Monthly Archives: August 2013

Million to ONE

“I’m a father, that’s what matters most. Nothing matters more.”

—Gordon Brown

Todays story is about Hunter Mahan.

Imagine for a moment…
You’re a professional golfer, leading one of the biggest tournaments in the world. Two days down, two to go. You have a 36 hole lead, first place, worth over a million bucks.

Saturday, Day 3. Practice Tee. Warming up.

Hunter Mahan

Hunter Mahan at work.

An unexpected call — your manager runs over, phone in hand. Kandi, your wife, has just gone into labor — three weeks early! What do you do? READ MORE 

Souvenir of a Dad’s Lullaby

A ’20s hit triggers memories of a musical father who sang his 10 children to sleep each night.

Today’s story appeared originally in The Wall Street Journal. Barbara Corcoran spoke with reporter Marc Myers. Barbara and Marc kindly allowed Savvy Dad to share this story.

I know that I seem tough on TV’s “Shark Tank,” often tearing into business pitches, but deep down I’m really a softie. Growing up in Edgewater, N.J. in the mid-1950s with five sisters and four brothers, I loved listening to my father sing in the living room every Wednesday night with his barbershop quartet. The song he sang that touched me most was “Heart of My Heart.”

Barbara Corcoran

Barbara and her Dad

My father loved music more than anything else. A printing press foreman in Newark, N.J., he had taught himself to play guitar, piano and accordion. He also sang tenor with a group of guys he worked with and always sang at family gatherings. When I was about 5 years old, my father began singing “Heart of My Heart” each night to put us all to sleep. But since he couldn’t be in both the boys and girls’ rooms at once, he’d sing live in one and play a tape of him singing the song in the other. The next night he’d switch. READ MORE 

What Do You Mean Girls Can’t Play Ball?

“Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in.'”

—Ronald Reagan

Today’s story contributed by Pat McKinzie-Lechault.

“What do you mean girls can’t play ball?”
“My daughter can beat every boy in the gym!”

In a time when girls were relegated to the sideline by a society that said, “Sit, smile, cheer,” Dad told me, “Run, jump, play.” Heck, my dad was ahead of Title IX.

basketball coach

Pat McKinzie-Lechault and her dad, Jim McKinzie.

When other dads insisted their daughters play dolls, Dad nurtured my athleticism. Every time Dad played catch with my brother, he’d throw the ball to me too, so I grew up feeling equal to boys.

Dad even taught me how to hang on to a football so expertly I’d have been a first string wide receiver had I been a boy. While society insisted sports were harmful for females, Dad encouraged me to play ball. During the infancy of Title IX, together my father and I fought a steady battle for girls’ sports.

I grew up in a different time. It was during an era when athletic girls had no role models. When others teased, “Hey, jock,” I cringed, but never lost my self-esteem. READ MORE 

7 Ways My Father Influenced Who I Am

“My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my parents.”

—Michael Jordan

Today’s story contributed by Harold Herring.

my father

Harold Herring with his mother and father

When I was a freshman in college…we were asked to write a paper on the greatest man we’d ever met. It was an easy and immediate decision for me… I wrote about my Father.

Since that first year of college…I’ve met five Presidents, two Vice-Presidents, numerous Generals, Admirals, sports stars, singers, international ministry leaders and assorted other celebrities and persons in authority.

If I were asked to write the same paper during this the 25th anniversary of my 39th birthday year…I would still write about my father…for whom I will always call Daddy, so why change.

He was and still is the greatest man I’ve ever met.

My purpose in this blog is not just to write something sentimental about my father but there are several things that “Mr. Harold,” as Dad was known in our town, taught me…that will benefit and bless all who read these words. READ MORE 

For The Greater Good-ell

“…because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”

—Peter Marshall in 1947

This story is about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Remember the movie Jerry Maguire? When Tom Cruise takes a stand by writing a “mission statement” that ultimately gets him fired. (And, he recruits that lonely fish to accompany him on the way out.)

Roger Goodell

Roger with his father, Senator Charles Goodell

At different times in our lives, we all face the decision — take a stand for what’s right, and fair, and just. Or play it safe, keep quiet, and move on. While we may differ drastically as to where we stand, we should never differ as to why we stand there — always because we believe it is right, and fair, and just.

Unfortunately, some people advocate for the wrong reason. Politicians may be most susceptible given the “re-electionary” nature of their jobs. READ MORE 

Dad Sent Me To Mars

“Curiosity is one of the great secrets of happiness.”

—Bryant H. McGill

This story contributed by Peter H. Smith.

He was born in 1902 in Easley, South Carolina. No electricity, no radio, no television, no cars, no running water, and no stores — they grew food on the family farm. Outdoor kitchen and outdoor bathrooms. You get the picture.

But my dad, Hugh Smith, was a born adventurer.

Peter and his father, Hugh Smith

A small farming town could only hold him so long. In 1923, at the age of 21, he drove his Ford Model T across the country, camping along the roadside. He just wanted to “see what’s out there.” Since childhood, he was consumed with an insatiable curiosity for the world and beyond.

His first real “adventure” was Rochester Med School. But he wasn’t satisfied with just the M.D. — he later attended Johns Hopkins for a second degree in Public Health.

Working as a virologist for the Rockefeller Foundation, he would take on his next (and probably his greatest) adventure… Yellow fever.


Johnny Be Bad

“The bad boy: Always more fun.”

—Ian McShane

Today’s story is contributed by Chris Haydel.

“Stay away from that Johnny, he’s trouble,” Mom warned.

He’s a troublemaker, a bad seed. As a nurse, Mom had observed the sometimes tragic result of hanging out with “dangerous” kids.

johnny be bad

Chris Haydel Family,
Christmas 1971

It was a hot summer day in New Orleans, but to me, it had never felt cooler. I had saved up for a month, and today was the big day. The shiny long barrel. The plastic “ivory” grip. Multi-cap loading capacity. A magnificent weapon. A young boy’s dream. I had seen it in the toy aisle of a store not too far away.

Mom had gone out to run errands, but she promised to take me as soon as she got back. I was playing outside to kill time.

Johnny was outside too, but he was killing bugs with his magnifying glass. “Hey, watcha doin’?” He yelled from across the street.

“Nothing,” I mumbled, bowing my head, heeding Mom’s warning. READ MORE