Monthly Archives: August 2013

Regret is the Past Crippling the Future

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

regret, mistakes


Chubby warned me that if I lived my life right
it would be filled with mistakes.

Over time I learned that he was resoundingly right.

He told me that my only real risk in life was “you might not have the courage to go for it enough and get it all done.”

Daddy’s Girl

“…See there’s this place in me where your fingerprints still rest, your kisses still linger, and your whispers softly echo. It’s the place where a part of you will forever be a part of me.”

–Gretchen Kemp

Today’s story is contributed by Skylar Harrison.

Daddy's Little Giril

Skylar and Her Father Dancing to ‘Jingle Bell Rock’

My father and I shared the same musical taste and, as it turns out, much more.

“Chickity China the Chinese chicken / you have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin’ / Watching X-Files with no lights on …”
I freeze. I look toward my father, hoping he knows the next line, but he’s stuck, too.

“One more time?” he asks. I nod as he presses replay on the car stereo.

A big breath in and … “It’s been one week since you looked at me / cocked your head to the side and said ‘I’m angry,'” we sing in unison.

I’m nine years old, and we’re parked outside Baskin-Robbins because we’ve promised each other we won’t go inside until we nail this last Barenaked Ladies verse. I can’t remember if we ever actually figured it out, or if we even got the ice cream, but what I do remember is: That moment and that music were ours. READ MORE 

You Are Never Too Old For Training Wheels

“Music is moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”


Today’s story is story is contributed by Rebekah.

Training Wheels

Rebekah and her dad

Coaxed out of a deep slumber. A soft trumpet moaning out Reveille. But I am not a soldier in the barracks. I’m seven years old, snuggled in bed. This was Dad’s way of waking us up. And at bedtime, he played Taps.

My dad — the Music Man. He used music to speak, to teach, to show his love. I fondly remember dancing on the kitchen table as a toddler, Dad and I singing along to Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier.

He played trumpet as a kid, but eventually moved on to guitar. I still remember the first song he played for us, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. Over the years, Dad played many instruments (bass, drums, Native American flute, didgeridoo), but came back to the guitar later in life. READ MORE 

Father Misspelled

“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is as sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.”

—Stevie Wonder

Today’s story is contributed by Marshall Davis Jones.

Marshall Davis Jones

Marshall Davis Jones

I was six years old
in a national spelling bee.
complex words….
up until the final round
one word between me and victory
the spell master clears his throat
young man your word is father…..

Spelling Father from stillmotion on Vimeo.

Marshall Davis Jones is a world-bridger.His unique gift to make us think, feel and realize runs deep into the human experience. As a professional spoken word artist and dramatic performer, he has been featured in two TEDx Conferences, at the Musical Instrument Museum, the Omega Institute and BBC World Service.

His clients have included numerous colleges & universities (Pace, NYU, Utah State etc),
The Leon Sullivan Foundation, the I.Am Angel Foundation and the Jordin Sparks Experience. He has shared the podium with the likes of Marc Lamont Hill, Ambassador Andrew Young, Henry Louis Gates, and Simon Sinek.

Marshall regularly conducts workshops with youth and adults.

Daddy’s Girl: Honoring My Father’s Legacy

Today’s story is contributed by Kirsten West Savali.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

—Abraham Lincoln

My father, Theodore Joseph “Bubber” West, was blessed with both in abundance. As a business owner, civic leader and city alderman for over seventeen years, he used his influence to help everyone he encountered, never once expecting reciprocity. Daddy never met a stranger. If he had a dollar, he would give you that dollar and apologize that he didn’t have more to share.


Kirsten with her Daddy on graduation day.

One of his most endearing characteristics was that he loved to laugh; you could feel the unfettered joy in his laughter. He told the corniest jokes, but you couldn’t help but laugh with him, because it was contagious. Tears would stream from his eyes, rendering it impossible not to join in the moment.

His favorite joke was when people would rush into his office asking for one thing or another; he’d look up at his ceiling and say, “Ssssh… did you hear that?” People would always abruptly stop speaking, follow his gaze, and say, “No, Bubber, I didn’t hear it.” He’d say, “Listen closer; you still don’t hear that?” They would concentrate harder, listening for anything out of the ordinary then say, “No Bubber, I still don’t hear anything.” That twinkle in his eye would get brighter, and he’d say, “I know, it’s been like that all day!” Now, that might not be funny in and of itself, but the fact that he thought it was hilarious made it so… every single time.

Frozen Moments

“Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.”

—Corrie Ten Boom

Today’s poem is contributed by Tom Krause.

Frozen Moments

Sam Krause

You were three years old.

Balls were bouncing in the gym.
Children were running, shooting baskets.
Among all the chaos
I saw you grinning at me –
wanting me to watch you.
You waved at me – I waved at you.
You showed me how you could dribble.
The moment froze in my memory.

What My Father Taught Me About Being A Dad

“When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son.”

—The Talmud

Today’s story is contributed by Bob Meadows.

I look at my father, I look at my son, and I understand the privilege that was handed to me, and the responsibility that I have accepted.

I had a phenomenal role model for fatherhood. Now I have to be one.
What my father taught me.

Bob’s dad, Bob, and Xavier

I am black. My father is black. My son is black. Most black boys — black children — grow up without their fathers in the home. Most black boys — black children — grow up with mothers who are not married. The married-to-mom black father is the rarest of parents.

My father and mother celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in February. They married, had three children, and stayed married. It was not, as foolish people say, “the times.” Plenty of the couples my parents partied with back in the 60s and 70s split up.