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My Dad
A Remembering
I had a good relationship with my dad. My dad was an early riser. I got that from him. Even if I was out late drinking with my buddies, I made sure I got up at seven, even if I had a terrible hangover, and I’d help him. He was always working on something, the car, the house, doing a side job.
He worked 32-years for the local prison. He was the HVAC guy and then the chief engineer. When the warden changed, he brought in his own chief engineer and Dad went back to being the HVAC guy.
The chief engineer, warden, head of the riot squad, those kind of people and their families lived on the prison grounds. This was a model prison. People would come from other states and countries to see how it was done. It was 95% self-sufficient, made furniture for the government buildings, did it’s own auto-repair. My dad even had trustees trained in engineering and HVAC who would get first crack at fixing a problem. Men like to work and the prison gave them that instead of letting them rot and also helped them acquire a skill for when they got out.
Once one of my dad’s trustees escaped and the State Police—who and a barracks nearby, staked out the house, thinking the trustee would come to my dad for help. That wasn’t happening.
Once this drunk just happened by and tried to steal my dad’s car. Dad ran outside and tackled him and then called the police. But the prison and the housing are in this weird cross jurisdiction and neither department wanted to come pick the guy up. My dad said, “Hey, If I throw him over the fence, will you take him then?”
No, they didn’t want this guy. So he called the State Police and they came and got him. My dad worked hard his whole life and I remember, once, after he bought us this membership for the pool to go swimming, that we got home from swimming and he came home from work completely exhausted and I realized, “Wow, this man literally does everything for us…he’s pouring his life out at work so we can have it good.”
Unfortunately, working in HVAC all of those years, Dad got asbestoses and lung cancer. He made it to 72. It was hard to see him go, even though he was wasting away. I don’t really believe in all of this depression stuff—this virtually feel-sorry-for-me cult—we have today. But after my dad passed it literally seemed like the sun didn’t shine anymore.
-A Grateful Son, Joliet Illinois, 8/13/20, sitting in a driveway on a folding chair
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roo_sterJanuary 17, 2021 12:25 PM UTC

The death of a good man is not just a tragedy to his family and friends. It diminishes us all. It is part of our obligation as good white men to produce more of the same, to keep back the darkness however one may define it.