By Ron O’Clair
My father had seven children, and was married to my mother for 20 years before they were divorced. I was the fifth of seven children that bared his name. I lost my father when I was just 18 years old, two years after my mother also passed away.
I did not have the benefit of having my parents around to guide me in my later years, but I can proudly say that the lessons they taught me while they were alive were lasting ones. My father John Edward O’Clair Sr. had a strong sense of right from wrong, and a healthy respect for the law, as do I.
He served in uniform to protect America from her enemies during World War 2, and did not shirk from his duty as so many did in later years by evading the draft for Vietnam. I put this down to his own ideals of what it is to be a man. A man does not fail to honor his obligations, or he could not hold his head high, proud to be a man. My father honored his word, and enjoyed a reputation of honesty, integrity, and earned his reputation the old fashioned way, he worked for it. Continue reading My Dad taught me well
By Chris Horton
Today it’s very hard to be a father, and that can be hard for everyone in the family.
For men, who see our ability to bring home a paycheck as a big part of what makes us a man, of what makes us worthy to belong to a family, not being able to provide for them can be devastating. But we are worth much more than that to our children. This is a good day for us and for our families to reflect on what we’re worth, what we bring, why we’re needed.
Times are hard, and it’s natural to feel that it’s our fault, our personal failure. The “great ones”, the ones who’ve made it and the ones who were “born on third base and think they hit a triple”, are trying to blame this disaster on us and get us blaming ourselves and on each other for it, but it’s really not our fault. When you’re struggling to survive and it’s not working, you have to keep on trying – and to do that well you have to take responsibility for the results you get. But when it’s not working no matter how hard you try because of things beyond your control, there’s nothing to be gained and everything to lose from beating yourself up, drugging yourself and taking it out on your family.
Unemployment levels are higher than at any time since the Great Depression. The De Facto Unemployment Rate (DUFR, calculated by the Center for Working Class Studies, counting everyone who would be working full time if they could but can’t) is hovering around 30%. And that’s not Dad’s fault. Continue reading Tough times
By Matt Wexler
“Let me push it!”
Dad chuckled to himself, and let go of my fidgeting 4-year-old hand. It shot out instantly, reaching in vain for the button that would take the elevator to the 31st floor. Even on my tip-toes, my outstretched finger could reach only up to floor three.
“Hey sport, let me give you a boost.”
He lifted me high into the air, and the button lit up as I pressed it. I squealed with glee, almost dropping the hot dog my held in my other hand. As Dad set me down, I felt the elevator moving upwards, each floor number lighting up as we passed it.
“I can’t wait!” I exclaimed, as I took a bite out of the hot dog. Some of the ketchup spurted out of my mouth, staining my shirt. Dad smiled at me, and leaned down to wipe up the mess. Continue reading A day out with Dad