he would have to go through me first to get to them. It sounds very melodramatic when I write it, but it was the first time I had ever had to put my self physically on the line in a situation where I was virtually certain to have the holy shit kicked out of me, and yet still feel fully committed to stand for something. I think dad saw himself in my eyes just then and realized he would have to do SERIOUS harm to get past me.He hit me once and I still stood there, and luckily for me a little bit of common sense got through to him, so he grabbed the car keys and took off.
While he was away I loaded clothes and food for my mum and brother into my little caravan, and when dad returned I was hitching the caravan up to my car to leave. He began to rage again and even parked his car across the property gate to stop me leaving, but by now I was just as fired up as he was, but cold about it. I simply told him that he was one and we were three and sooner or later he would sleep, and when he woke up he would be tied up out of the way and we would be gone !

This is when the total transformation took place that was the only thing that had kept us with him through the years , and he suddenly realised what was happening. Then he collapsed into a broken man, more intensely than we had ever seen before.
Mum`s greatest lesson to me in life was forgiveness, and at this point she stepped in and quietly suggested I give him some time and room before I left. Later that day we reconciled and I didn`t end up leaving.
The thing that makes me both amazed and proud of both of us over this incident is that Dad periodically brags about the day his son stood up to him, and it`s obvious that this event will be clear in his memory till the day he dies too!
I`m sorry if i`m dribbling a bit, but this is the first time I have ever told this story and It`s pretty emotional.
After this Dad looked for ways to divert his rage toward things would not harm his family, and mostly succeeded, although some of the equipment on their small property took quite a beating.
Years later it was discovered that my father suffered from BiPolar Disorder, and that chemical imbalance was largly responsible for his rages and major depressions.He has been on medication for it since and this has made a major difference in everyones lives. Dad has had lot`s of trouble with the medication, because he`s lost the intense highs that a bipolar sufferer experiences and a lot of the time the medication has almost turned him into a vegetable, but he has perservered with it out of love for us all.
This is when I started respecting and loving my father again. I didn`t think he was suddenly an angel, but realised that during his life he was dealing with both physical and psychological problems that had led other men into major crime and violence, and had fought to repair damage he had done with an intense loyalty to his family all the way through.
This intense loyalty to his family was the major lesson I have learned from my father, the knowledge that I have the strength to die in defense of my family if that is needed.
Obviously, I am now trying to cope with issues of my own as result of my upbringing, but it feels more like I am sharing the burden with my father of several generations of terrible fathering. I have no doubt that His father suffered during his childhood, and sometimes wonder how far back this chain goes.
My Major hope as I approach my forties is that my son and I can continue to break this wheel of misfortune. I have removed the violence from the cycle with my son, but still could have a better father in many ways. When Brian (my son) is old enough to cope I hope to talk about these things with him to help him realise he will have some work to do in undoing the damage done to us all over the generations.
We can only do the best we can to break the cycle, and I think we have to be realistic in our expectations.
As men I do beleive we need to restore the FULL glory of manhood, and can only do this together.
We need to restore the strength to face a lion or bear barehanded in defense of our family along with the gentle strength to weep with joy over our newborn baby or our child`s acheivment.

This is why it is so important for us to work together in this, because despite their love and concern, women don`t seem to understand how men and testosterone work !
I hope my story touches somebody and helps them to start their own recovery.

Contributed by Jim on 31 Jan 2000


Now I Know
My dad was never around for me and my seven brothers and sisters. Partly becasue he was in the Air Force for thirty years and a work aholic at his job. Then he was overseas for several times sometimes up to a year at a time.
I think after dad retired about 15 years ago, he has relized how much he has missed his family. He knows we are closer to out mother than he and I can tell it upsets him. I can also tell he is trying to make up for lost time and it is difficult. He would do anything for me now. He has never neen able to tell us that he loves us till now and I do know that he does! I love you dad!
G. Morgan
Indiana, USA

Contributed by Gary on 31 Jan 2000


It Took Me A While
It took me a while to realise that my Dad did do something good.
When I was 16 I started doing an apprenticeship under my Father and hated it, I couldn`t do anything right by him , in my eyes that was.
It was only when I had sons of my own that I realised what my dad was trying to do, he was trying to help me by correcting the things he felt was not right when he was growing up.
I now can talk to my Dad about the journey I have undertaken to become a man with pride.
Oh yeah, the good thing is: He still supports me in my jouney!

Contributed by Gary Smith on 13 Jan 2000


Shadows in my mind
I was only five when my father died of a heart attack and forty years have passed.The memories are few and grey but are cherrished as they are all I have of him.Openong a gate on our farm for him in the truck.....playing with him while he lay on the kitchen floor at lunch time.....not much more.I wish I could have known him as a person and learnt from his wisdom.I learnt to shave off a leaflet with the shaver and learned what little I know of manhood from a book and the more years that go by the more I see the loss in my life.I have a nearly 13 year old daughter now and have finally begun to learn how to be a dad.I will try to raise her with her own self esteem unlike that which I am still trying to build for myself.From my life I conclude that a father is far more important than any of us realise and that in itself makes my life now more important too.I miss and love you Dad and hope that when my journey into manhood is done I will know my father through my own eyes.

Contributed by Mal from Australia on 01 Jan 2000


Help at the cross roads
When I was 19-20, I came across some uncles who used to do `funny` things ie I will hear them talk about boys in sexual way, sleeping with prostitutes etc. Later, my father and I were working on some thing when I asked him what was going on. He told me what it was and his tone indicated repugnance. I felt a great relief for he was matter of fact. looking back, in that small talk, he set seed in me for moral behaviour, a passionate stand point accompanied with acceptance of the world. It liberated me.

Contributed by Anon., Sydney NSW, Australia on 20 Oct 1999


Dad memories and lessons
I remember watching jets in the evening or late afternoons with the sun behind us and he would always call them `silverbirds`. We used to wonder where the people on them were going to or coming from.

Another great time was when Dad used to take us shooting with his .22. It was a big deal to us kids to get to share this with him, and it helped us all get closer together. Dad taught us safety and respect for guns, and we all took it VERY SERIOUSLY. This is an important life lesson, and should be passed on more nowadays. Did you know that 0% of kids who take firearms safety courses and are shown the safe use and handling of firearms go on to commit firearms crime? I think fathers should pass on this sense of individual responsibility more. I guess in this communist/socialist protective society we have, that will be difficult. Firearms with your kids...It`s for the chiiiiiildren!

Contributed by Guest on 05 Oct 1999


Show some Feelings
My Dad died when I was only sixteen so I don`t have too many memeoroies of him to pass on to my two young sons however one of the most vivid memories I have was when I was 8 or 9.
My brother and I were playing in the back garden and dug up what we thought was a coin, round and silver. It turned out be Dad`s wedding ring that he had lost over a year earlyer while digging trenches for new sewer pipes.
We were so exiting and rushed to show him. When he realised what we had found he cried. We were a lttle stunned as we had never seen him cry before.
The pure act of showing his emotion was a very strong message to us that even for our big, tough indestructable Dad it was OK to cry.

Contributed by Kent Stuart from Melbourne, Australia on 26 Sep 1999


Showed he loved us in the only way he knew
My Dad never showed any emotion towards me and my sis and bro except the occasional outburst of anger. But he provided for us all until we were old enough to go out into the world. So he showed us he loved us. It`s sad that I only realise that now, because he never once told us...

Contributed by Nigel on 22 Sep 1999


My Greatest Supporter
When I was in Primary School, Aussie Rules Football was my `life`. Week after week, rain, hail or shine dad would come and watch me play. I remember feeling a little embarrassed by his bright orange rain coat and pants and being a bit frustrated from time to time with his coaching of me from the boudary line.

It wasn`t until I was in my 20`s that I realised what a sacrifice he made by coming to watch me play my sport. I subsequently made a point of thanking him.

Contributed by Paul from Adelaide, Australia on 26 Aug 1999


Shadow in a Mirror
I`ve heard it said that each person`s soul gets to choose his or her parents prior to birth. This notion seemed rather silly to me (as well as outside conventional religious doctrines I have known) precisely because it seemed to imply that victims of child abuse had chosen to be abused.

Well, there`s a part of me which sometimes think that notion might be correct anyway.

My father was a petty monster as a result of his terror of his own perfectionism. He was too desperate and driven ever to think a loving thought about another human being because his life was tied up in trying to force everyone around to support his self-image that he was a hero rather than a failure. Ironically, most of the actions he committed that gave him a negative image were actions taken to coerce us into shoring up his poor self-esteem: if he had never convinced himself that he would have to use violence to force others to respect him, he would have been a highly respectable man. But that conviction that he was incapable of being respectable and worthwhile and therefore had to force others into calling him respectable and worthwhile took over his life, until there was nothing left but that toxic, violent drive.

