Tell me a story about your dad. ( Father's Day Thread )

Guess I didn't really tell a dad story earlier, so here goes. Some of you guys can probably relate to this one. Dad took me trout fishing for the first time when I was around 5 or 6. Fishing was slow, so he pulled his can of Skoal out and said "you can't catch a fish unless you take a pinch of this." I reluctantly took a small pinch, and proceeded to catch a fish on the next cast! Dad was not always the best influence either.🙂
 
Late to the thread but here goes.
My Dad is the best ever, crazy smart. He grew up on an apple orchard, went to airplane mechanic school, ran a cattle ranch for 30 years, and finally retired to his own place last year.
The first time I went hunting with my Dad we rode our horses up on a ridge, spotted a heard of elk about 200 yards away he got down, slid his 270 out of the scabbard, sat down and promptly shot a cow dead center in the head.
I'm so glad that he is around for my kids.
 
Apparently when I was born my Dad couldn't handle responsibility. My mom took me as baby and moved from Nashville in with my Aunt and Uncle to help raise me while she completed nursing school. Never knew him. Saw him once.
I tell people all time be Grateful if you had one especially a good one.
 
Back in '85 I was helping my dad fix a dryer at one of his laundromats when the subject somehow turned to my ex wife and her lack of employment/self-esteem ( = lazy). "You know, son, that gal missed a huge opportunity. She could have a successful career with the circus." What? "Yeah, people would pay good money to see her drive your Pontiac LeMans with a mattress tied to her back." Some deep thinking there.
 
I am a junior, named after my father. He was a wonderful role model. My earliest memories are when he was stationed in Idaho, while in the Air Force. I used to hang around home whenever he was hunting or fishing, just to see what he got. He bought a setter puppy, that began my love of bird dogs and setters.

My sister has the best story concerning his setting an example. She and he were picking up some groceries. When they got to the car, my father asked her what the smell was. She admitted that while shopping, she had bitten off the tops of some green onions. So, my father and her went back into the store, found the bunch of onions and purchased them. I still miss him and he has been gone close to thirty years now.
 
My Father was a good man very smart slow to anger and humble he didnt hunt much just rabbits and pheasants I think he liked the comradery more than the hunting, Taught me to fish and was a great golfer
Fought in the Philippians in WW11 we lost him 28 yrs ago and I still miss him
 
I spent Father's Day weekend cutting firewood with my dad on his farm in northern Idaho. He is 90. This particular saw is 50. He believes active living, elk meat, and fresh air are the key to health and long living (along with lucky genetics.) He broke a hip last November after hunting elk every day of elk season. (Which basically means he hiked his and his neighbors' farms with his 30-06). But we should all be so lucky.
 
I have my dad to thank for my love of elk hunting, my desire to fight the good fight, and my (certainly a struggle) efforts to be humbled and learn from hunting and the issues surrounding it. I have countless stories, but my favorite involves a late night waiting in a 1960s camper for my dad to come back from his cow moose hunt. It was just me (13 years old at the time) and my uncle waiting, and when my dad got back he was covered in blood. He said to us:

"Boys, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, I shot my moose. The bad news is, I shot my elk too."

My dad is the one with the white hat on; I'm next to him.

elk camp.jpg
 
An amazing group of men in deed. I appreciate the stories.

My father was a wonderful man. Slow to anger, quick to hug. A father when he needed to be, a friend when it felt right. He collected a following of all sorts of young men who lacked a loving and supportive father of their own. He raised others up and made them feel whole - he shared his experiences, his heart, his good humor and his experience in the wilderness. At his funeral years later a half a dozen of my friends told me they cried more at his funeral than they had at their own fathers.

He was uncomfortable in the business world, but worked hard to make ends meet for the family - which he always did. His true love was being in the outdoors. ND, MN, Ontario & Manitoba - hunting, fishing, hiking, camping (especially fishing) - he covered just about every inch of those places it seemed. The Canadian Shield area of Western Ontario was his happy place. He brought me along for much of it. Time alone with a great and compassionate man — how could I have asked for any more.

