Project Reader Reaction
Project: Reader Reaction participants were asked to share stories about their fathers. Some responses:
“My father is one of the best when it comes to being a family man. I have never known him to lose his temper with any of us, no matter how upsetting we could be. It was just my sister and I, so he had three females in the family to deal with and I can honestly say that he came through with flying colors.
“He could do anything around the house and the car, and if he didn’t know how to do something he found out how to do it. I have learned so much from my father when it comes to fixing things around the house, although I refuse to change my oil in the car.
“He is a good Christian man and we grew up in the Presbyterian church, believing in God and morals that may have slipped a little in our teen years. But all in all we were lucky to have a father (and mother) like we did.
“He was always a hard-working man and my sister and I learned that to get ahead in anything you had to work for it and not wait around for it to be handed to you.”
— Ardyth Elms, Clovis
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“This is a story about my dad that goes back 75 years.
“At the time, Plain, Jordan and Forrest schools were consolidated into the Forrest High School.
“They gave four or five contracts to different ones to provide transportation to school. My dad got one of the contracts and had to have a new truck. He bought the truck chassis at Tucumcari and had to hire a bed built on the chassis. When it was ready, he drove the Model T to Tucumcari and exchanged it for the bus. He had never driven anything but the Model T and the dealer’s instructions to new owners was limited.
“Papa did manage to get the bus from Tucumcari up the Caprock and home. Of course he wanted to show the bus to my grandma and grandpa, so we all loaded up and he drove to Plain to show off. He parked at the back of the house and when we got ready to leave, Papa got the bus confused with the Model T.
“He got the bus in reverse and was backing into the house. He knocked the porch post down and his foot was still on the foot feed with grandma out there yelling, ‘Stop it Jimmy, stop it.’ He would have put the bus in the house but the porch was too high.”
— Mac McDonald, Clovis
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“When we were a lot younger, my dad took us on a trip into New York City. We were down around Wall Street and he saw this restaurant that had some flashing neon which read, “lates & iches.”
Right away he said we had to go in there becasuse “lates & iches” must be some wonderful Gaelic restaurant that we’d all love.
“We just looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders. We had no idea what Gaelic food was. So in we went and found ourselves in a rather seedy bar with the Yankees playing baseball on TV.
“The bartender gave us menus and my dad asked about the traditional food promised by the sign. The guy just looked at us with a cigar hanging from his lip and said, ‘Oh, that. Last week one of the patrons got a little rowdy and smashed the first part of it. It used to read ‘hot plates and sandwiches.’
“So much for my dad’s great Gaelic restaurant.”
— Christy Mendoza, Clovis
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“I grew up thinking it was normal for dads to sleep at the kitchen table drunk every night.
“He never played ball with me but taught values that I still try to live by today. He would hold up his left fist and say ‘This one will kill you,’ and then his right fist and say ‘I’m afraid of this one.’
“I said I wouldn’t cry at his funeral … but I did.
“You never know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.”
— Joe Christopherson, Clovis
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“My father was a great guy, but the world’s funniest and most peculiar eater. Eggs were breakfast food. Sandwiches were a lunch-time meal only. Since lunch was to be eaten every day at noon, my father would not eat eggs after noon. And he would not eat a sandwich before noon. No matter how hungry he might be.”
— John Kirby, Portales
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“I could talk about my father for hours and anyone that knows me knows I will, given the opportunity. He wore many hats during his lifetime.
“He was a war hero. He obtained a Silver Star, two Purple Hearts with clusters and the Navy Cross by the time he was 18.
“He was a meat cutter by trade. He was a city commissioner for a time. He was a police commissioner and the love of his life was when he was a judge. He was known as the hanging judge by those he judged and a supporter of justice for those in law enforcement.
“He loved all outdoor sports and he loved woodworking. He was a God-fearing man who loved his sons, his wife his grandchildren and his country.
“He was an inspiration to others and, in my book, one hell of a man.”
— Jim Sitterly, Clovis
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“My father was Frank Burris. He was born in l903 and raised on a farm near Hamilton, Kan. He and Mother were married in l922 and raised two boys and two girls. In l937, they moved to Eureka, Kan., where my father leased the Mobil garage there until his untimely death at age 46 in l950. By then, they owned their home and had no debts.”
— Harold Burris, Clovis