quit smoking support @ woofmang.com
people helping people beat the addiction to nicotine
 
help support our communityDonate FAQFAQ SearchSearch RSS FeedRSS Feed MemberlistMemberlist RegisterRegister ProfileProfile Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages Log inLog in

Remembering my dad
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    quit smoking support @ woofmang.com Forum Index > inspirations
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
tsjay49



Quit Date:
January 1, 2004

Posts: 1863
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: January 13, 2008 10:40 PM    Post subject: Remembering my dad Reply with quote

EDIT 4/21/08: I have replaced the orginal text with the following, which includes mention of Dad's loss of his left arm.

My Reliable Dad


My dad, Paul Johnson, died on September 27, 1994, as a result of bone cancer. He was seventy-nine years old at the time of his death, but the last two years of Dad's life could hardly be called living. He deserved so much better!

Dad lost his left arm due to an accidental discharge of his shotgun when he was only sixteen. It was 40 miles to the nearest hospital from Dadís home in rural western Kentucky back in those days, and he nearly bled to death before family members could get him there. The doctors amputated what little was left of Dad's arm, and he was left with just a stub that ended a few inches below his shoulder.

I cannot imagine how devastating this must have been for him. A young man of sixteen would be very conscious of his appearance, and he must have wondered how people, especially the girls, would react to his missing arm. Of course, he would have to learn how to do with one hand the things he had always done with two.

Dad was simply amazing in the way he adapted to having only one arm. He could tie his shoes and neckties, and he could tie fishing knots. I'm not aware of anything that a person would normally need to do that Dad could not do. He never used a prosthetic arm; he just learned to use his one hand to do the things he needed to do.

He must have had his moments of anguish, especially when he was young, but I never even once got the impression that Dad felt sorry for himself. His lack of a left arm was a non-issue in his role as my dad, and I almost decided it was not even worth mentioning in my recollections about him.

In the final analysis, I decided that while he made no big deal of it, it truly was an amazing thing the way Dad overcame his handicap so completely that it was really no handicap at all. I think this speaks volumes about his character, and so I have included it.

In describing my dad to someone, there are many terms that I would have to use: Dad was honest, friendly, unassuming, hard-working, devoted, and faithful. The first word to come to mind, though, would be "reliable."

Reliability is, in my book, one of the greatest character traits. It is a trait that is not ascribed to a person until he has proven over time that he deserves it. In this ever-changing world, we need people in our lives on whom we know that we can depend. My dad was such a person. My mom and I were always able to rely on Dad, and he never let us down; he was our rock.

Dad was totally dedicated to his family, and he worked hard to provide for us. He worked a regular job as the superintendent of the parking facilities for the Edward C. Minas Company, a large department store that until its closing in 1984 was one of the anchor businesses of the downtown area of Hammond, Indiana, my hometown. Dad was responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of the outdoor parking lot and the four story parking garage that were owned by the store.

The Minas Company relied on Dad to keep the store's parking facilities looking good and functioning efficiently. It was important to the store that the customers found the parking to be easy and convenient and the parking attendants to be polite and friendly; the parking facilities were where customers formed their first and their last impressions of the Edward C. Minas Company on each of their visits. Dad was well aware of this and accepted it as a personal challenge to make the parking experience as pleasant as he possibly could for the Minas customers.

Dad's regular job led to his starting his own business. Part of his job in maintaining the Minas parking facilities was to repaint the lines for the parking stalls periodically. He eventually bought the striping equipment from the Minas Company and went into business for himself, painting parking lots in Hammond and the surrounding communities. He named his business "City Parking Engineers" and later changed it to "Tru-Line Striping Company." The Edward C. Minas Company, his employer, became his first customer.

The business grew by leaps and bounds, and Dad soon found that he didn't have to spend a lot of time recruiting new customers; they were contacting him on their own to obtain his services. Dad would always show up to paint at the time he had promised the customer that he would, unless the weather prevented it.

If the parking lot was new or had just been re-surfaced and there was no blueprint for the parking layout, Dad would apply his skills in designing the optimum parking scheme, so that the maximum number of cars could be accommodated, while at the same time providing easy parking that did not require tricky maneuvering on the part of the store's customers. He knew when to use straight-in parking, when to use angle parking, and how wide to make the driveways for either type. Dad understood that the parking must be easy in order to keep the store's customers coming back.

As far as the actual painting, Dad always did a good job, making the lines straight and even and putting down a uniform and generous coat of good quality paint, with no fuzzy edges on the lines. Parking lots looked great when Dad was finished with his work. His reputation for reliable work led to all the business he could handle. There's that word again, "reliable."

