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Posted: June 18, 2011 7:44 p.m.

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Rowe: The Greatest Daddy Ever

I thought it only fitting to dedicate this column to My Dad in honor of Father's Day. So, let me tell y'all about my Daddy. There's not enough space here to tell the world what an amazing, wonderful, inspiration you are to me, Daddy, and even summing it up with a few short words doesn't begin to give you the love and honor you truly deserve. My Dad is not just the greatest Dad ever, but a whole lot of things to me - most importantly he is my very best friend and buddy and my partner in crime, and I find new reasons to love and appreciate him more each day than I did before.

I was an only child for almost 7 years and I was definitely Daddy's little girl and always will be. Being a Daddy's girl has its privileges, especially when you're the only girl and Daddy enjoyed doting on me like most fathers do. I wasn't too spoiled during those years as an only child and sometimes I think it was God's divine plan so Dad could spend time with me before my brothers came along. I guess maybe Daddy thought I might be the only child for a while before my brothers came along because I didn't just sit around playing with Barbie dolls and dressing up, but I did win Little Miss Heart Pageant in 1968 and it was Daddy who entered me. Daddy taught me a lot of things like cutting grass, fishing, playing poker and NASCAR. Like most men, Daddy loved cars and trucks and every one he ever owned was candy apple red. Daddy even trusted me to learn to drive in his GMC pickup so my preference to trucks over cars came honest. Daddy also passed on his love for country music to me from the oldies like Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, George Jones to Waylon, Willie and Charlie Daniels.

Daddy would drop me off at school in the mornings and pick me up in the afternoons and I never knew what he had planned afterwards. Most of the time it was getting a snack and going home to start dinner before Momma came home. With my Daddy, there was never a dull moment and he was full of surprises. As my Daddy gets older, I see a lot of his Daddy in him from his ways, mannerisms, mischief, humor and his appearance. Papaw was set in his ways and loved his family more than anything and made sure each of his children and grandchildren knew they were special. Papaw passed away when I was just 7, but those years were filled with lots of strong, loving memories of the greatest Papaw ever. He would go to town a lot of mornings and come back with everything Granny told him not to get, mostly candy, cokes and bananas, which he insisted was for the grand young'uns.

Daddy loved to iron, cook and even do the grocery shopping. Daddy used to go to the grocery store every Thursday after work and buy groceries. Daddy also taught me about hard work, appreciating the simple things and ways of life and good home cooking. Daddy could never turn his back on a dog or cat, even though he wasn't crazy about them, but for us kids, he'd bend the rules. Daddy was real good at that - if Momma said no, all we had to do was ask Daddy. We thought our Daddy was more sensible and understanding than Momma most of the time, except when he sent us to get a hickory switch and then we knew we were in trouble but those times were few because it only took one time to learn that lesson.

Dad would give anybody the shirt off his back if they just asked. In addition to being supervisor over his department for years, outside work Daddy belonged to the Jaycees, volunteered with the Social Circle Fire Department, helped with Toys for Tots and became a member of the Masonic Lodge learning, serving, leading and training others to follow in his footsteps. Even with a full plate, Daddy still made time for the most important thing in his life, his family.

Daddy also loved to have fun - and still likes to pull pranks on people and make them laugh. I think this comes from being the youngest of five boys, ‘cause Granny Stapp has told quite a few stories about Daddy growing up. I think he thought he could get away with just about anything cause he was the baby boy and his older brothers would cover for him, usually cause they were involved too and didn't want to get caught. I remember one time they had a parade in town and at the end of the parade was Daddy riding in his convertible grinning like a Cheshire cat. Every parade needs a clown of course and Daddy was just doing his civic duty. With July 4th coming up, I'm afraid Daddy might have a trick up his sleeve because he's been unusually quiet and that can only mean he's up to something. He found out there's gonna be a parade in our town and everybody is welcome to participate so you might read about us in the paper.

I've learned a lot about life from my Dad, although I may not have understood or agreed with him. Daddy taught me to appreciate the simple things in life and not worry because life is short and sweet and it should be filled with laughter and love. Perhaps the most important thing I've learned from my Daddy is about love. Daddy had a stroke 3 years ago that left him dependent on Momma for many things but he refused to let it change his spirit and love for life. Daddy still has that same spark and sense of humor and this situation has shown others what the real meaning of love is - giving of yourself and putting others first and a spirit of laughter and love that is stronger than ever before.

Thank you Daddy for being my best friend and buddy and filling my life with so much love and laughter. I love you more than anything in the world and I thank God every day for you because I know for a fact I am lucky to have the greatest Daddy in the whole world!

Beth Rowe may be reached at

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