But then a sudden medical event @62 yo left him in a wheel chair and with significant cognitive impairment just as my son was learning to walk. We did our best over the following years to create a bit of the experience with 3 generations of men, but they were nothing like they would have been had he stayed healthy. I did my best to channel his best as my son and I pursued hunting, fishing, hiking and camping as he did. He passed a few years back, but we lost much of who he was back in 2005 - I still tear up when I think about it. Never assume you have tomorrow - pursue your passions and tell those around you that you love them every day.

But this is more serious than he would approve of, so let me tell you a story that my family still laughs about . . .

I was in graduate school and called home to check in. Was on the phone with my mom who told me my dad was replacing the garbage disposal but she had her doubts and was keeping the plumber’s number handy. As we were chatting I hear my father yell bloody murder and my mom burst out in laughter. When she finally calmed down enough to talk she relayed that my father had his head under the kitchen cupboard having just removed the old garbage disposal and was looking up through the now open hole in the sink. At this time he decided he should dump out the bucket full of dirty water he had collected before he spilled it - so he grabbed the bucket and without getting up reach it up to sink level and dumped it out - right on his own head. A great man, yes - a handy-man, not always ;)

I miss him every day.
 
Which one?

The one where he decided to have an affair with my mom while she was pregnant with me and ultimately left her for his mistress?

Or the one where he finally decided after 2 years of not seeing me to start visitation to save on child support and help build his (unsuccessful) case for joint custody?

Or the one where he and his mistress got divorced after she had an affair with him (have to appreciate the irony) when I was ~9 and the ~8 acres of the family farm that my grandpa deeded him were lost forever in the divorce?

Or the one where he decides to marry the mistress for a SECOND time my senior year of high school (as they say, can't fix stupid and love is blind)?

Or, the one, where he asks me to move in with my grandma after grandpa died to help take care of her and the farm (with verbal assurances that this would "secure" my inheritance of the family farm - I now understand that inheritance is not something that most have to "earn").

Or, my favorite, and last story - the evening he calls me up drunk to let me know everything is going to be left to the mistress upon his death.

What. A. Tool. He is nothing but a drunk a-hole as he is now threatening lawsuit against my uncle (partner in the farm) as he wants his monetary half of the appraised $3M farm. I saw the writing on the wall and moved to Montana so it's a little easier to accept not being there and losing my only place to hunt.

I lived the first 34 years of my life continually trying to have a relationship with him. Can't believe it took all that to make me realize who he was. Drunk every weekend I would see him, 2 DUI's, etc. Guy could drink a case of beer and get up at 430am to hunt turkeys or work seemingly completely sober and no hangover to speak of, does still seem un-human to me and used to be something I would brag about to friends, but now I think just an alcoholic.

I guess I have him to thank for my love of hunting but I only now realize looking back that honestly came from my desire to "impress" or have any sort of meaningful relationship with him.

I will second @jdf 's statement. Be grateful. I still try to be grateful for the few and far between good times I had with him as I was never physically abused etc.
 
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I’ll admit I don’t know my dad very well.

He is/was a physician growing up, so he was out the door before we left for school, wasn’t home until about 6, and was on-call pretty often while home as well. The time that he was home, he didn’t have much patience for being bothered.

He seemed to value appearances above all else, with academic performance being crucial. I was never very good at school, and my bad grade grades, my being overweight, wearing clothes he didn’t like, anything that let on to the outside world that things weren’t perfect in our house, seemed to have been something akin to personal insults that he begrudged. Having a miserable marriage and 7 kids, including one with severe physical disability, couldn’t have helped. I don’t understand him, but I do sympathize that things weren’t easy for him during those years.

At 17 my folks split and I was promptly “legally emancipated” by him, and kicked out of the house shortly after that. There were a few months where we didn’t speak to each other, but mostly have been cordial otherwise. I speak to him, typically just a few texts back and forth, maybe four times a year: his birthday, my birthday, Father’s Day, and Christmas.

It’s hard to be friends now when growing up I had no reason to believe my father liked me in the slightest. Most times it seemed I was his biggest disappointment. Sometimes I wonder if I just remind him of my mother too much. For what it’s worth, he seems much happier now, and seems to have been a pretty good dad to my younger sisters while they still lived at home. I think he was just taking on too much for one man when I was a kid.

