So you think good Daddies are rare? Think again

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 20, 2005

Mark Twain said it best: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But, when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."

OK, while that’s a bit of an exaggeration in my case - I never thought my father was ignorant - Twain’s comment has some truth.

It seems the older we get the more wisdom we can see in our parents and their actions.

Email newsletter signup

Through the years I’ve learned volumes from my father, from the basics of working on cars and other mechanical things to how to handle issues in managing people problems at work.

Today, Dad is retired and, like all of us, growing older. But his wisdom remains.

Lots of folks are quick to tell you what’s wrong with the world today. They’ll point to troubled youth and how things aren’t the way they once were.

Parenting, some of these folks will say, is a lost art. To that, I say, "hogwash."

While I’m not a father, I work with some that seem pretty good to me, and I expect my Dad would approve, too.

In just looking at few Dads here at The Tribune (space will prohibit me from naming them all), I can find a number of amazing Dads.

Long-time sports editor Jim Walker is the first one to come to mind. He and his wife, Treva, are raising five children, each of whom seems polite, well mannered and self-confident.

The next Ironton Tribune All-Star Dad that comes to mind is Richard Duvendeck, our home delivery manager. Richard and his wife, Terri, have two very different, but very well behaved little boys – with a third on the way.

If you talk with our advertising director, Dave Evans, for more than a few minutes, the subject of his two little girls will almost certainly come up in conversation. They are his life.

Lastly, Kitts Hill daddy, Bo Elliott comes to mind. Bo has kept things running in our pressroom for years, which at times can be a highly stressful position. Bo and his wife, Darlene, have two boys, both of whom are among the most polite and courteous I’ve ever met. Obviously, Daddy Elliott has taught them both many lessons on life.

So the notion that parenting, particularly good daddying, has somehow been lost, well, it doesn’t hold much water with me.

Just in my small circle of employees, I have eight good, dedicated Dads working with me.

And each of them would make my Dad proud. Thanks for everything, Dads. Happy Father’s Day.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445, ext. 12 or by e-mail to