Now I am the age my father was when my family threw him out, and I committed none of his emotional or physical violence, none of his self-destructive perfectionism, none of his desperate coercion of others.

But I have come to realize that the seeds for all that was in me. I have come to realize that I could easily have become an even worse monster than my father had ever been if it had not been for the incessant negative role model. He embodied our shared sinful shadow perfectly, and in presenting a perfect model of what NOT to become, his actions guaranteed that I became a man instead of a monster.

He is the Shadow in my Mirror.

I realize that this only a negative good thing. At the same time, I shudder when I think of what I could have become if I had never learned to recognize my own darkness from constantly experiencing the intrusive darkness of my father.

So perhaps my soul did choose this man for my father after all, if only to help me avoid his sins.

Contributed by Everett from Los Angeles, Californa on 24 Jul 1999

Tears for a lost soul
I grew up in a mother dominated atmosphere, my father a corporate executive was a total stranger. As a teenager I loathed my father. I considered him racist, hypocritical and bigoted. A source of shame.
When I was about twenty my father came home in tears. He had been caught shoplifting. An item worth less than a dollar, a clear cry for help I was stunned!
I look back now, some thirty years later and realise the pain and anguish my poor dad endured. He employed thousands of people, indeed at one point due to corporate rationalisation he retrenched 5000 people and took it upon himself to confront them personally en masse. At about this same time his beloved daughter was a victim of domestic violence and financial hardship..
My father retired early, alchoholic and broken. The day before he was to be admitted to hospital for cancer surgery my sister arrived on his doorstep overdosed. He rushed her to hospital and postponed his own treatment until her recovery. He died three days after his admittance. I sat ther with him holding his hand till he took his final breath, a privelidge I will cherish always.
He said to me one day, ` You know son, I`m proud of you, you`ve never caused me any trouble.` The closest he ever came to saying he loved me. As my younger years were spent as an outlaw motorcyclist I found this rather astonishing. ( I did take care of my own problems however.)
I don`t see my dad as a martyr and I am not trying to glorify his image. I see him as a fairly typical man of his generation. Totally out of his depth. A manof compassion with no idea of how to show it. I miss him. I wish I could be with him now and only hope I am able to learn from his failures.

Contributed by Chris from Mullumbimby on 15 Jul 1999


A bit of nothing
What to say? I am 41 and cannot remember my father ever kissing me, hugging me or telling me he loved me. When I emigrated to Australia he came to the airport (there was a surprise!) and shook my hand. When I returned to the UK at Xmas for my first visit in four years my father told my sister he wouldn`t be buying my eight-year-old son a present because he never sees him (she soon disabused him of that notion!). This, then, is the person from whose loins I sprung.
I am now divorced, but my son lives with his mother nearby. I coach his soccer team (14 eight year old boys and girls - I must be mad), and go to all his school events. I kiss him and cuddle him and wrestle with him and tell him how much I love him.
I read the stories on this site with tears in my eyes because I am jealous of the people who have such wonderful stories and wonderful fathers, and sad that I cannot join them in their joy.
All I can hope is that, someday, my son will perhaps stumble on a site like this and write a few positive stories about HIS Dad.
Remember that you are not condemned to repeat your past. Learn from it, and love your children. It`s the best thing you can give them.

Contributed by Keith Austin, British by birth, now living in Australia on 19 May 1999


My Pop
In reading these stories, I notice that alot of these notes are to fathers that are deceased.

I am a proud son of Bertram Eugene Mooney Jr. and I can honestly say that if my father passed away tomorrow, I would have the comfort in knowing that my father knew that I loved him with all of my heart.

We communicate. What better mentor can you have if you have a father that cares and loves you unconditionally. As I hit 31 years, I am finally beginning to realize the information I can gain from his experiences. I have always been in awe of him, due to his successes over his obsticles. When my father passes away, he won`t be mourned, he will be praised!

Eric Mooney

Contributed by Eric Mooney on 03 Apr 1999


A confusion of emotions.
In 1991 my Dad passed on to the higher plain of existance. My Trauma over his death caused so much emotion for me that I was a mess for two weeks after his death. My ol` man was a bush man a grazier type an ex army type. Firm but fair in most things. However he was an aggressive man which was hurtful on occasion, but Im here to talk about his good points. I looked up to my old man, despite the fights and arguments we had and our intoleration of each other. He was once a smoker, you know the old conservative type with the glass of sherry and midgit monople cigar of an evening and a pipe through the day. I used to long for my days to be with him to smell that Borkhum riff tobacco or stuffing his pipe with it as we drove bouncing around in the old toyota ute checkin the waters on the three properties he managed for an Old Manager of a Merino stud. I always loved the bush and loved the work mustering the cattle with my dad, killing the sheep and cattle for meat and the shearing and marking times. I always thought that my life would end up somewher in the bush working the rural industry somewhere doing something similar. My dad was a man bred from harsh conditions in outback rural queensland and had seen a lot and experienced a lot of harsh realities. He was a horseman and property manager who was humble with authority(something I have a lot of difficulty with after their treatment of him)he had his odd disagreement with em but always did what they asked, never questioned the way in which they treated him. However as his child I experienced many flow on effects from that. (taken out in agrression towards his family members).
Dad had one brother and one sister, he was a very honest man and a person who could be totally trusted to do what was asked of him at any time. His funeral was one of the biggest I had ever seen. He is sadly missed by his family. I will always remember the good things of my father for his diligence and honesty and care for his family. Moving to town really eventually was the demise of my Dad, so I will remember him for the days in the bush on the land. All the best Dad whereever you are, I`m sorry for the hurt and pain I caused you. Please forgive me.

Contributed by Lance South West Queensland on 21 Mar 1999


He taught me responsibility

I had never understood why my dad used to insist that I accompany him and my mother when they went to do groceries for the family. But now that I have my own family, I understand why. He was instilling in me a sense of responsibility to provide for my family. It sounds insignificant but it is a lesson I shall cherish and uphold for the rest of my life. I shall always provide for my family because I love them. Dad taught me that.

Contributed by Vusi Mona, Kanyamazane, South Africa on 20 Mar 1999


The only Dad I`ve Ever Known
Even though he`s not my biological father, he`s been there for me in ways my blood dad never could.
When I was younger, just having that male presence made me and my brothers feel better and safer.
My dad Dave never raised his hand or voice to us, never belittled or tried to boss us around and always
understood the unique relationship we had w/our mom. The really weird thing is, I didn`t realize how great
he was until I was 27 and went home to Pennsylvania for a visit in 97. My dad and I talked all
night before I left . And although I always knew it on some leveL, that conversation really confirmed
something that all men need to know, no matter what their age: that my father loves and respects me.
And believe me when I tell you that there are days when that has made all the difference.

Damen Jackson
Seattle, wa

Contributed by Damen Jackson Seattle, WA on 06 Mar 1999


Quality Time
I was the youngest of four. My day was in his 50`s when we both joined Boys Scouts of America. I was in a troop that did a lot BackPacking in the Sierra Mountain Ranges. I can still remember our first trip when I was 11years old. Dad was a heavy smoker who would not listen to anyone about stopping the dirty habit. Needless to say my dad struggled on that 50 mile hike. A few days after we returned he announced `this is my last one`. We did not realize until a few day later that dad was not smoking. He never picked up another. I was so proud of him from going from 2 packs of camels a day to nothing. Because of this I was able to spend many more years of hiking, canoing and camping adventures with my father. He decide to set a good example and now is very healthy in his 70`s living in a cabin in the woods (his dream?) I proud of the quality decision he made which I think of everytime I make an important decision. Love ya Dad!!

Contributed by John Somers California on 03 Mar 1999


Real Men do Cry
I am the youngest child in a family of 7. when I was 8, I had my feelings hurt when a neighborhood girl told me I had a freakishly large head. I went home, sad for the experience. My dad could tell something was up. I was trying not to cry. He took me for ice cream without asking me any questions. After we each had a big chocolate dipped cone, he told me, `You know Jimmy, it`s okay to cry. It`s part of what makes us real.` Ever after, I knew this was a safe emotion to publicly display, in spite of my two brothers threats to the contrary. Dad knew otherwise.

Contributed by Jim Mc Guirk, Santa Monica, California, USA on 03 Mar 1999


I have always had a difficult relationship with
my father. But recently I have had the good
fortune to inherit a wonderful father-in-law
by marriage. I never expected this and have been
shocked and delighted at his open expressions
of love for me. Definetly not sexual just good
clean affection. It has opened my eye`s at what
a father could be like.
I am basking in this gift.