What I can say is he instilled in me a love for playing music, and a love for the outdoors. He played bass at church, and because of that in middle school I was able to start playing on one of his basses with my buddies down the street, and it’s stuck ever since. Likewise, my brothers and I were all in the Boy Scouts, and he was the scout master for a time. I got to have some pretty awesome experiences going camping and hiking through that.



He’s never hunted. Might be the only true anti-hunter that I know, come to think of it. I’m working on bringing him around though.
 
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Glad we got to the less-than-perfect Dad part of the thread. My dad wasn't a bad guy but a rough childhood, bipolar disorder, depression, and drugs were his undoing. He tried his best, and for that I will always try to remember the good over the bad.

Now I'm trying to be the father to my daughter that I always wished that I had.
 
I'm one of the lucky ones. Dad did very well splitting his time with four boys while working alternating shifts at the dam. He was the kind of guy who was never demanding but we never wanted to disappoint him either. He was magical with a fly rod. I'd like to think I eventually became as good as he was. He built me my first big game rifle at the dam's fab shop and it's still my preferance today, sixty-two years later. I have rebuilt it a couple times but still think of it as Dad's gun. I wish I had his magnetism, patience, and that twinkle in his eye. Miss you, Dad. Gone twenty-five years next month.
 
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I have one of the best dads out there. We experienced so much together. Although he hunted and fished before I was born, we brought it to a new level together. He finally retired a couple weeks ago and I am so excited for him to goof around! Here is a story that has nothing to do with hunting or fishing, but is the hardest I have ever laughed by far.

During my college years, I stayed with my grandpa and grandma. Sounds horrible, but they were only there in Sept and May (they went south for the winters). They came home for Christmas one year and Dad came down to stay at their place too. We all went over to my aunt and uncles for Christmas and then came home. As we were pulling into the driveway, Grandpa and Grandma were first and he opened the garage door with his opener. Since I lived there, I also had an opener. So I closed it. He opened it. I closed it. Dad and I are laughing hard by now. Grandpa is getting out of his car and looking at the door. Nothing wrong, he climbs back in the car and opens it. I close it. This goes on a few more times and Dad says to me, "stop doing that! my stomach hurts to hard from a laughing and i am gonna throw up!". Of course I ignore that request. Finally grandpa unhooks the chain and our fun is over. But just for giggles, I hit it one more time and the opener loops around, catches the chain down it goes again! Finally, he stands under the door with it open and motions grandma to drive it in. She literally squeals the tires taking off and almost put the car through the garage into the kitchen. I will never, ever, as long as I live, forget my grandpas face as we pulled into the other stall and I rolled down the window and showed him my garage door opener and the light bulb went on in his head.
 
I guess I got lucky having a good dad. He had every reason to not be a good dad or even a good person. His mom killed herself when he was young, and his abusive dad died of a heart attack when he was 14. He was then taken in by his aunt and uncle who already had too many kids to raise. He had to skip his junior year of high school because he became the care giver of his dying sister. He graduated high school just as the great depression was beginning. He didn't talk about how he got by during those years, but I got the impression that it wasn't always by legal means. Then he went to war in the pacific. When he got out of the army, he suffered with PTSD but in those days it was called shell shock, and you were supposed to just get over it on your own. It affected him the rest of his life. He got married and had four kids and when I was about six or seven, his only real friend and his only brother both died of heart attacks leaving me as his only close male friend for the rest of his life. So, he had every reason to be a real a-hole but was a pretty good guy.
 
Dad passed in 2014. Tens years this August. Doesn't seem like it's been that long, but here we are.

Before he passed and before the dementia set in, we took a trip out to the Gas Hills of Wyoming. It used to be a big uranium mining operation and mill. He lived out there in the late 50's with grandma and grandpa, and his sisters.

Grandpa was still finding comfort in the bottom of a bottle after WW2, and was drinking his paycheck from the mine. Dad was working at the mill, processing the uranium and supporting the family. Everyone was living in man camps then. You can still see a lot of the infrastructure in some places out there. We pulled up to a greasy flat on the banks of an ephemeral stream that used to run far more often than it does now and dad points across the flat and says "This is where your grandfather stole a dozer from the mine one night and stripped the area and made his own RV park. Charged rent, and even had a well." He started looking around, and about 400 yards downstream was the body of an old 50 Ford. Dad says "Well I didn't leave that there. It was above the camp when I dumped it into the ditch."

