The values passed on by dads

Published 7:06 pm Monday, June 17, 2019

Sometimes, I feel that fathers do not get the credit they so deserve. I remember during my coaching days at East Carolina when players were interviewed on television that they always would say, “Hi, Mom,” leaving out their dads. Readers have seen that also and did it make you wonder? I know our best buddies were our moms because she seemed to lighten the blow when Dad got home and was told of our misgivings.

Our dads were the role models we aspired to become. They worked and sacrificed so that we all could have more than we deserved. My dad worked three jobs to give Rose Ann and I the advantages he and Mom wanted for us. He never asked for a “pat on the back” or for us to feel sorry for him, instead, he apologized to us for missing a game or a school event.

My dad enjoyed work! He left the cleaners and headed to the farm most of the time, carrying me with him to prove the value of an education. He only asked that I try to take advantage of and value the power that knowledge could provide. He never had a formal education and wanted that more than anything for both of us.

Dads taught us to not feel sorry for ourselves when we failed. Failure was a part of success! A son can never succeed until he fails a few times and gets up and tries again, always using the lessons he learned from his failure to succeed the next time he attempted that chore. Once, when I was a senior in high school, I had been told by an orthopedic that I needed surgery on my knee. This would take away from my senior year playing for the Pam Pack. Naturally, I was feeling sorry for myself and was crying like a baby. My dad took me to Main Street and introduced me to a man who had no legs. Tears went away and that was a teachable moment in my life that I will never forget.

I have said in other articles that it takes a community to raise a child. That is the beauty of our hometown. Men with last names like Singleton, Gerard, Renn, Wilder, Wagner, Chapin, Alligood, Smith, Litchfield, Tayloe, Lewis and Cochran all helped me in my formative years, and I will always be indebted to them and so many more. They taught us the values that hard work and sacrifice sometimes come at the cost of missed pleasures, they will always pay dividends that will last a lifetime.

Please let me wish all dads a belated Happy Father’s Day, and thank those who are still alive and those who have passed away, a sincere “Thank you“ from the bottom of my heart! Also, to you, the readers, for sharing your Dad with me and many others in our hometown. It is my hope that you took time to thank your Dad for all they did, if only for a few moments. They deserve that!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, NC!

— Harold Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.