Contributed by Kirsty, Australia. on 04 Feb 1999


Its the little things.........
Dad once picked me up and put me on his shoulders to see a passing parade. It was fanstatic. So safe, so strong and so tall. I couldent wait to grow up. I love having my children on my shoulders.

Contributed by David - again in Adelaide on 29 Jan 1999


The Big Picture
One of the most important things my Dad did for me and my sisters was to search for a better life for us. In 1966 Dad and Mum decided to pluck us out of a then depressed central London and move to Adelaide Australia.

It was only during a visit in 1986 that I realised what a forawrd thinking and courageous decision that was. We have a lifestyle in Adelaide that most visitors envy. We are not the most `electric` city in the world, but the quality of life in Adelaide is fantastic.

I had the opportunity to come back from that 1986 trip and thank Mum and Dad for their courage and dedication to `our` future.

Dad died a few months later.

Contributed by David - Adelaide on 29 Jan 1999


My Dad
I`m not sure how to describe my dad. He was just always there. Unfortunately he has gone now - he died two weeks before my 21st birthday.

My mum tells me that he spoke about me a lot to his work friends etc, and was very proud of me. In the entire time we were together, I only seen my father drunk once, and with only ever one cigarette in his hands (which he was supposed to have given up... he may not even still know that I seen him). :)

I wish he was still here, as I never got to tell him that i`m gay. My mum knows, and we both know that he would have been fine with it.. but it`s not the same as hearing it from him.

How do we know he would be OK with it? Because my Dad loved both me and my sister. That`s not a statement to be taken lightly. He *Loved* us. He (with my Mother naturally) instilled in us a sense of individuality, *and* family that i`ve not seen in many others families.

For what time he was with us, he was the best Dad in the world :)

Contributed by Peter from Australia on 08 Jan 1999


Saving my love life
One time I was in love with a woman and I could not get her to stay. No matter what I did I could not get her to love me the way I loved her.
My father saw how much time and effort I would put into this relationship just to get back one tenth of what I had put in. My father was a stong
Italian man with his views on women and he shared some important information. He said, `When a woman thinks that she can get away with
treating you like crap, she will. When a woman thinks that you will always be there she will try anything to get rid of you, and when you
build a womans self esteam she will always think that she is too good for you. So remember that you are the man and a man should make a woman
think that he doesn`t need her and she is not worth his time, then and only then will she come running. And one more thing, don`t be afraid to loose
her.` Since then I treated that love of my like with greasy hands instead of gold. Under the direction of my father I would miss appointments,
forget to call back and stopped being such a wimp. By the time I had finnished with her she gave me everything and more. Thanks Dad.

Contributed by Roberto P. From Toronto on 07 Jan 1999


Bush Communion
My Dad is the distant, aloof type. Keeps himself to himself. I grew up not really knowing him or what
he thought and felt about things. He never showed a lot of interest in us kids - didn`t come to football
games, the school speech night, the operetta I sang in - but he did at least share some of his life and
interests with my brothers and me.

Dad was a keen bushman. We lived in the Northern Territory for quite a few years, with great access to
pig country and the best barramundi-fishing spots. Some of my most treasured memories are of hunting
and fishing trips with him..

He taught me how to navigate by the sun and landmarks so I wouldn`t get lost walking for miles in the scrub
hunting wild pigs; how to clean, care for and safely use a firearm; how to catch a live prawn and bait a hook;
how to look after the bush; how to improvise and make useful things out of whatever was to hand; how to
clean and cook my catch. I thought this was all just fun then, but I can see now how I also gained a sense
of confidence and mastery out of these experiences. I basked in his praise when I killed my first pig - there
weren`t a whole lot of other positive messages.

Best of all, these were things we did together and that was special. I saw he could be relaxed and joyful,
compared to how I remember him being at home most of the time. And I loved the quiet, camp-fire chats
at night as he reminisced about childhood adventures. Thanks Dad for treasured memories.

Contributed by Steve - Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia on 27 Dec 1998


My Dad
My dad died 3 years ago in an accident, but we had the type of relationship, which I thank God for because even though we could not say goodbye there was nothing else I would have said to him. He was an unloved orphen, but he was the most wonderful loving father. He was so proud of us children, yet he was the most humble of all men. He had very little education, but had wisdom I marvelled at. The most important attribute was that he unconditionally loved us.
Thank you Heavenly Father for this earthly father you gave me.

Contributed by Glenda South Africa on 14 Sep 1998



out of this world
My son and i were driving home one night from a Softball game
when we saw flashing lights in the sky. We stopped the car and got out to look at the amazing bright lights.
We thaught nothing of it and got back in the car and continued to drive home.An hour after we got home there was a power shortage and it was suddenly all dark.
this humming noise was around our house for about 20 min when it dissappeared and the power came on again.
My son and i talk about ti all the time now and it is one of the best times we have had together ever.

Contributed by Luke Maytom, NEWCASTLE AUSTRALIA on 07 Aug 1998


The Best Lesson My Father Ever Thaught that he wasn`t aware.
Their are 16 children in my family, 8 boys and 8 girls. All children by the same mother and father. My father was the extreme disciplinering, when he spoke you would obey. I was the 15th of 16 and when I came along he was very well verst in how to administer whup but on you. There is so many stories I could relate to, I could fill a book. The following story sticks out the most in my mind and had a great impact on shaping me.
This happened shortly after WWII and I was about 6 or 7 years old. Four of my brother had just gotten back from fighting the Japanese, when one of my brothers and another guy got in trouble from stealing hub caps and got put in jail.This happened on a Friday nite. My brother called to see if my father would come and get him out of jail. Dad refused to go and said he got in there and he could get out the best way he can. My brother stayed in jail until the following Monday evening when my older brother went and got him out and beat him like a yard dog. Lesson: Itold myself `ole boy you had better not get in jail because Dad wouldn`t come and get you and whoever came to get you was going to whip your butt, so its best that you stay out of trouble.`

Contributed by Grover Lackey North Carolina 6-30-98 on 01 Jul 1998


Listening to the Morning
I was young... Too young to remember my age, but old enough to remember this as if it happened yesterday. My father was a sailor in the US Navy for 27 years. Not known for his gentleness, this story sticks out in my mind and to this day (I`m now 41) I`m not sure what he wanted to show me about life. Maybe I am making too much of the event.

Our family often went camping. I`m the oldest of 5 children and we could hardly afford a hotel on a sailor`s salery. But one morning, camping in Back Bay, North Carolina, my father woke me up before the sun rose. He said that we were going to watch the squirls wake up.

Sleepily, I put on my clothes and followed my father out the kitchen door of the cabin we had rented. As we passed the kitchen table, dad picked up 2 apples and gave one to me. Then we went for a walk in the half darkness. Deep into the woods.

He found us a log to sit on and he told me to be quiet.... About 30 minutes later, the limbs of the trees came to life. Moving with a magic all their own. Then as the sun came up you could make out the reason for all the movement in the trees. It was the squirels... Each jumping from limb to limb. Barking and fighting with each other, over who knows what. It was an amazing sight.

No words had been spoken between us until now, but after the waking, we ate our apples and talked the whole way back to the cabin.

Don`t know how much of a story it is, but it`s one of my favorite memories of my father, who passed away 15 years ago.

Contributed by Keith Pratt, North Carolina, USA on 30 Jun 1998


The Don of Juan de Fuca - Part Two
That`s right - my father is `The Don of Juan de Fuca`! That`s what we`ve called him for many years and once I asked him how he received that title. Almost a quarter of a century ago this is what happened. He had just retired and built the home of his dreams. The view was amazing - a panoramic vista with ever changing clouds above the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the mountains and forests of East Sooke, the Sooke harbour, with the fishing boats and freighters heading for Japan in the distance. That first summer Dad was at a community picnic and met a friend who introduced him to Earl - `The Earl of Sooke` his friend Milt laughed. He explained that he himself had been known for quite some time to the locals as `The Duke of Sooke`. My father,Don,replied, `Well I believe I outrank you both, since I`m `The Don of Juan de Fuca` and everyone knows the Spanish were here before the British!` My Dad is such a special man. He is a gentle man, a kind and caring man. He has lived a simple life without the riches a man with such a title might have. The riches in his life have been the respect he gives to the people he meets, the ability to weather all of life`s trials with little complaint, his love of music and laughter, his loyalty to his friends and the love he has for his family. We are blessed to have a Dad like ours and wish him comfort and freedom from the pain he has endured in his illness. We send him our love - love from all his children to the man we respect and admire.

Contributed by Sheila Voaklander - Alberta, Canada on 21 Jun 1998


Like most men of his generation, my dad was a tortured soul at war with himself: a gentle person in a society that expected him to adhere to a misguided idea of what it meant to be `tough,` a world that shamed tenderness and sensitivity. He was a brilliant writer but felt that he had no choice but to channel his creativity in `practical` ways to support his family, so he stopped writing moving fiction, and instead wrote advertizing copy. Most of the time I knew him, dad was full of anger and hostility, and these things took a heavy toll on his health - so much so that he became unable to work to support a family anyway, long before he could have retired.

