• 52°

Father’s Day is a time for the good memories

It’s Father’s Day across the country and it is a day of reflection.

Some thoughts might not be good, but most people look for the better, happier moments that they have had with their fathers.

There are those whose fathers might have died, or, worse, were never around for them. In many cases, they found someone else to fill that void.

Often, young kids turn to their coaches as role models. Many times the coaches aren’t even aware of the influence they have on their players and/or students.

I have been fortunate to have had all of the above.

Two coaches outside of my own father who have had a great influence on me are Bob Lutz and Mike Burcham. They each have two sons who are proud of their fathers and rightly so.

I have learned many a lesson from those two men throughout the years, first as a player and later having the good fortune to cover the teams they have coached. In fact, I still rely on what they taught me in certain situations and I’ll still ask them for advice.

It seems like everyone looks to someone outside of their own family for advice or guidance, for a role model or someone to look up to in tough times.

But what I learned throughout the years having been around coach Lutz and coach Burcham was how much they were like my own father, Emmett Walker.

My father wasn’t into sports that much. He came to all my football games when I was a junior and senior in high school, but he didn’t really understand the intricacies of the game.

But that didn’t really matter. He was there. He just wanted to be a part of my life.

I have always loved sports. I was obsessed. My love of sports confounded my parents. My mother, Rose, often said she must have brought home the wrong baby from the hospital.

My father spent a lot of time just trying to provide for his 10 children. He would work overtime whenever he could. As a father myself, I can understand that now.

This Father’s Day is bittersweet. My father has dementia and doesn’t even know his own wife and children. He isn’t anything like the man I knew growing up.

But I will remember all the good things. And when I reflect on my father today, I know he has taught me some great lessons.

Thank you, Dad, with love from your son.

— Sinatra —

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.