We drove around for a few hours, looking over where he grew up. He talked about their lives in that little sagebrush flat, how hard it was and how much love there was even when Grandpa was at his worst. The best story from that time though, was when a traveling salesman pulled up right as a bobcat chased this house cat out of the creek bottom and into the trailer. The resulting clamoring, screaming and hollering, combined with my grandfather's booming voice telling dad "Paul, go get your gun!" caused the salesman to simply keep going through the camp and back out on the road, never to be seen again. The bobcat got away, but so did the house cat.

Dad was a skilled poacher. A 22 long, a dark night and the top of Beaver Rim were where he made meat for the family that was still suffering from grandpa's service. Because of how he grew up, hunting was never recreation to him. It was a chore and a reminder at how his own father was failing as a provider. Once he was on his own, with his own family, he was proud of being able to buy meat and not have to poach it.



1718803091122.png
 
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Dad certainly shaped my brothers and me. He supported whatever sport we played and molded us through Boy Scouting, allowing me as a youngster to explore Glacier, Yellowstone, and Philmont Scout Ranch adventures. His work ethic was a motto exemplifier. Dad never met a person who did not instantly like him and become a friend. He was handy at repairing, remodeling, fixing anything. I treasure his old tools in my shop. He and Mom had three boys to nurture during WWII, so moved to Portland to work in the shipyards, welding and Mom was a Rosie-the-Riveter. Dad and my uncles were businessmen and staunch Republicans of a different era. One time president of the Montana Hotel / Motel Owners, he owned some hotels and managed a bar and restaurant, which became his downfall, as bartenders were unreliable, so he had to fill in late shifts. Dad was religious, a friend to all, a thinker, a drinker ... and a smoker, which eventually did him in over thirty years ago. I love to tinker with his old tools, most of which are labeled with his initials, and fondly reflect on traipsing behind him through an aspen grove as he hunted muley bucks with his 30-30 carbine cradled in his arms.

Dad & Mom Portland shipyard.jpg
 
I have one of the best dads out there. We experienced so much together. Although he hunted and fished before I was born, we brought it to a new level together. He finally retired a couple weeks ago and I am so excited for him to goof around! Here is a story that has nothing to do with hunting or fishing, but is the hardest I have ever laughed by far.

During my college years, I stayed with my grandpa and grandma. Sounds horrible, but they were only there in Sept and May (they went south for the winters). They came home for Christmas one year and Dad came down to stay at their place too. We all went over to my aunt and uncles for Christmas and then came home. As we were pulling into the driveway, Grandpa and Grandma were first and he opened the garage door with his opener. Since I lived there, I also had an opener. So I closed it. He opened it. I closed it. Dad and I are laughing hard by now. Grandpa is getting out of his car and looking at the door. Nothing wrong, he climbs back in the car and opens it. I close it. This goes on a few more times and Dad says to me, "stop doing that! my stomach hurts to hard from a laughing and i am gonna throw up!". Of course I ignore that request. Finally grandpa unhooks the chain and our fun is over. But just for giggles, I hit it one more time and the opener loops around, catches the chain down it goes again! Finally, he stands under the door with it open and motions grandma to drive it in. She literally squeals the tires taking off and almost put the car through the garage into the kitchen. I will never, ever, as long as I live, forget my grandpas face as we pulled into the other stall and I rolled down the window and showed him my garage door opener and the light bulb went on in his head.
This reminds me of a story my uncle told after Dad's funeral. It was about the same time he met Mom and Dad was working at Uncle Bob's dry cleaners. After work there was a poker game at Bob's house with Granddad and one of his buddies. The old fella wore one of those hearing aids with box in the shirt pocket connected by wire to an ear bud. Dad pokes Bob in the ribs and nods his head towards the old boy with hearing aid. Then Dad proceeds to whistle and frrttz. The poor guy drops his cards, frantically pulls out his hearing aid box, and fiddles with it. Then shrugs and puts it back in his pocket. Next hand Dad repeats. And then again. The old fart finally jerks the ear bud out and with a few choice expletives, throws the entire hearing aid contraption across the room. Bob almost pissed himself but no one dared laugh for fear of causing a fight. I can see that impish grin and twinkle in his eye. Dad could be a stinker.
 
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