But he still managed to find his center sometimes, and I choose now to remember those things the most - I believe they were the true expression of who he _really_ was, and could have been if only he had given himself permission to be more often. I choose to remember family vacations when he would take my brothers and I on long walks in the woods and teach us all about the flora and fauna all around us - neat facts you normally only learn in well-researched nature documentaries! I choose to remember him teaching us how to fish, and teaching us carefully all about gun safety - even me, even though I was a girl. I think these teaching and guiding aspects of fathering are the male expression of the human nutruring instinct.

In his last few years, when his health was failing and it was all he could do to sit up in a chair, all dad wanted was for us to sit with him awhile and talk to him. I guess his illness gave him a new perspective and showed him the things that were truly important in life, after all. I am glad I took the time to sit and let him ramble - I am glad he and I made our peace, but mostly I am glad he was able to find the peace with his own self before he died.

Now I think I understand that if I raise my son by simply allowing him to be himself, and celebrating his uniqueness however he chooses to manifest it, he won`t have to wait until he`s a fifty-five year old invalid before he can find his own peace - perhaps he`ll never really have to leave it.

Contributed by Kim on 18 Jun 1998


Leaving It All Behind
Without doubt the most powerful thing my father ever did was to be brave enough at 45 years of age to immigrate to Australia.
He came to Australia with one thing in mind...a better and safer life for his wife and children. In 1986 when travelling in the UK I got a call saying that Dad was very unwell. I immediately returned to Oz and had about 12 weeks with him before he died.
It is one of the joys of my life that I had the opportunity to say `thank you Dad` for the risks he had taken in 1967. It was clear from my travels that he had made the right choice and that we are now living in a country where opportunity and possibility are more accessible. Its not that I want to denegrade the lifestyle in England...its more about noting the difference and feeling that my 3 sisters and I are now living the lifestyle Dad had in mind. Dad and Mum left behind some of the things that are now so precious to me..... feeling at `home` and having my immediate family close by when needed. I wonder if those Aussies who were here to greet the immigrants can ever understand what that feels like...I hope so. Oh... and Mum, well she is still doing well and enjoying her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I must remind her of how I feel about that decision in the 60s...in fact I`ll give her a call, right now.

Contributed by David - Adelaide South Australia on 12 Jun 1998


A Man to Emmulate ...and Not!
My father grew up in a time when men were supposed
to be autocrats and remote. If he had another
pattern to follow, I am sure he would have chosen
it. I know he and my brother always had a special
respect for each other, and that may be as it
should be. But I never sensed tenderness or
caring or pride in me, and maybe I did not deserve
these...maybe I never earned them...or maybe it
was because I was a daughter and not a son.

What my father did right was how he stood in his
community. He was a powerful man as a speaker,
a community leader, an organizer. He was never
really known for his charitable works...that is,
he didn`t seek renown. He was content to do the
work and allow others the credit, but it was
quietly known that if you wanted something done
that needed doing, you should seek him out. So,
he helped fund a blind school, he helped build a
counselling center for troubled children. He
coached little league football, he umpired little
league baseball, he was a member of the Jaycees
and his chapter president, he was on the school
board for nearly twenty years. It seemed to me
that my father was always going somewhere, to help
someone. Political leaders came to him. And in
what he gave to his community, he was indeed a man
to emmulate.

But...just once, I would have liked a hug. I hope
someone is teaching men how to do that now, how to
love their daughters. ...or maybe that was just
my father.

Contributed by Angel-Pie Mouse on 20 May 1998


Daddy Dearest
My father was an alcoholic and a loud and disrespectful man he was never there for me, he never gave me any useful advice, he verbally abused me
The only thing he ever gave me that was useful was money, today I regret ever taking money from him.
I don`t think I ever heard say anything positive about anybody, Every body was stupid compared to him.
Often I dream of killing him, I will laugh and cry when he dies
Treat your son with love and respect, guide him, trust him, listen to him, and respect him. Love him

Contributed by Craig Sutherland Oshawa Ontario Canada on 14 Mar 1998


Just once more Dad.......
Well, Dad I wish that I could sit down once more and talk with you. Just about the things that have happed since you passed away in March of 1987. I would tell you how your grans son John turned out and how proud that he makes me feel. He took after you and is a heavy engine mechanic for a large tool rental company. Both he and I had divorces along the line but we upheld each other and somehow made it through. You have three beautiful grand kids that I wish could come up and hug your neck and see the twinkle in your eye that I miss so much. By the way, John still talks of you all the time and he hopes you approve of the way he turned out. (I told him you did because I did.)

I was in a bad accident last September and was almost killed. There have been times since the that I wished I had been so that I could just sit down and talk to you once more. Dad, I love you and I miss you so much.

With all my love your 52 year old son.

Contributed by Charles Norman - Atlanta, GA on 30 Jan 1998


Words of wisdom from my Dad
The most significant thing I remeber my Dad telling me was when he invited me for lunch. He spoke aof a lot of things but when we had finished, he leaned over and in a very serious voice said:
`Son you`re a grown man. I`ve done my best to bring you up as best I could. There`s nothing much left to teach you except one thing that MY father told me when I was about your age.......There`s no such thing as a free lunch!`
Then he quietly stood up, folded his napkin, and left me to deal with the the check.
Thanks Dad!

Contributed by Kent, Brisbane Australia on 15 Jan 1998


May he rest in peace
I hated my dad. I was bashed as achild. I am now 35. Ive worked through all my anger and dis-ease. Now after 10 years after his death, I understand him and what life was like for him when he was under 20 years old. May he rest in peace! God Bless Him. I love you dad.

Contributed by Sherman, Sydney Australia on 04 Jan 1998


100 years from now
Something I learned from my Dad that I`d like to
share. (I don`t know where he got it, but it`s SO
TRUE!) It`s called `100 years from now...`

100 Years from now

.....it will not matter what my bank accout was,
the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car
I drove...but the world may be different because
I was important in the life of a child.

As I layed my Dad to rest (beside my sister and my
Mom) this year, those words took on a much stronger
meaning that I had previously thought.

`You were important in the life of a child Dad, you
were important in mine, and now, I will do the
same for my two girls, so that they will know you
through me. Thank you Dad, I love you.`

Rob. x

Contributed by Rob Delaney,Nanaimo,Vancouver Island,British Columbia, Canada on 17 Dec 1997


Thank you Dad...
Thank you Dad for the gifts you give me, always surprises, always thoughtful.
Thank you Dad for the encouragement you pour on me in my struggling times.
Thank you Dad for the time you give me. It does me well to know I come before your work.
Thank you Dad for the love you give Mum. With that, the family stays strong.
Thank you Dad for the leadership and discipline enforced. You never failed to tell me you loved me after every smack. I remember.
Thank you Dad for the wisdom you pass to me. I am always learning.
Thank you Dad for your generosity. You passed this on to me. It is such a great gift to have.
But most of all Dad, Thank you for your love. It builds me up and lets me pass it on.
I love you Dad.

Contributed by KW - Australia on 10 Dec 1997


A choice for which I`m grateful
When I was six or seven and my brother was two, my parents hit a particularly rough part of their marriage. We had just moved to California so my Dad could take an exciting new job in the Computer industry, but the company had to let him go almost as soon as we arrived. They tried not to worry us, but the money got pretty tight.
My father had become aquainted with a woman when he first visited California by himself, and she had been pressuring him to move in with her. One day, after he and my mom had had a particularly bad fight, my mother, brother and I went to run some errands. When we returned, there was a note on the door which my mother wouldn`t read to us. She told us that he`d left, he didn`t think he was coming back, but that he said he`d call in three days.
I remember my mother crying, and then later having my brother and I kneel next to the bed to pray for dad to come home. My grandmother came from New Jersey to stay with us.
About a week later I was walking home from school when I saw my grandmother quickly walking toward me with a big smile on her face. `Guess who`s here!` she said.
Looking past her, I saw my Dad coming around the corner of the block. I was so happy to see him! I ran up towards him, and when he spotted me he grinned, too, and then gave me a big hug. He asked me if I was angry with him, and I said `A little.` He told me it was okay to be, and that he`d never leave again.
I can`t imagine how different my life would be if he hadn`t come back. I do know that it must have been an incredibly hard thing to do, to walk back into the commitment of a wife and kids.
I also know I am incredibly grateful that he did.
He has done so many wonderful things for me since then, from teaching me how to ride my ten speed bike, waking up at six a.m. every morning of my high school career to make me a lunch, worrying about me when I came home late, doing his best to talk to me about sex and boys (with the assistance of my mother), and comforting and reassuring me when I came home from my first semester of college, depressed and scared about life and doubting my ability to succeed at anything.
Every success I have, no matter how small, he`s happy for me. He`s `on my side.`
I Love you, Dad.

