Memories of my father…

Published 11:48 pm Saturday, June 18, 2011

After asking around and posting on our Item Staff Facebook page, we received many responses from locals who have so many  vivid memories of their fathers, some of whom are still with them and others who have passed on.

Author, Manthie Hayes, says, “The love my daddy has shown me all of my life helps me to better relate to the love of God for His children. I don’t know that a child could ask for any better gift from a parent. I am truly blessed.”

Mark Stockstill, Administrator of Highland Community Hospital, says, “(My father was) a man of strong character; he held me accountable for my actions and taught me that integrity is above reproach.”

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Picayune City Manager, Jim Luke, says one of his favorite memories of his father, James Luke, is how he and a fellow truck driver helped save a town in Tennessee from what could have been a devastating fire in its retail and civic sections.

Jim Luke’s mother Mary, still has a  paper clipping from the Tennessee paper on how in the early morning of October, 2,1953, his dad and his truck driving partner, P.D. Sexton, found themselves driving through Decaturville, Tenn. (population 514) when they spotted a fire in its early stages in the middle of the small town.

Without hesitation, they immediately used their air horns on their tractor-trailer rigs to wake up the sleeping citizens. This timely alarm and their personal assistance helped the town to bring the blaze under control.

Luke says, “By October 5,1953 a letter from the grateful citizens was on its way to the Cook Truck Lines headquarters located in Memphis, Tenn., praising Luke and Sexton. According to the city mayor at the time, Mayor Will T. Rogers, the drivers prevented destruction of an entire block of stores and the courthouse square.

“The citizen’s raised $72 to be equally divided between the two men; Mayor Rogers requested Cook Truck Lines let them and all the other drivers know they were contributing to the safety and conservation of the resources of the state of Tenn. as they go about their jobs. They were creating good will for themselves, their employers and the trucking industry.”

Business owner, Steve McDonald, says, “My father gave my brother and I the support and guidance that we needed as we grew up. He set a great example for us in everything he did. Even though he’s been gone for over 40 years, I still think of him each day and miss him very much! Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you!”

Attorney and brother of Steve, Buddy McDonald, says, “My father was very calm, quiet and laid back most of the time. He left for work early and came in late many times. I always felt he loved and cared for us. He fought in WWII but seldom discussed it and came home to marry, have children and do his duty quietly as a citizen; teaching us to love our country.

“Dad was very respectful and caring with his Father and Mother.

“I never heard him not say ‘Yes Sir’ or ‘Yes ma’am.’ He showed them both the respect they deserved his entire life which set the example for Steve and I in our actions with respect to our Mother and Father.

“‘Honor your father and your mother: That your days may be long on the land which the LORD your God gives you.’— Exodus 20:12, was a Commandment we saw carried out by our Father and Mother with respect to their parents everyday they were alive.”

 Anita Johnson, remembers, “My daddy was born in the early ’20’s, one of 14 children, and served this country in WWII in the Navy on the USS BILOXI. (He) married my mother in ’48,  fathered five children. He was not a man to say “I love you” or show feelings of love toward us older kids.

“I saw him cry when my sister who was named after him died at the age of 15. He worked hard to support us, did without himself, and tried to provide us with a home, food, and clothing (like the Bible says).”

We hope you spend this day with a heart full of love for the man (or men) that gave so much to help make you the person that you are.