Father still missed after 20 years

Next Mon?day it will be 20 years since my father died of a massive stroke. For the first couple of years I didn?t think it was fair that he should die so young. By today?s standard, 74 is quite young. And he appeared as healthy as a horse at the time.

As the years went by and I observed my friends? fathers die, I came to realize that death is a part of living. When I thought about so many others who lost their dads during the pre-teen years or even younger, I realized how lucky I was to have had mine as a role model for the first 44 years of my life.

Most people know my dad as a school administrator. Actually, he got his start in education as an industrial arts instructor. Other than selling pots and pans door to door when he was young, his whole life was dedicated to education.

He spent 13 years of his career in Hillsboro. Growing up as the son of the principal wasn?t the most fun experience for me. If I got in trouble at school it was double trouble? I also was in trouble at home.

It was painful to see what some kids did to him when he was their principal. All he was trying to do was make them better citizens and prepare them for the world they were soon to experience.

At home, we had an understanding about school. I didn?t share what I knew about what went on behind the scenes and he didn?t ask.

My dad also loved music, fishing, woodworking and golf?possibly in that order. One of the best experiences I had with him was a fishing trip to Canada, and we shared many fun fishing trips to Minnesota lakes of all sizes and in many locations.

For the people who thought he was gruff in school, I will say that through the years he mellowed.

I regret some of the things I did that disappointed him, but he supported and loved me anyway.


When you can no longer get a pizza for $10 you will know the recession is over.


What has happened with packaging? Everything is smaller but the price stays the same, right? Nope, the price is going up a lot. Less for the same price is a big increase, in my books.

You?ve seen it in gum and candy bar packaging. Ice cream no longer is packaged in half gallons but as 1.75 quarts. And now the one I noticed the most?soda pop comes in a 20-pack, not 24 pack. Might have to quit drinking the stuff.


Alumni checklist for this week: Buy banquet tickets by Thursday, May 20. Go to the Free Press Web site and look for the Trojan head on the right side of the home page or stop by the Hillsboro Chamber office.


A woman was sitting at a bar when suddenly she sneezed. The force of the sneeze sent her glass eye flying from the socket.

A gentleman sitting nearby reached out his hand, skillfully caught it and gave it back to her.

The woman was thankful and began a conversation with the man. She then invited the man to her house and fixed him a five-course dinner. He was impressed with her gratefulness and asked if she treated every man she met that way.

?No,? she said. ?You?re the first one who caught my eye.?


I am not allowed to talk about pocket knives at home anymore. Not only do I write about my pocket-knife episodes, I tell everyone we see. So I guess it?s getting old.

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