Monthly Archives: April 2013

My Father Was ‘The Coach’ But No Task Was Too Low

No one commanded respect like ‘The Coach.’

Today’s story is from Jean Herges.

Everyone noticed, everyone stopped. The cockiest kids lowered their gaze, boys obeyed. “He scares me,” admitted a burly linebacker friend. I smiled.

Dad does it all

Jean and her dad Pete Herges, 82

I knew a secret about Dad. But first, let me set the stage. We lived in a small Minnesota town (of 1,600). Sports dominated our life. Farming was most everyone’s trade.

Dad was Athletic Director. He also coached football and golf. In our sports town, he was ‘The Coach.’ I was a cheerleader for the team.

What was my secret on Dad? Dad disappeared after Friday night games, also on Saturdays. What took him away? Fishing? Golf? Secret outings with “the guys”? Many speculated, few knew.    READ MORE 

Dad’s Shared Stories Turned into My Dream

1965. East Lansing, Michigan. Cattle Auction.

Today’s story is from Jan Miller McGilliard.

Allen Miller leaned against a metal gate pole. The auctioneer’s call echoed the walls. It filled the hall. Farmers frantically bid. Cows sold. Every one was destined to go.

Allen was no buyer tonight.
He needed to sell his prize Jersey cow.
dad's shared stories

Jan’s dad Allen Miller in World War II
on the shores of England.

“Final call, I’ve got four hundred. Going once, going twice.” The gavel slammed down on a hard wooden block. Sold! She was gone.

Allen, a small dairy farmer in rural Michigan, was a hard working man. This Jersey was his pride. It was revered among neighbors and friends. Allen had done what dads often do…give what they have so their kids can have more. He collected the $400 with a big country man’s smile.

His 16-year-old daughter could now have her childhood dream.


My Dad Taught Me About Life Through the Power of Silence

I was never punished as a child.

Today’s story is from Bridget Meager.

Dad punished others. Fines. Imprisonment. That was his job. Just not me. For me he used the power of silence.

the power of silence

The Honorable Charles William Bradley,
Bridget’s father

My name is Bridget. I am the proud daughter of the Honorable Charles William Bradley, Louisiana District Court Judge for 25 years.

As a soldier, my father was a Dachau concentration camp liberator. As a lawyer, he interviewed Holocaust survivors. He later became a war crimes tribunal judge.

Firsthand, he’s seen the worst on this earth. It showed in the look in his eyes. You watched yourself around Dad.

Father had punished many. He’d seen the result. With children, he thought it was not the best way. He preferred the power of silence.    READ MORE 

A Father’s Advice on Borrowing for His 10-Year-Old Daughter

School was out! I hopped on the bus headed for home.

Today’s story is from Katie McDevitt.

A young lady of 10, a 10-year-old, I was anxious to play outside with my friends.

A father's advice for his 10-year-old

Jim Reid, Katie’s dad

As we rounded the corner, there was my house. My face squished tight to the glass. What did I see? In the front lawn, my little red bike. Why was I distressed?

Stop for a moment. Pretend you are me. What do you see?

A “For Sale” sign tied to the bars of my bike. “For Sale?” I thought. My red bike was my life.

What had I done? Really! I was just a a 10-year-old. Want to relate? Imagine someone towed off your car! I jumped off the bus. Ran ‘cross the yard. Flew into the house.    READ MORE 

Dads Need Their Kids

Dad was proud. So was I.
I had worked hard to stand on that stage.

by Greg Hague

May 1974. Washington D.C.

Law school graduation. What a magnificent day!
Dad, Greg and son Casey

May 2012. Another proud dad on his son’s magnificent day. My son, Casey’s law school graduation (with me).

I felt like I’d made it in life. Such innocence. It makes me smile today. The ceremony concluded. Chubby left with me. I drove. We were alone.

My dad was normally a talkative man. Not that day. Strange? We drove blocks without saying a word. He then looked over and said, “Greg, would you like to stop for a snack?” I said, “Sure, why not.” I was always up for a snack.    READ MORE 

Father’s Advice

Are you a sports fan? I don’t mean the casual type.

Today’s story is from Jenna Lazenby.

You dream in team colors. The night before games, you don’t sleep. If you’re into sports, you know my dad.

father's advice

Jenna and her father, Roland Lazenby

Roland Lazenby has written more than five-dozen books on basketball and sports. He’s appeared on ESPN Sports, CNN, NBC and Fox News. My dad shakes hands with the best in the game. They smile, wave, and often call out his first name. Kobe Bryant, Tex Winter, Phil Jackson… to name a few.

I’ve always been able to bask a bit in Dad’s light. Like when I was 20 years old, we flew to Chicago and after a game, I joined players and press in the locker room. There I was standing next to The Man, Michael Jordan.    READ MORE 

Dad Jumped into My Heart

On a spring afternoon, a newborn bird fell to the ground.

Today’s story is from Melanie Swiercinski.

Dad jumped into my heart.

Melanie and her dad, John.
Ocean Beach, San Francisco (2011)

“Dad help, please hurry,” I cried. Like a shot, he bolted from the house. I was stretched out on the ground.

The newborn bird looked like a misshapen worm. Eyes sealed. His translucent flesh pale pink, all puckered and worn. Jagged pieces of shell lay spread in the grass. His mom surely figured him dead.

As soon as I called, Dad ran out and dove to the ground. He hurt like I hurt. He felt what I felt. He became me.   READ MORE