Father's Day, cont., "success"
Over Father's Day I received a touching memoir by a father he resolved before having a son to be different than his own father, who spent no time, or what today we'd call "quality time," with him as a child. I made many such resolutions in my youth, inspired by my father both negatively (I didn't want to be like him in temperament and similar ways) and positively (he didn't want any of his sons to become miners, and cautioned us about the harshness of military life [he was a World War I infantry veteran]).
Mother also joined the chorus of voices advising us to be unlike Dad be godly and faithful, not agnostic; be kind, not mean; love rather than hate your mother and your wife (it wasn't until years into their retirement that we sons concluded that Dad did love our mother and, for that matter, she loved him in anything beyond dutifully).
In all those ways I probably have succeeded, though I often see some of his traits, especially bad temper, in myself, and especially when driving and when dealing with unknown people by telephone, when dealing with bad service, where I often "lose it" (and need to continue repenting). But in two significant ways my Dad could run rings around me or "out-succeeded" me. 1. Mostly because of Mother's religious scruples, his marriage succeeded, and lasted nearly 70 years. Mine lasted barely 14 rough years. 2. And this is the one in which Dad himself succeeded: materially. At my present age he was able to retire without having to worry (though worry, I'm sure, he did) about his future security.
That success was not entirely his doing, of course the fact that no one in the family had suffered expensive medical conditions or injuries was beyond his control. The fact that the United Mine Workers provided good health insurance and his work in the mines kept steady until he was on the cusp of retirement were also beyond his control. But his hard work did pay off and got rewarded. He turned a small rough-hewn farm into a relative showplace that turned into a valuable asset in his retirement. And perhaps his hard work combined with Irish/German genes enabled him to survive and keep active for more than 30 years of retirement, past age 92, though suffering from silicosis (coalminer's "black lung").
I value travel more highly than any other type of byproduct of financial stability, and have been able to do enough that I can't complain. Mom and Dad didn't care much for travel, but cared more about a nice home, (in Dad's case, a good and nice car), good health, and a respectable and respectful family. In all those counts they both ended their lives having achieved almost everything they valued.
—Webmaster Jon Kennedy
| Top ten caddie comments
10. Golfer: "I think I'm going to
drown myself in the lake."
9. Golfer: "I'd move heaven and earth
to break 100 on this course.
8. Golfer: "Do you think my game
7. Golfer: "Do you think I can get
there with a 5 iron?"
6. Golfer: "You've got to be the
worst caddy in the world.
5. Golfer: "Please stop checking
your watch all the time. It's too much of a distraction."
4. Golfer: "How do you like my game?"
3. Golfer: "Do you think it's a sin
to play on Sunday?"
2. Golfer: "This is the worst course
I've ever played on."
AND...the Number 1 best caddy comment...
Golfer: "That can't be my ball, it's
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I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.
George Bernard Shaw