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June 12, 2013

Father's Day a good time to say 'Thanks'

In a few days, we will recognize our dads in honor of Father’s Day, a special celebration since 1910, to say, “Thanks, Dad, for all you do.”

I’m not naive enough to think that all fathers live up to TV-dad Ward Cleaver (”Leave it to Beaver”) or Robert Young in “Father Knows Best.” I would like to give a pat on the back to fathers who try their hardest to do a very challenging job, to raise children in a time when many just walk away from the problems.

My dad, Artie McGibbon, died when he was 50 in 1974. It was too young for a man to leave us. He had worked hard as a farm boy, served his country in World War II and brought his war bride (my mom) back to his homeland to start a family. 

He farmed, worked construction, drove the bookmobile for many years and was director of transportation for Malone schools when they discovered the cancer. I never thought anyone would be able to fill in for him in our lives. I was wrong.

My stepfather, Frank Goddard, showed a lot of bravery when he married my mother in 1989 in Westville. Mum went to England after Dad died to help take care of her aging mother, and she met Frank. He was a bachelor. I guess you could say no woman turned his head like my mother did. His days consisted of hard work at a butcher’s shop and playing darts at the local pub. 

Hauling half a beef on your shoulder around a meat warehouse is a hard job, but Frank’s steadfast dedication to hard work had been set when he helped support his mother and siblings after his father died. His time spent in the pub wasn’t just sipping a few bitter ales because English pubs are more like social clubs. He didn’t just play darts, he had won several championships over many years and had a long list of “mates” who patted him on the back when he walked in the door. 

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