Tribute to Dad Re-Post

A year ago I wrote a very special post titled, “Tribute to Dad” for my Dad’s birthday.

A year later, I thought it would be fitting to re-post it. Please enjoy.

Dad, happy birthday.


Today is your birthday Dad…. You make me glad I’m your son.

Favorite sayings

  • You make me glad I’m a dad.
  • He won’t have the guts to do that again.
  • You can eat an elephant one bite at a time.
  • All I’m doing is fishing; if the bobber goes down, I’ll reel it in. If it doesn’t, I don’t care.
  • It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.
  • Pole Cat!
  • Before our meeting they would pepper me with objections. I would stand in front of a mirror for hours. When I drove to see your mother before we got married, I would talk to myself and overcome at least 40 objections…. I started to feel bad for the client!
  • The client buys on emotion, he keeps it in force with logic.
  • You always close with an emotional story.
  • You can tell me…I’m your dad.
  • Have you ever kissed a girl as long as you wanted….?
  • We can’t buy a basket right now.
  • He couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.
  • I’ll be on you like ugly on ape.
  • If you find a wife half as good as your mother you’ll be in good shape.
  • He couldn’t sell guns in a prison riot.
  • If you don’t see them you can’t sell them. (Charlie Schoolcraft)
  • Cat fur’s for kitten britches.
  • Horse feathers.
  • Speak in bullet points.
  • Reduce it to the ridiculous.
  • Learn to tee it up. Once you tee it up, you can knock it out of the park.
  • Scares me and I’m fearless.
  • It it were easy they wouldn’t pay us so much.
  • You can say the same thing two different ways.
  • He ran like a scolded dog.
  • The client will always buy the most expensive thing they can afford.

Lessons you taught me

  • How to drive: predicting the patterns of truckers, best time to change lanes, when to speed/not to speed, and driving in the snow.
  • How to fish.
  • How to start a fire.
  • Showing affection to Mom over the years has given me a very healthy view of marriage and what a relationship between a husband and wife should look like.
  • You and Mom knew the importance of building a strong foundation for us. Things that come to mind are Advent candles with the family, Bible Book-It, corn kernels for Thanksgiving, seeing family in Ohio every year, family hikes/camping trips, helping us get odd-jobs when we were young to develop a strong work ethic, [making] us participate in plays and choirs, [allowing] us to work VBS skits, and family vacations.
  • You instilled in me a very healthy view of alcohol. You and Mom waited and waited and waited until we grew up for us to see either of you drink. There was never beer in the fridge, you never drank at events or special functions. It was a decision you made early and stuck to. Once I got older I remember the wine that came in the box but by that point I was mature enough to understand the difference between overindulging and simply having a glass of wine or beer. Very cool.
  • Adventures in Odyssey—-priceless. Thank you  for spending hundreds of dollars on tapes (association when we were ten!) to teach us life-long Christian values. I constantly remember lessons I learned through Adventures and Odyssey and I can’t imagine what I would stand for without them.
  • Constantly NAGGING me to keep my equipment and car serviced. It hasn’t sunk in completely yet but I’m working on it.
  • Not allowing foul language or bad jokes–words reflect character.
  • Conveying to us that the lines of communication are open. If we get in trouble, it’s okay to tell you. We can expect a reasonable response from you instead of you freaking out. It shows how much you love us.
  • Walk up and down the stairs quietly, not like an elephant.
  • Always close the door behind us, since we didn’t grow up in a barn.


  • Ripping out the tree in the front yard with the Blazer.
  • Driving to Covington to pick up my remote control airplane I bought on eBay.
  • Water skiing on Lake Anna.
  • I like the way your eyes are slightly unlevel because of your car wreck. It regularly reminds me of your near-death collision.
  • After dinner all of us used to line up to break out of your Chinese Stronghold Chairhold. We would fight and struggle and after a huge amount of effort we would break free and then puff out our chest. Little did we know that you let us break free every time. When we were old enough to actually break free, you stopped doing the Chinese Stronghold Chairhold.
  • All of our late-night conversations in the kitchen, either after appointments or watching football. I’ve always enjoyed listening while you reminisce about when you were younger, when you got Saved, and how you met Mom. We’ve discussed NAA, my future, our growth, Younglife, your Salvation, and the rest of our family.
  • Rooting for UVa and not being a fair weather fan! We’ve been through it all: football, basketball, soccer, tennis. My memories of football games will last forever because it was always quantity time and quality time.
  • When we were young, the evening would begin a lot like this: “When’s Dad getting home?” Mom: “Later this evening, he’s running appointments.” We would then sit at the top of the stairs and literally wait for you to walk through the door. You were always tired but we didn’t care! We wanted to hug you and tell you about our day!
  • I loved keeping the fire going. That was our thing. Splitting the wood in the back, carrying it down the hill, stacking it inside the garage, and then filling the wood box every night. I watched you fill the stove every night before bed. I was amazed. When I checked it the next morning and saw a raging fire, I thought you were Superman. When I got older I realized you woke up at 6:30am to put more wood on the fire!
  • Yard work Thanksgiving morning was a tradition. Other times of the year it was cutting grass, raking leaves, building the wall, shoveling snow, pulling weeds, and cleaning the gutters.
  • I remember when you and Mom surprised me with the Snapper riding mower. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. That thing had a 28″ blade!
  • We used to wake up early before school and go jogging. You, Susanna, and I were like a team, running around the circle in Keywest and then walking home gave us a chance to talk.
  • I clearly and vividly remember when you and Mom sat the family down and explained it would be a very ‘humble’ Christmas that year. This taught me two things: 1.) credit card debt is not an acceptable alternative 2.) the more important meaning of Christmas. I am so thankful you and Mom taught me that lesson when I was young.
  • We went fishing at Lake Anna and in the process I (somehow) caught a cat fish. I had no idea what to do with it, but you just grabbed it right off of the hook to the amazement of the folks we were with! You were also supposed to be working that day….
  • Traveling to Hawaii was amazing. I was in 6th grade but I felt like I was in college….it was a great experience snorkeling, seeing the sites, great food, amazing hotel, meeting people like Andy Albright, and seeing you guys operate in your own element.
  • Years ago, you took me to play tennis at Darden Towe after dinner one evening and you never played tennis before! But I loved it, and you care about what I care about. Thanks.
  • On a specific family hike when I was little I ran way ahead of everyone else. Then I was too tired to walk back the way we came. I must have done something else bad that I can’t remember because you and Mom were mad, super mad. You beat every bit of energy out of me I had saved. I’ve learned to keep a better pace….
  • Over the years, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in your response to emotional things. Patriotism, death, success stories, simply seeing an athlete accomplish something unattainable, weddings, and even unmemorable things that still provoked tears in some ways. You have come to appreciate and value life in a new, mature, and different way. Even the smaller things get you worked up; you get choked up just watching the big tennis finals when guys like Djokovic win.

You’ve done an excellent job as a father, son, brother, husband, and friend. Thanks for teaching me how to be a man who leans on God. Thanks for marrying an awesome woman. Happy Birthday!
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