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Happy Father's Day From Appalachia

Fathers Day in Appalachia my Silver Haired Daddy

Tipper and Pap 9-11 Ceremony September 2012

Pap is the best father a girl or boy could have and I'm so very thankful he's the one my brothers and I were given.

On Father's Day one thinks of the great wisdom fathers provide and indeed the very sustenance they provide to raise their children up. But sometimes it's the little things that stick out in our minds-things that don't necessarily relate to great wisdom yet things that make our hearts sing when we think upon them in the context of Father's Day. 

  • I've never, not once, seen Pap in a pair of tennis shoes. To my knowledge he's never owned a pair.
  • Pap drinks coffee with every last meal-no matter what he's eating he's drinking a cup of black coffee with it. 
  • The only time I've ever seen Pap cry in big racking sobs was at his Mother's funeral.
  • All of Pap's jacket pockets have paper towels stuffed in them. Old paper towels are stuck all over the inside of his car too. He says you never know when you might need an old rag for something. I'm thinking you could never need that many.
  • For all Pap's sweetness he has a mischievous streak too. He swarped the car through some briars along the road one time to teach Steve to quit sticking his arms out. OUCH for Steve-but it makes me smile. Maybe I've got a mischievous streak too. 
  • Granny wouldn't allow us to swim in the pond down the hill unless a grown up was there too. A grown up with time to waste on us was hard to come by in those days. One evening after Pap got home I started in begging and pleading for him to take me swimming. He had to go sing somewhere that night-and besides he was wore out from working so he wasn't interested in watching me swim. I kept up my pleading till finally he caved. He brought along a bar of soap and took his bath in the pond so I could swim. 

The list of random things above came to my mind as I pondered on how fathers are complex individuals. There's much more to them than what's written on the Father's Day cards you can buy at the store. 

I hope you'll share some random facts about your father. And if you're a father - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY FROM APPALACHIA TO YOU.

Tipper

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I sure miss the wisdom of B.Ruth! I pray she will be back soon! She, and you Tipper, are my inspirations!

It might seem odd to talk about your mother on Father’s Day but this year I perceive things a little differently. My mother was a strong willed woman. She wouldn’t take no crap from nobody. She knew all the words that bring what you are saying right to the point and she wasn’t shy about using them. She knew how to discipline her children and wasn’t shy about that either. Sometimes though she would simply say, “I am going to let your Daddy handle it.”
Mommy could handle herself in almost any situation. I saw her threaten to put a whupping on a neighbor “if she ever laid a hand on one of my youngins.” I have no doubt she would have done it too. Rarely though she would find herself in a situation she couldn’t or didn’t want to handle. Then she would defer to Daddy. I remember the only time she told me, “I’m going to let your Daddy handle this when he gets home.” I was panic-stricken. What was my father going to do to me? My life is over!
When Daddy got home, Mommy told him. I don’t remember the crime but I remember the punishment. Daddy said, “Son, we need to go for a walk.” So, down the road we went. Out of earshot of the house. Then we stopped. Daddy said, “I want you to go cut a cane switch. I mean a good one. If you get one and it breaks, I’ll send you back for another one.”
I knew where the little fine rabbit cane grew so I scampered up over the road bank. I looked at all the choices and chose one I thought would last long enough to satisfy him. I brought it back and handed it to him. He looked to over and said, “This will do.” Then he reached down and pulled up his pants leg and proceeded to put stripes on his own leg. “If I have raised you wrong then I deserve the punishment. Tell me when it is enough.” “Stop, Daddy, Stop!”
My Daddy was a strict disciplinarian but he never laid a hand on me to inflect pain. Daddy talked, Daddy taught, Daddy reasoned and Daddy explained. Daddy knew how to train a mule, a horse or a steer. He knew that wasn’t the way to raise your children.
Fred Ervin Ammons died at just barely 55 years old in May of 1974. He left a wife and 6 children who needed him desperately. I trust that God needed him more elsewise he wouldn’t have taken him away. Mommy couldn’t survive without him and went to join him in October of 1975.
My parents never got to grow old. They never had to be a burden on anyone. That was a blessing but a blessing I would rather have done without.

I would like to comment on the picture of you and your dad, Tipper you are beautiful!!! First time I have seen you "face first". My sweet daddy moved to heaven in 1968 at the age of 48 years. I loved him so much and I still miss him every day. I only had him for 20 years. My mom remarried two years later and we had the perfect "other dad" for another 20 years. He loved my brothers and me as much as my first daddy did. He is the man my kids knew as granddaddy. He moved to heaven in 1990. I consider myself pretty blessed to have had two wonderful dads!!

Tipper,
That is a beautiful tribute to
Father's Day, so nice and thankful.

I still miss my dad and think about
him every day. Back in '82, I held
his hand as he slipped into
eternity to be with Our Father.
...Ken

I miss my dad very much but I have fond memories of him. He never wore a shirt unless it had a pocket on it. That's where he kept an ink pen, a pack of smokes and Wrigley's gum.
His hair was always combed, his sideburns just right and his shoes shined. His truck was always clean and shiney.
He had mischief in him as well and loved to tease you but always in fun. He loved his family and his Lord. I know it was not always easy for him but he trudged on and always provided for us all. Happy Father's Day dad, RIP!