Contributed by Katherine USA on 16 Nov 1997


My Father
I never call him father though, Dad, Daddy, sometimes his first name. But never Father. That`s not the kind of relationship we have. We`re friends you see.
We talk about life, politics, friends, other people who he knows or I know, and he confides in me as much as I confide in him.
He has a different relationship with my brothers - they get around doind `blokey` things, but he really talks to me.
I`m thankful for the support, advice, discipline and the love he gives me every day. And I`m thankful that he`s the strong and generous perosn that he is.
I couldn`t live without him.


Contributed by Canberra, Australia on 27 Sep 1997


Passions of Fatherhood
G`day. My father has encouraged me to write despite any embarrassment about what I might choose to discuss in public ... until the day I chose to write a portrait of him.

However I`ve read Samuel Osherson`s beaut book The Passions of Fatherhood (1996 Harper Collins, Sydney).

Recommended. It covers many things I hope I could perceive and articulate and I hope that other Manhood visitors will enjoy it too.

Still, I`ve found a well of boundless love in my father. He is a friend and ally as well as counsellor and stern tutor.

To be loved by such a father is a very secure feeling.

Long may it last!

It is summed up in hugs of his home-knitted moss-green woollen jumper and short trips to admire nearby outcrops of gum trees while we have our chats. It is immeasurably precious.

Thank you Pa!

Jane Salmon

Contributed by Jane Salmon on 30 Aug 1997


Rip Roarin` Robert
When I was growing up (not that that process has stopped), my father would tell bedtime stories to my
younger brother and I. The stories were basically scenes from his childhood with a enough literary
license employed that he swore they weren`t true.

Not only were they better than many books, we also learned a lot from these humorous anecdotes
about what our father`s childhood was like and a bit about our more geographically distant relatives.
My mother also told similar stories about her dead brother after whom I was named. They would take
turns, after a fashion (probably depending on who was less exhausted and which story we were
begging for.

One thing is for sure, my brother will never leap over the back of his bicycle in imitation of the Lone Ranger
mounting Silver... and I will always think of him as more than just `dad.`

Contributed by Erika from Boston, Mass usa on 10 Aug 1997


Friend as well
I was about 16 and my dad and I were down in Brisbane. We`d gone down there because he was attending a conference. We had just been to see a movie one evening in the city centre, and were looking for the bus back out to the university accomodation where we were staying. We asked directions from a friendly man on the street, who told us where to go, and asked out of interest whether we were friends. He seemed a bit surpised at the age difference between us. I replied, `No, he`s my dad!` Dad and I laughed, and the man said, `We don`t see many guys going places with their dads. They just hang out with their friends.`
I realised much later that what I had said was a lie. Although he is my dad, he is also my friend, a great companion through life, and I feel that it makes our relationship twice as precious.

Contributed by Nathan Alison, Townsville, Qld. on 05 Aug 1997


More good memories than I imagined
What follows is a letter I sent my father in 1994 just a few months before I was to become a father for the first time. It`s a bit long but it goes like this...

Dear Dad,

I thought I would write to tell you about some of the very good memories I have of you.

I will always remember sitting on your shoulders in the outer in 1967 when Richmond won the Grand Final. I liked to feel the stubble on the side of your face on my hands. I remember returning with you to Canterbury Road and coming up the back steps to see the badges which Mary had pinned on the fly wire of the back door. I can`t remember for sure but I suspect Gran was raking leaves when we turned the black twisted wrought iron handle on the white side gate and opened it.

I was so proud of you when there were working bees at St Mary`s to draw up the running track for the school sports. You were the one who knew how to construct a right angle triangle so that the lanes would be straight.

Riding into Mooroopna with you on the tractor during the floods will always stick in mind. I felt so privileged to be with you as we drove around with the lorry with the turquoise blue piping picking up people from their homes and dropping them off in McLennan St. Do you remember when we drove down to check the levy bank down behind Davis`s? After the floods, I remember picking up sticks in the paddock opposite Davis`s and in the picnic paddock. It was the last thing I wanted to do at the time, but when it was all done and the paddocks cleared you said to us kids `Don`t you feel better now that we`ve picked up all the sticks?` Although I didn`t say so at the time - I probably shrugged my shoulders and grunted - I did feel better for having done it. Today when I`m cooking or cleaning Cath never ceases to be amazed (and laugh) at my sense of thoroughness. I suspect I learned that from you.

I really enjoyed when we would pick up the U15s at Moss`s cafe, cram them all in the white stationwagon and then drive off to Katandra where Raymond Wong would bowl a ball which swung in and then cut away. I loved scoring for the Seniors in the afternoon and the dry, dry grounds at Mooroopna or Tallygaroopna. And I loved sitting around with you and the other cricketers when they were having beers after the game under the peppercorns. How could I ever forget the Desert and the day you made 97 not out. I was so proud of you when people would talk about `Heathy`s great knock`. I should say however that I used to absolutely shit myself if the scoring didn`t add up and it was a close game! I remember all the great characters I met Ginga Wong, the Hosie brothers, old toothless Butler riding around on his antique bike, Peter Levin the doctor with glasses, the creams and his own cricket bag.

I used to love it when you were breaking in the cricket bats and the smell of linseed oil on the bats in the laundry. Of the bone you would use to harden the edges of the bat. Of the hat trick cricket ball that sat on the mantle piece in the dining room. I remember when we used to go down the discount store in South Melbourne and you would buy me a Stuart Surridge bat. I must say one of the greatest senses of loss in my life was the day my Super Short got stolen from on top of the lockers at Xavier. It was such a great bat.

I used to love going with you when you played baseball with John Gray, Bob Binion and the like. Of how one summer you tied up a glove around a baseball and left it in the cupboards on the side. I`ll always remember your baseball shoes and the funny metal stops underneath. And also the funny looking pants that stopped just below the knee. I can`t quite remember the uniform but I think it was navy blue.

I also remember going to the Rec Reserve for Father Scott`s farewell and the Marty Rhone (?) concerts. I remember going to the Shepp Youth Club for Larry Cavallaro`s sisters` wedding - sliding around on the wooden floor and the little muslin bag of sugar almonds that we received. I remember the day Larry had to go early for a doctor`s appointment of something and he was scared to say anything to you when you asked him to stay on late or the like. I told you that he wanted to do whatever it was and I think you said well done to me for speaking up. I can`t for the life of me understand why you said well done for the day I owned up to carving Billy`s initials into the chest of drawers (which by the way I always thought were `chestard draws`) in the bathroom but I do remember you saying it.

I remember the day you made a shanghai for me from the wood of one of the willow trees down behind the shearing shed, the rubber that you cut from the tube tire and the piece of square red leather that was the pouch for the stone.

I remember driving around on the farm with you in the Holden with Whip in the back and leaving his paw marks over the back seat. I remember when we drove town to Melbourne in the clean falcon ute that you`d bought that cost around $2,200 and had done about 24,000 miles - or am I making that bit up? I remember driving back from a Footy final one year and when we reached Kilmore I lay down in the front seat with my head on your leg. I felt so close to you then even though we didn`t talk about it.

I remember shearing time: how you would sweep so briskly and efficiently, how we would count the shorn sheep in the pens and you would write down in your neat clean writing the tallies for the day. I liked the way you wrote numbers. I liked the way you were so decisive in skirting the fleeces and how when there wasn`t a wool classer you would be able to do it anyway. I remember how precisely you would brand the wool bales and how I would become excited when we made more bales than the previous year. I always marvelled at how well you could draught sheep and pick just the right moment to swing the gate. It was always exhilarating when we would pull a calf by the lights of the ute - with me passing you the doubled strings, knots up the same end. I loved the way you would put your finger in the calf`s mouth to remove any afterbirth and the steam that would come up off the calf when the weather was cold.

I liked the way you would load up the hay bales in the back of the ute - I was sure no one could have got more bales on the ute, or how you packed the boot of the car whenever we set off for Melbourne. I remember the way you would dig with the shovel so clean, so neat, so precise. And I was so impressed the way you would chop wood and then stack up the wheel barrow as only you could. And then the times you would go back for a second load and the wood box would be stacked up high.

I loved the way you drove. The way you`d drive when we were going round the stock, the way you`d change gears the way you`d rest your left wrist on the top of the steering wheel with your right elbow out the window. I remember feeling so safe with you one day when we were driving in the paddock behind Davis`s: it was lambing season and when a lamb ran in front of the ute you put your arm out to protect me the same time you slammed on the brakes.