Dad's employer, the Edward C. Minas Company, found him to be reliable, his customers in his painting business found him to be reliable, and his family, my mom and I, found him to be reliable.

My dad made tremendous sacrifices for Mom and me, but he went about it in such a quiet, matter-of-fact way that it did not appear that he was doing anything special. I suppose in Dad's mind he wasn't doing anything special, just supporting his family. It never occurred to him to do less than his best to support us.

Dad loved to hunt and fish, but instead of heading for the fields or the lakes when he got up before daylight on the days when the downtown stores were open until 9:00 PM, the days when he didn't have to report to his regular job until noon, he headed for some parking lot that needed painting and was ready to begin working when the sun came up.

I helped Dad with many of the parking lots that he painted when I wasn't in school, but he was always good about getting someone else to help him, if I had something that I wanted to do. Even though he was doing it all for me, he paid me for my time, and the money was mine to spend as I saw fit.

Despite all the long hours that Dad worked, he still took time once in a while to take me hunting or fishing. We sometimes camped beside the Kankakee River on weekends and fished using set lines baited with large minnows. We would set up camp, then get in the boat and go upriver to set out the lines and bait the hooks. Every two hours or so we would go check our lines, harvest our catch, and re-bait the hooks. I cherish the memories of those trips.

I remember working crossword puzzles with Dad. He loved those things, and The Hammond Times, our local newspaper, had one every day. When I became old enough to help him, it was something that we did together after supper, or on Sunday afternoons, when we would work the extra big crossword puzzle that was always included in the Sunday paper.

I would sit on the arm of his chair, or sit beside him on the couch, and would look over his shoulder. Whenever I figured out a word, I would tell him where it was, and he would pencil it in. Looking back on the times that we did this when I was still very young, I'm sure that he purposely left some words that he knew blank, so that I could figure them out.

As I sat there looking over Dad's shoulder while we worked the crossword puzzles in the evening, I could smell a pleasant, distinctive odor emanating from him. It was not the artificial smell of deodorant or after shave, although Dad used both, but it was a natural, manly smell, one component of which, I'm sure, was the faint smell of perspiration.

Mom, Dad, and I watched certain TV shows each week as a family. I have especially fond memories of our family viewings of Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and The Wonderful World of Disney. I remember how Dad would make a big deal over Miss Kitty while we watched Gunsmoke, and I think he was just doing it to get a reaction out of Mom, which he usually did.

I am very proud that this man whom the Edward C. Minas company, the customers of Tru-Line Striping Company, and Mom and I relied upon was my dad. He never once let any of us down.

Mom relied upon Dad to be faithful to her, and he was. We both relied upon Dad to be the family breadwinner, and because he worked two jobs, Mom was able to stay home and be a full time mother to me.

God also relied upon Dad; He relied upon Dad to take me to church every Sunday, and Dad was faithful in this matter. As a result, I came to know Jesus as my Savior when I was eleven years old. Of all the wonderful things that my dad did for me, his taking me to church every Sunday was the most important; it was Dad's greatest gift to me.

I cannot remember even one occasion when Dad told me that he loved me, but neither can I remember ever doubting for a moment that he did. Dad preferred to show me that he loved me, rather than to tell me that he loved me. I miss my dad very much.



Dad's truck



Dad, Mom, and Me December 1972


_________________

If a person with Multiple Personality Disorder threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?


Last edited by tsjay49 on April 21, 2008 7:54 AM; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Seabrez



Quit Date:
-

Posts: 4458
Location: Gulf Coast

PostPosted: January 13, 2008 11:38 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful, Tom!

You were and are extremely blessed with a father who was so dedicated to his family. Brought back memories of my own dad. So much alike, dedicated to his family...even doing the evening crossword puzzles together, and watching the same shows. It also brought tears.

Thank you Tom. You are a great writer....one who reaches the heart!

Love and Hugs, My Friend!
_________________

Living in Freedom
Deb

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corn 5:17 NASB
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
kevin
Site Admin


Quit Date:
November 19, 2001

Posts: 9538
Location: cincinnati, oh

PostPosted: January 14, 2008 1:03 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote

our family used to watch those shows, too. thanks for sharing your story. Smile
_________________

keep choosing life!

kevin

the quit guru
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
tsjay49



Quit Date:
January 1, 2004

Posts: 1863
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: January 14, 2008 9:02 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Peeps.

Another thing about Dad that I didn't even mention in my essay is that he did all the things he did as a one-armed man. Dad lost his left arm in a hunting accident when he was only 16 years old. He sure didn't let that keep him from doing anything that he set his mind to do. He could tie his shoes, tie fishing knots, tie a necktie, and just about anything else that would normally take two hands to accomplish.

