Good fathers are the unsung heroes among us

John Tarrant

This coming Sunday, June 18, is Father’s Day.
My father died when I was 13 years old, struck down on a cold January night by a drunk driver, who, according to the police report, had been celebrating the birth of his first child. Given that the first four years or so of life are pretty much a blank, I had only 10 or 11 years to get to know my father. I don’t remember him ever giving me the lowdown on how life works nor do I recall him ever giving me sage advice that I would remember and pass on to my own children.
He was wise enough, I suppose to realize that I was too young to understand and perhaps had plans to address those father-son conversations once I outgrew that awkward time of adolescence. If that was the plan, he never got the chance, but he didn’t have to. In the short time I knew him, he taught me a lot and he did it simply by the way he lived his life.
When the Great Depression struck, my two older brothers were 16 and 12 and my two sisters were 14 and 8 and I arrived in the middle of it, but my mother and father always kept a roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our backs, but it wasn’t easy. My father was an accountant so he had a useful skill but those were hard times and businesses were failing, shutting down and didn’t need accountants so he had to scramble to provide for his family.

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