I remember how before I went off to boarding school you taught me how to do hospital corners on one of the beds in the girls` room. I think of that each time I make a bed.

I loved the way your face would go from very bristly to silky smooth when you shaved after a day`s work and before you went off to a meeting. I loved the dark hairs on your forearm. I loved your smell.

These a just a few of my good memories of you that I wanted to let you know about.

Cath and I are looking forward to you being a grandfather to Max or Lili.

Much love,


Contributed by Jack Heath from Sydney Australia on 26 Jun 1997

The forgotten one
The first thing I remember about my dad was his setting up my racetrack on a christmas morning in our small apartment, I was 4. My step sister Michelle, 5 years old at the time, was there also, she was playing with a football or baseball, forever the tomboy. Over the many years of life I look back now and again and remember how hard he must have worked to support my mother and I, and child support for my step sister. We could always afford to go on vacation. I remember traveling down the coastline of Washington and Oregon almost every year. I remember a particular time when my father, sister and I went to look for firewood. My sister had stepped on a yellow jacket (bees) nest and they tore into my father and sister really good. All I can remember is someone grabbing me and carrying my sister and I through the wood about a hundred miles per hour. I sustained a few stings while my father received many, he is also allergic and ended up at the hospital. We used to go fishing every weekend it seems. I remember catching my first steelhead trout. I stayed up half the night thinking about opening day, I must have been about 11 years old. Well it was a sucessful trip on the green river with my father and his friend Earl from the phone company, I caught my first steelhead. The next thing I can remember is being the smartest kid on the block and knowing all there is to know about drugs,alcohol and sex. What a mistake that was, I disappointed my family many times over the years and they were always there for me. I learned to resent my father for his help and especially for telling me to join the military, `it will give you a skill and teach you to become a man`, well I joined the Army, straightened up and got married. Now I was really in over my head, a family, what did I know about being a husband and father. I had to call home about every week to get advise or have them come over to negotiate the peace treaty. I soon went off to Somalia to do a little time on one of those peace keeping missions turned police action. He was back at home, taking care of my children and making sure they were alright. I came home and although the wife had to be sent packing, I kept my beatiful twin daughters. Fortunately I was stationed 30 miles from home, my father and mother kept my children during the week for me while I played army during the week, they would not have those babies in a daycare. Well I am free, in one peace, and out of the military now. I went to college, and I have worked a string of jobs, some better than others. My father is still here for me, he still works 8-10 hours a day, sometimes 7 days a week. I about his sacrifices most of the time, forgetting what he had to do to raise us two know it all`s. Forgotten throughout the year, and remembered in times of need, I would like to honor my father this father`s day, for all of the many hours of hard work and disappointment he has endured with us. Happy Fathers Day Dad!!!!!!!!!

Contributed by Rocci Hash Seattle, Washington on 15 Jun 1997


My dad is more like a best friend he is there in the good times and in the bad. My dad have what it takes to be father of the 21st century. Even though I can`t outsmart him, I love him.

Contributed by R. JAMES , TRINIDAD & TOBAGO W.I. on 15 Jun 1997


Major Dad
One of my earliest memories of my father is as a little girl, standing in a sea of green pant legs. My father was in the army and we were somewhere that had everyone in their uniform. I kept holding onto a green pant leg without looking up to see if the leg belonged to my father.
He was gone very often when I was young, which I assumed was `normal`. I didn`t realize, until much later in life, that I had a very unique upbringing and my father was a very impressive person. To me he was `Daddy`.
I will admit we had a strained relationship when he retired. I thought he was overly strict and inflexible. I always knew he loved me because of the little things he did for me. In Germany, he taught me how to ride my bike without training wheels. In second grade, he came and got me out of school one day to take me to the circus. I will NEVER forget this day. He was there when I needed stitches and, on the way home, stopped and bought me a rose. He bought me my first corsage. When I was in college, he used to warm my car up in the winter so that when I was ready to leave for school, the car was warm and ready. He has always rescued me from any crisis I managed to get into.
However, as I grew older, I started appreciating his intelligence. I am blessed with having two extremely intelligent parents. My father is a very talented writer and artist and I have always enjoyed anything he has written. When my son was born, Daddy wrote him a story of `G-Bear` which is short for gentleman bear. This bear is comparable to James Bond and my son still enjoys reading the story.
The one thing I have learned from Daddy is spirituality. It took me along time to get here but now I am fulfilled with it and understand my purpose as well as where I am going. I have my father to thank for this and I feel it is the most important thing I have ever learned.
Daddy`s health has not been so great lately. I lost my mother to cancer a few years ago and am now very concerned about my father. He is a very proud man and doesn`t like to ask for help. My Father`s Day wish is that he will let me care for him as he has cared for me.
I love you, Daddy. Happy father`s day and thank you for everything!

Contributed by Leslie Rachels Phoenix Arizona on 15 Jun 1997


I thought my dad could move a mountain, but..
I was 11 when my parents divorced. We moved 500
miles away. My dad wasn`t there for my first love.
He wasn`t there to take me fishing either, but all
the while I dreamed of what my dad should be in my
eyes. He should have been a successful self-employed
public accountant. I could have gone to his office
to help out. As the years passed, I realized my dad
would never be what I thought he could be. Instead, I
learned my dad was me. He was sensitive(always crying
at sentimental commercials). He appreciated the small
things in life. He realized how important your true
friends really are to you. He loved great jazz music.
He recognized people talents. He didn`t judge, yet
gave encouragement and insight. After years of struggling
to see my dad for what I wanted him to be, I realize
today, that we can`t measure up to others, only ourselves.
I`ve been the bond to keep my father alive. I have been
his strenght when all those things important didn`t
seem to matter. Now, with my father facing death.
I wonder why and how live will be the same. Father`s
Day is a tribute to what Father`s give to their
families. More often than not, it`s unspoken love
and support to be the person we want to become.
I love you Dad.

Contributed by Ann Waugh on 15 Jun 1997


My father is a HERO to me and my brother. He knows so much about baseball. He coached me through practically every sport I have ever played. He has always supported me, no matter what I did. I LOVE my father, even though sometimes we don`t get along. I want him to know that in my eyes, he is a HERO!

Contributed by Anonymous on 14 Jun 1997


I know that my father, although he`s only 48, is tired. He and my mom have spent their entire lives (since they were 16) raising two daughters. Although I was too young to recognize my father`s sacrifices to provide the best for us, now, I almost feel guilty for some of the things he did for us.

I remember when I was 13 years old, we lived paycheck to paycheck after suffering a huge real-estate loss because of the market crash. My friends had mopeds which were extremely popular at that time. I wanted one so badly and my father knew it. The only thing my father had in his possession that was his `manly toy` was a small fishing boat that he used often to `get away.` He found a moped in the paper and told me he was going to buy it. I didn`t know how since we didn`t have any extra money. A short time after I got the scooter, I noticed my father`s boat was gone. My mother told me that he traded it for the scooter. Ever since then, my father has broken his back to keep us going. He breathed life into old junker cars to make a small profit every month. Aside from his daytime job as a civil engineer, he worked at night at odd jobs and would come home dirty and sweating because he had to crawl around in the attics of houses to run wire.

He is still always there for anyone who needs him, and
although it`s shameful that people take advantage of his kindness, he has never said `no` or asked for anything in return.

He`s turning gray now and always looks tired. I`m glad that I am at a point in my life that I can be there for him and am able to spend time with him. My parents` 30th wedding anniversary is coming up next month, and my sister and I are throwing them a huge suprise party. I am so excited since I will able to give back a little something in return for EVERYTHING he has given to me. I love you Dad.

Contributed by Leah C. from Little Rock on 14 Jun 1997


The Don of Juan de Fuca
From his armchair in Sooke B.C., my Dad sits and looks out at the most beautiful view in the whole world. He sees the Sooke Harbour and Whiffenspit, beyond that the Straits of Juan de Fuca and at night the sparkling lights of Port Angeles in the United States. He is an armchair traveller now due to arterial disease but just last September embarked on his second cruise. This last time he bravely set forth alone and went North to Alaska. He entertained his fellow shipmates by singing `The Big Bass Viol` which has been his trademark song for many years. A few years ago he went on his first cruise with my Mom Marge, and they sailed to the Islands of Hawaii. I remember many years ago the excitement of our camping trips to Miracle Beach, Parksville and Fields Pool in Nanaimo. In those days music was our entertainment as we travelled to our island campsite. We learned Chatanooga-choo-choo and belted it out from the back seat of our big black Nash Ambassador. We sang around the campfire and watched as Dad, Mom and our friends entertained us with skits and jokes. My Dad was always waiting for the perfect opportunity to tell a joke, often an Irish joke and always with exactly the right Irish brogue. He has never been to Ireland but it`s the land of his ancestors and his Irish green tie is always hanging neatly, waiting for the next March 17th. He stays indoors most often now but still the choice of an appropriate tie is most important to him. One day in April, when I was visiting, he asked me to choose a tie for him to wear and I chose a plaid handwoven tie of McDonald tartan. He told me then that he had gone as a young man to visit his Uncle in Ottawa and had bought the tie as a souvenier of his visit. One morning his Uncle invited him to lunch at the Parliament buildings and they had lunch with the Prime Minister, William Lyon McKenzie King. No wonder he remembers that tie! I wonder how many other stories his ties would tell. I wonder which he`ll choose this Father`s Day? I wish I could be there to help him choose! My Dad is the kindest 81 year old Dad in the world. My sisters Maureen, Teresa, and my brother Dave and I love him very much. Happy Father`s Day to the Don of Juan de Fuca...I`ll tell you how he came by that name next year, I promise!!!!