Dad was a very good shot, and he killed many quail and pheasants.

Tom
_________________

If a person with Multiple Personality Disorder threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kannprint



Quit Date:
April 10, 2004

Posts: 4988
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: January 14, 2008 10:35 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. Your writing brought back many wonderful memories for me, Tom. My Dad was much the same -- not demonstrative but still loving. Also, the TV programs you mentioned were always watched in our home.

Many thanks for writing this and for making me think so fondly of my Dad.
_________________

LIVE WELL, LAUGH OFTEN, LOVE MUCH.
Jo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
essie662



Quit Date:
April 14, 2004

Posts: 3388
Location: MI

PostPosted: January 14, 2008 8:47 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tom ~ That was a great post and I enjoyed every word. I am lucky enough to still have my dad in my life, he turned 89 on the 5th.
_________________

Essie
4/14/04
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jlynn931



Quit Date:
September 22, 2016

Posts: 785
Location: MA

PostPosted: January 15, 2008 11:27 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you tom! that was wonderful writing!

jenny
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Mary Dude



Quit Date:
June 15, 2004

Posts: 4803
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: January 16, 2008 2:52 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom- what wonderful memories! Thanks for sharing - I too miss my dad...he did a great job of raising four kids - especially considering he was 40 when he got married and started a family. Those days were so much simpler!
_________________

Mary D.
Smoke-free one day at a time!
Worry doesn't help tomorrow's troubles, but it does ruin today's happiness!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
tsjay49



Quit Date:
January 1, 2004

Posts: 1863
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: January 16, 2008 8:55 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Everyone.

I very often thank God for the home that I had and for the parents that I had. I sure wish every kid could have a childhood like I did.

We didn't have a big, fancy house or drive expensive cars, but we had everything that really matters. I wouldn't change a thing.

Tom
_________________

If a person with Multiple Personality Disorder threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
daggy12



Quit Date:
-

Posts: 678
Location: Palm Bay, FL

PostPosted: January 16, 2008 2:11 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks tom
Its sounds like you had a great Dad and home life.
One of those memories I remember is fighting over dail on the TV to watch Mork and mindy. We would all be in there to see it every week.
_________________

Life can only be "understood" by looking backward, but must be "lived" by looking forward.

Patty
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
tsjay49



Quit Date:
January 1, 2004

Posts: 1863
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: March 23, 2008 9:43 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, Peeps, I just thought of something. That picture of Dad, Mom, and me in the original post in this thread was taken in December of 1972, just after I had been laid-off from my Forest Service job in Idaho and had driven back to Hammond to spend the winter with my folks. My dad had turned 58 on December 2, 1972, so Dad was 58 when that picture was taken. Guess how old I am now? Yep, 58.

It just does not seem possible that I am older now than my parents were when the events of my wonderful childhood and my earliest adult years took place. Where does the time go? Life is SHORT.

Tomster
_________________

If a person with Multiple Personality Disorder threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kevin
Site Admin


Quit Date:
November 19, 2001

Posts: 9538
Location: cincinnati, oh

PostPosted: March 23, 2008 10:31 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

you're absolutely right, tom; life is short. and it's great to see you! Very Happy
_________________

keep choosing life!

kevin

the quit guru
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Pamela



Quit Date:
-

Posts: 3542
Location: Gardiner, NY

PostPosted: March 24, 2008 8:11 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom. Sorry I missed you. Come back soon, we miss you. How's the new Pup, that isn't a pup anymore!
_________________

FIVE + years of freedom and loving it!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leona



Quit Date:
June 1, 2017

Posts: 1838
Location: Alpena, Michigan

PostPosted: March 24, 2008 4:43 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom,
wonderful tribute to your dad wish I could say that I have those memories as well but I never knew my real father till I was grown and then for only 4 years before he died of congestive heart failure.

How are the jeep expaditions going...Miss your writes on that as welll
_________________

Quiting smoking is like a fine wine ......
It just gets better with age.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
tsjay49



Quit Date:
January 1, 2004

Posts: 1863
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: March 31, 2008 8:00 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pamela wrote:
Hi Tom. Sorry I missed you. Come back soon, we miss you. How's the new Pup, that isn't a pup anymore!


Hank is doing fine, Pamela. Thanks for asking.

I have sure developed quite a love for him. Oh, I still miss my Rossie Pup, and I even still cry over him at times, even though he has been gone 2.5 years now. Hank is a comfort to me, and he has his own place in my heart. No one will ever take Ross Allen's place.

Tomster
_________________

If a person with Multiple Personality Disorder threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    quit smoking support @ woofmang.com Forum Index > inspirations All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

quit smoking support
woofmang dot com