Dear Tipper, the story that you do what is left you as details of life with examples of your father, and the things that as a child you see in him over the years, makes me believe more and more in equality and brotherhood among human beings well born and raised with respect to his family and God and his country.
And to say just a custom that was my father and I continue automatically, is the cup of coffee after dinner, and always wear shoes.
In Argentina also it is celebrated today on Father's Day.
For Pap, (which I hope is recovering well from his accident), and Deer Hunter, parents I know in your family, and all parents Appalachian wish you all a very happy day with your loved ones. From Buenos Aires, Jose Luis, the only Gaucho Banjo Player, LOL!

Hi Tipper,It was the summer of 1952 and I was home for a week end,I had a live in baby sitting job.Mom and dad were going to a barn dance and ask me along.Dad was trying to teach his 12 year old daughter to dance,I was the only one of his kids who didn't have music in her feet.Dad past away later that from an accident .I can still hear him say,don't look at your feet Belva-Jesn.God Bless all the Fathers.

My grandfather taught me that brier lesson, too. Still smarts when I think about it. Happy Fatherd Day to Pap, Paul, the Deer Hunter, et al.

My father never raised his hand to any of us as children. He let me use his car to learn to drive, that is, after I learned how to change a tire, change the oil, and etc. He was a very religious man, who expected us to follow in his footsteps determining the difference of right and wrong. He was a forgiving man, always turning the other cheek. He worked hard and made sure his family was well taken care of emotionally and materialistically. I still miss my dad.

Swarped is a word that is forever embedded in my lexicon. A person can never fully understand the word until he/she has been swarped through the face by a cow's tail loaded with fresh cow(stuff) and cuckleburrs.

When I think of my Pop, I think of peaches. He traveled SC, NC and GA on his sales route, and every summer he would come home with baskets of peaches for us. Some he bought, but a lot of them were given to him by his customers and folks along his route who knew that he loved them. Can't eat a peach without thinking of him.

Tipper: Thanks for your heartfelt thoughts on this special day. We will go this evening for Jim's FATHER'S DAY celebration with our son and his family (THREE TALL grandsons) whom we so enjoy being with and telling 'funny' stories.

Hope to get over your way soon.

Eva Nell

Nice memories. I can particularly identify with the tennis shoe comment. You also slipped in an Appalachia slang term, "swarped". Never heard or saw the word in writing. My first thought was it was a typo for swerve.

Before we had the Carolina Wood Turning Company reunion last month, I talked to a fellow named Robert from over on Lands Creek who is now up in his 80s. Robert had hired on at the plant in 1958, and told me that my father was the one who had hired him. Robert said that when he was interviewing for the job, Daddy asked him:

"Now Robert, are you going to work a week or two and then quit, or are you going to make us a good hand?"

Robert's answer was "Commodore, when you retire, I'll be here to watch you walk out the door."

Robert rightly took pride in saying that he was good to his word, and was there to watch Daddy retire in 1975.

The term "a good hand" is one that comes to mind when I think of my father. He was a good hand at most everything he took to doing, whether it was raising a garden, working around the house or at the church, fixing a good breakfast, telling stories, or keeping his children in line - which was especially difficult when it came to my siblings.

Happy Father's Day Pap!!! My dad is a retired air traffic controller and also played the drums early in his career. He used to take me flying when I was a kid. I got to see the Blue Angels from the control tower one year. I learned to handle a stick shift by using the riding mower. There is picture of him on my Facebook page. Great post Tipper!! Happy Father's Day to your husband as well.

Tipper, love your comments about your Dad. I hope his health is improving. Ray

Sounds like your Pap was a really good dad and your affection for him speaks volumes about the kind of man he is. I'm happy for you and your brother...my brother and I also had a nurturing, funny, and special daddy! Enjoy your day!

SWARPED??? Why hasn't this shown up in the vocabulary posts? I get the meaning from the context but had never heard it.

My Dad was a career Air Force man. I remember as a kid he gave us small kids special rides on his scooter. He let us stand in front of him. He wouldn't go very fast and it was on the back roads near the base. Also, in the winter he would find an unused back road and tie a long rope from the bumper of the old station wagon to the front of our sled and pull us behind the car. That was the best time of winter for us small kids! He passed away in 1983 at the age of 66. Still miss him every day.

Tipper--Don, Annette, and I were lucky enough to have our father for 101 years. There are scads of things for which I'm thankful, with exposure to the world of the outdoors being high up the list, but I'll just share two:

1. Daddy was a pretty decent athlete who played competitive softball well into his 40s. As a boy my great ambition was to outrun him, but time and again I lost footraces. Finally, when I was about 15, he realized I had reached the point where I could probably win a race. He refused to race and right up until his death could right say: "Jim, you never did outrun me."

2. The second fond memory comes from his later years. He would often shake his head in a particular way he had and say: "I just don't understand how a child of mine could go off to college, get a bunch of degrees, and end up writing about hunting and fishing for a living. It just doesn't seem right to earn money from things that are plain out fun."

One other thought. Seldom does a day pass when some matter of local history comes to mind that I have a question about. Invariably I have this thought: "I wish Daddy was here. He would know."


Jim Casada

Beautiful tribute to your dad. Your way of remembering the little things, both serious and comical, is nice. You're blessed to have him as your dad and he's similarly blessed at having you as his daughter.

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