Contributed by Sheila Voaklander from Alberta on 13 Jun 1997


Without receiving anything...

Well, I`m 17 years old and I live with my dad `cause my parents are separated. Despite of everything, I really love both of my parents. I consider myself a very lucky kid because of the dad I have.
The first I can mention is that my dad is the most `ethic` man I`ve seen, and that not only because he`s my dad. He tries to do all the things the best he can. He always repeats that things should be done to make yourself happy, no matter what the whole world can think.
I think that the day in which I realized how much a father can love his kids was the day when my sister, who I don`t like at all, broke the nose of an aunt on purpose. I was crying because I saw everything: it happened the day in which we were going to celebrate the end of 1996 (Dec. 31th.). I called my dad and asked him to take me away from that place.
When he arrived, I began to yell all the things I felt and I told him that my sister was crazy. He just lloked at me and said that everything he had done for my sister, and in spite of the thing she did, was for real love, and he didn´t expect something else, although he wasn´t justifying my sister`s actions. I was amused: my dad showed my how much he could love us.
I feel very pleased when he tells me about his business`s details because I feel as if he thinks that I`m a mature girl. In spite that sometimes he views things in a very materialistic and cold way, I think he is a very good man because he prefers to suffer and don`t speak about his problems than to see us sad...I really think he gives his love without expecting anything...

Contributed by My name is MONI; I`m from Querétaro, México. on 10 Jun 1997


How I respect my Dad
I come from a family of 7, the second oldest, and
my Dad (I think) is one of the most caring Dad`s
in the world. Everything just goes his way,and he
was great while we were growing up. In the winter
he would tie one sled on the back fender of the
car, and tie the others behind them, and then he`d
pull us around the neighborhood. We would then go
home and have hot chocolate. He has been there
when I needed him, and I hope he will be around
for a long time to come.

Contributed by Mr. Terry Koebrich, Danville, Ill on 09 Jun 1997


Not all men were abandoned by their fathers
My father was a man of principle, yet flexible & loving.

A product of his time, he devoted his life to performing, providing & protecting; first as a WWII hero (i`m sorry, but it`s true), then later in more subtle & challenging ways. Sickened by war, he was encouraged by his wife (my mother) into Quakerism & anti-war activism. He devoted much of his time to living the Quaker idea that the principle Nonviolence extends to an obligation to maintain activism in opposition to the systemic violence of discrimination & social injustice. I have never known him to be physically violent, or indeed less than compassionate.

My mother, poor woman, was often exhausted by feeding, clothing & caring for five children; so, most days throughout my childhood, my father would take us all on some outing to `get us out of our mother`s hair`. He took us swimming in the summer, and pinecone gathering in the winter, and to the movies every Saturday. He had his faults, but he was the emotional as well as financial key-stone for a family of seven, as well as a leader in the commmunity.

I speak of him in the past tense. No, he`s not dead, but five years ago he had strokes, and mentally he`s no longer with us -or is he? A year ago, when my wife & I were expecting our first child, I phoned and told him `I have fond memories of growing up with you as a father, so I`m going to enjoy this child`. This lovely man, who often can`t spin three words together in a order that makes sense, replied `Timothy, it was a privilege to be your father`.

Tim Carter

Contributed by Tim on 08 Jun 1997


Short-lived memories
I have few memories of my Dad. He died when I
was 6 years old. The ones I do have, I treasure,
and try to recall often to keep them alive. Like
when mom would say, `OK, it`s time to hit the sack`
at bedtime, and Dad would get a paper bag and as a
joke kick it around the room. Or the time we drove
a recently purchased tractor home. It was a long
trip, but I remember how proud my dad was being able
to buy that new (it was used) tractor. Later, I
remember sitting on his lap, and him telling me,
`Rod, that`s your tractor. You remember that.`
I think he new his time was almost up. He died of
cancer at the age of 30. I`ve outlived him already,
and I`m just now creating the memories for my 5
year old son. What will they be? Will I be around
long enough so that my son has many memories of
his Dad? I know my Dad was a great man. I`m
devoting my life to making sure my son has plenty
of his own memories...memories that will allow him
to conclude the same about me.

Contributed by Rod W., Iowa, USA on 04 Jun 1997


Memories of Dad.
My Father passed away suddenly on May 18th 1970 so the anniversary of his death is fast approaching. I sometimes feel that he is near by and at other times I feel that he`s far from me. It`s strange. After all these years I still miss him. I remember him best as a great man and a superb father, a great Christian and sometimes lay preacher. He was a Methodist of the `old School`. When I was younger you could not spend any money on Sunday, we had to walk to church and Sunday school even in the wet. We could not spend money on a tram fare. Those were days when Sunday was a special day of rest. Not like now when Sunday is like anyother day. Dad used to always clean our shoes on Saturday for us as he used to work in the shoe trade. Later in life he worked for the Joint Board of Christian Education, they used to pack and despatch all the Sunday School books etc. Oh yes, I remember my dad. I loved him very much and he loved me. I wish I could have said it to him one more time! Alan J. Bean.

Contributed by Guest - Alan Bean, Melton South, Victoria 3338. on 09 May 1997


Resonance of Love
He gets up a bit slower than he used to. Sometimes the shrapnel in his body gives him trouble. Anyway, he is seventy-two and a bit creaky. Most mornings he reads the Times Colonist. He has an opinion about almost everything and will not hesitate to share it.

When he was a boy, he saw airships float over his home in London, dragging mooring lines across the roofs. He saw his father and his friends' fathers returning home from the Great War with slow, tired steps. He saw the Canadian Arctic before it was spoiled, he knew Morse code and could repair radios that had tubes in them. He had tools with wooden handles and knew how to use a wood plane and a spoke-shave.

While he was away in the English countryside, learning how to be a soldier, bombs smashed his neighborhood. He met a girl and they loved each other. Before they could enjoy each other's youth, he was sent to war; he came home with a broken body.

After the war he went back to the countryside and married the girl. He built a family, complete with a sheep dog and a home in a small Essex village. To make a better life for his children, he came alone to Canada to shape a new future. He worked in the Arctic, sleeping in a tent in fifty-below weather. A year later, he sent for his family and began building another new life in a rented Alberta farm house with no running water.

He had left England and his comfortable middle-class life behind, finding a new existence of struggle and hardship. He had to do without, but he never gave up. The city-boy raised chickens and planted an acre of potatoes and corn to feed his family. He coaxed life out of worn cars, making them work well enough to take them and their fried-chicken to cool lakes in the sweltering prairie.

He would read stories to his children at bed-time; stories of adventure and valor, of rising above adversity. He gave them heroes, martyrs, dragons and trolls. He gave them a love for reading and learning; he gave them survival.

Now he lives in Victoria, British Columbia, retired with his English country-girl. He has a sparkle in his eye and loves to tell a joke. His grand-children are now adults and have his soft, brown eyes; they tell jokes with the same sparkle.

He has been my father for half a century. I have been a father for a quarter century. When I look at the pictures of the men who were my great-grandfathers and so on down the century, I wonder what it was like to be a father for them and him? What were their fears and hopes? Did they also get that little adrenal shot of panic when they first held their child? Maybe we can talk about it this summer on one of our walks.

There is something special when men of three generations walk together. The low voices, the stories, the laughter; the re-affirmations, the arms on the shoulders; this is the resonance of love passing from fathers to sons.

I am glad there is only one of him; it would be too hard to love more than one.

Contributed by Tony Smith, Vancouver, BC, Canada on 17 Mar 1997


A Traveller`s Tale

Jeez, your dad's so old.

I clearly remember at age 16 a school friend commenting upon my dadvs age. Dad was 52, my friend's father a more
38, and this was in the time well before us baby-boomers had discovered that the full flowering of life was turning fifty :-).

At the time I was mortified - I felt I had something to apologise for, yet I also knew that my friend was wrong. But how do you, at sixteen, think of the words to defend with logic when one is barely capable of logic?

Nine years later - 1973 - and I was struggling to come to terms with the shock of my fathervs sudden death.

I had learnt a lot of respect for my father in that time, though nowhere near as much as I would like to know. Trying to put together a picture of my father to share with my eleven year old son or my six year old daughter, even for my wife who only appeared on the scene after Dadvs death, has been a matter of piecing together tiny fragments of memory.

The opening comment occurred at a time when my younger brother had begun clashing seriously with our mother. Dad was an unwilling referee, I an unwilling spectator.

In my time at college and my first couple of years teaching, dad and I began to travel together around the state during the July-August break. No more than a week away, probably only three or four occasions, but spending extended time together.

We began by talking about the troubles at home, but soon got around to talking about the places dad had taught before the war, as we proceeded to visit them, Cootamundra, Barkers Vale (near Lismore), and so on. This was a time when I came to know my father more and more deeply. We were able to drive along in the sort of silence which is not an absence of something to say but a deeper level of communication. A comfortable silence and a strong bonding time.

Through dad's revelations about
country service
(an important phrase in the teaching service before the war and in the first twenty years after), I reached the point of decision to leave home. Thus, much of my maturation took place as dad and I travelled.

This took place in the period from 1966 to 1970. By 1971 I had left home, for good.

In March 1973 they set off for England. By June 1973 I was fatherless, dad having suffered a massive heart attack whilst they were touring Sweden.

There are still so many things I would have liked to have asked, but I cherish the memory of our time together.

Contributed by Jim from Orange NSW on 03 Apr 1997


Do I have a Great Dad?
I am Hung Nguyen from Vietnam
Around 1965, my mother met DAD who is American soldier in Saigon Vietnam.
After several months in love, my Dad went out for his duties and told Mom that he would be back, but Mom didn't understand him well because of different languages. She waited for him almost 3 months and had to move because of recognizing me in her belt. She was so afraid of having a half American - half Vietnamese baby, she had to move and tried to make an abortion. Fortunately, I was big, and she wasn't success!! I was born in my grandmother house (my Mom refused to have me and gave me to my grandmom, because she got married to another Vietnamese man). I grown up in the love of my Grandmom, and i haven't had a chance to call
. I hated any children, who were the same of my age, who had DAD. They had their Father loves and had the world!!! But me!!! I usually cried in the dark of the night and wished that i would have a chance to call
. Now, i grown up and moved to live in U.S. in my Father's country, I'm too old enough to recognize that I will never have a chance to call
, (because all of DAD's souvenirs my Mother could keep is his picture and nothing else. She only remembers my DAD's name is Banmer or Pammer, she cannot spell his name.) I'm so sad because of having nothing to find my DAD. But I'm pretty sure that he is a Greatest DAD in the world that nobody could have it!!!

Hung Nguyen

Contributed by My name is Hung Nguyen at 3195 E. Mtn Lthr Kng #1, Denver, CO 80205 on 16 Mar 1997


Because he cares
I can't define one particular moment, but I just feel that my dad is great.
Whenever my friends meet him, they never fail to mention what a nice person
he is. He just is and he can't help it.
I now live on the other side of the world from him, and every time we talk, he
tells me how proud he is and how much he loves me.
I travel alot with work to small, remote cities around the world, and everytime I
go somewhere new, my dad pulls out his atlas at home and looks up the city or town
on the map. The next time we talk, he always asks me, 'How was Beane this week?' or '
How was your trip to den Bosch? Isn't that near Eindoven?'
I love to tell my dad things, because he's always so interested. He's pathetic
at keeping secrets though, because he always forgets I told him it was a secret.
I really don't mind because I get such enjoyment out of telling him.
My dad makes me happy, makes me feel beautiful, makes me feel loved and makes me
feel that he will accept and protect me no matter what I do or where I go. I love
that about him.

Contributed by Janet on 02 Mar 1997


My Dad
My dad was in the NZ Army for 28 years. This meant that he was often away from us for long periods. When he was back his time was spread pretty thin between his five children, his wife, part time work to help pay the bills and his own recreation. So what's my story? Well it's what I learnt from him. By his example I now realise I learnt a lot about raising my children while having a busy career and wanting to maintain a relationship with my wife.

Dad always has 5 or 10 minutes to play rough and tumble games on the floor with all 5 children at once. I now marvel as I play at
jungle gym
for my two children how much pain he must have endured!

Also, when he had to use his spare time to do things around the house or do part time work (he is a mechanic by profession) he always let us hang around and watch and
Often the
was probably more of a hinderance, but I now realise he cherished the increased contact with his children.

Because of him, I'm a better father to my children I hope.

Contributed by John Holley, Waitakere City, New Zealand on 01 Mar 1997


My dad meant safety
My dad through the whole of my life
has been the easiest one in the
family to be with. When he was around
violence was very unlikely to happen
me or anyone else. It was the safest

If I got in trouble he would help.
When I was 3, I got washed into some
rough water at the beach and he
pulled me out. I was not able to see
a way that I could survive till he
did that.

When I was six I saw a funnel web
spider at the other end of the
garage. I was scared of funnel web

It was about 3 inches across.
black with 2 large fangs that it
raised when it saw me. Reared back
on its back legs and started walking
towards me.

I had bare feet at the time and stood
there as this symbol of painful death
inched closer. At that time no-one
had survived a funnel web bite, it
was 10 years before the anti-venine.

Fortunately it was very slow! I had
two doors to run out when the time

I wanted to see what it was about.
All the funnel webs that I had seen
had been crushed shortly after I had
been shown them. Now I got to
understand why they had got a
reputation. It was the most agressive
tiny creature I have ever meet. It

kept crawling towards me arched back
pointing it's fanges at me.

If you are not from the east coast
of Australia ask us about funnel
webs we need to tell our stories.

Just when it was three feet away dad
walked in saw what was happening and
trod on it. You could tell from the
way it got squashed that it had tried
to bite the under side of his shoe. I
like wareing shoes!

Dad has been the most sensible one.
I'm fourty now and he had been
reliably sensible with every
difficulty I have asked him about.

Contributed by Paul on 01 Mar 1997


When I was a kid in Canberra, my Dad and I, and sometimes my mate from up the street, would rumble in the back yard on the freshly mawn lawn. I was about 8-9 years old, Dad was about 85 kgs. It was a bit like those cartoons where someone dives on the monster and there's a flurry of dust, then they get hurled out, leaving the monster unscathed! I would repeatedly pounce on Dad, and he would pumble me and role me up and bowl me down the lawn! Shit it was good fun. He was invincable, untouchable. And I really enjoyed that. My Dad the Protector. When he held me in his arms, I could never escape, and didn't really want too! When he held me like that, nothing could get me. Nothing could hurt me. I was wrapped and protected in steeley flesh, muscle and bone. It was at this moment I could feel my Fathers love for me. Thirty years later I was saying good-bye to him at the airport, by this time our physical contact had deminished to a handshake.Instead, I told him I loved him and hugged him, and when his arms went around me, he still felt huge, strong and protecting. Again I didn't want to leave his embrace. To feel his arms of love around me again after so long was wonderful.

Now I rumble my kids, pumble them and bounce them around the room. And now I know how they feel. When I hold them, they can't escape, and I suspect they don't really want to.

Thanks Dad, I love you.

Contributed by Ian on 27 Feb 1997


Don't kill Uneccessarily
I was raised on a farm in New Jersey, and like all farm boys,
I used to hunt. I used to kill samll animals, like rabbits, squirrels, and
woodchucks. (I couldn't kill a deer!) One day I had
shot a chipmunk. My father saw me coming back from the fields
with this small dead animal and he said,
Ian you shouldn't
kill an animal unless you are going to eat it!
From that time
on I became an expert on woodchuck stew and barbequed squirrel, but
soon I stopped hunting small animals. As I grew older I very
much appreciated this message about the sanctity of life.

Contributed by Ian Harris on 17 Feb 1997


It's all in the little things..
I think it's all in the little stuff, you know ? I didn't think much of my Dad for twenty years, but lately as I feel my own limitations as a father, I tend to treasure every little thing. Dad once taught me, at the age of about nine, how pythagoras theorem works - you know, that a triangle with three inches on one side and four on the other, and a right angle, will have five inches on the third side. He drew it on the wall as we were building the carport. It had a kind of magic to it, like it probably did for pythagoras himself I guess when he worked it out. Later when we did that stuff at school, I felt
in the know
and confident about it.
Yep, I knew that !
I visited my parents recently and its still there faintly on the garage wall. Nat.

Contributed by Nat Berendt - Repton NSW on 08 Feb 1997


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