“Lily.” Lesson 6: Stories of the Confederate South

LESSON 6: Stories of the Confederate South “Lily”

This piece of short historical fiction is based on events recorded in the diary of William McCarter. He was a Federal soldier in the famed, Irish Brigade. By telling the story of a young girl who was killed when Charleston, Virginia was shelled, his story illustrates the sad effects of the North’s war on the civilian population of the South. For more examples read War Crimes Against Southern Civilians by Walter Brian Cisco and published by Pelican Publishing.


1. History of West Virginia – West Virginia was founded by Abraham Lincoln’s presidential decree, June 1863.  As this story takes place in October of 1862, Charleston was still part of Virginia, though the opening says (to facilitate modern understanding of geography) the setting is in Charleston, West Virginia. The following site has a good summary of the history. http://www.wvtourism.com/spec.aspx?pgID=149 and one can find a summary of West Virginia’s role in the Civil War.
2. The Suffering of the Innocent in Times of War.
3. The Irish Brigade – Read about their history, uniforms, commanders, and role during the Civil War here: http://irishvolunteers.tripod.com/index.htm
4. The flag of the Irish Brigade: (This information and image of the flag is from: http://www.anyflag.com/history/irish.htm)

irish brigade

This flag is one of five regimental designs  carried into battle by the New York State Volunteer Regiments. The motto written in old Irish tongue means: “Who never retreated from the clash of spears” The motto is thought to have been suggested by the Irish scholar John O’Mahoney.
5. The Richmond Howitzers:  There is a modern day reenactment unit that honors the history of this unit mentioned in the story. You can learn more of them here: http://www.howitzers.com/
6. You can find a biography of General Thomas Francis Meagher at this site: http://irishfreedom.net/Misc.%20news%20items/TFMeagher%20headstone.htm
7. Fenian Brotherhood – One site to learn a little about them is here:
8. Have children sing, “Listen to the Mockingbird.” Read about the origin of the song here: You can find the lyrics here:
9. Have students play a game of checkers.
10. civility – Courteous, polite in word and action. For some thoughtful insights, read this article:


1. transcribe – to listen and record in writing.
2. poncho – in these days rubber coated canvas with a hole that the soldier slipped his head through.
3. gabby – talkative
4. dilemma – A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or mutually exclusive.
5. hamlet – a small village.
6. memento mori – a reminder of death.


Mc Carter, William. My Life in the Irish Brigade: The Civl War Memoirs of Private William McCarter,

116th Pennsylvania Infantry. Ed.Kevin O’Brien. Cambridge, MA: De Capo,     1996.

Jed Marum, an internationally known Irish musician, wrote a song about the little girl mentioned in McCarter’s journal.  You can learn more of Jed Marum at his website:

LYRICS to “Mama’s Lily” by Jed Marum

She was just her Mama’s Lily
A pretty child, curious and bold
As I stood there with Michael O’Reilly
She might have been seven years old
She’d been placed high atop the piano
And arranged there with love and with care
By an African servant, her nanny
Cutting locks of the little girl’s hair
There were tears soaked locks of here hair.

And it’s a hard cold edge to the wind tonight
It’s a bitter wind, cuts to the bone
& cruel is fate when its power and its might
To both guilty and innocent are shown
To both guilty and innocent shown

Charlestown was easily taken
Federal batteries had helped clear the way
When we went down to see,
Michael Reilly and me
The Rebel force had melted away
She’s been standing alone in the window
Watching soldiers retreat south and west
There was nothing to do,
When a cannonball flew
Through the window,
And on through her chest
Tore her arm and her heart
From her breast


Now I know we must fight for the union
But what a terrible price must be paid
And to make this land free,
Michael Reilly and me
Well we joined with the Irish Brigade
Now I look through my tears on this Lily
Shattered before she could bloom …
Still through death on her face
Shine her beauty and grace
Though she died from a terrible wound
And no child should ever die from such a wound.

My Soul to Keep: by Melanie Wells (A Review)

I just finished reading My Soul to Keep (Multnomah Books) by Melanie Wells.  I first met Melanie in January 2008 at Kathy Patrick’s Girlfriend Weekend in Jefferson, Texas. A fiddle player, she accompanied guitarist and singer Trish Murphy, and I was quite impressed with Melanie. After reading her novel, My Soul to Keep,  I am even more impressed. This beautiful and quiet-spoken author is deep water.  She is a counselor in private practice in Dallas and is also the author of When the Day of Evil Comes and The Soul Hunter, two novels I now intend to read.

For anyone who knows and loves to read about Dallas, Wells’ novel is a fine read. I was raised in Dallas, in parts of the city described in the novel, and as I read, forgotten streets and locations were resurrected in my memory.  Wells is a skilled mystery writer, but she also has extraordinary talents in character development. Some children are key to her story, and though it’s tough to make a child’s character interesting and dynamic in an adult novel, Wells pulls it off.  I’ve been an English instructor with universities for many years, and I identified completely with Dylan Foster, SMU professor and the novel’s protagonist. Why? In my fourteen years of adjunct English instruction at three colleges, I have known instructors just like Dylan Foster–sensitive, somewhat eccentric, and passionate. Wells’ story reveals deep research on her part in psychological and paranormal topics.

The novel’s plot is solid, intriguing, and best of all–not predictable. While the novel has an edge to it, there’s nothing repulsive or offensive in its presentation.  Wells’ novel reveals in-depth research on her part into the criminal mind, as well tremendous general insights into human nature. The novel is written so that the pace and intensity increases as you read, and before too many pages, you find yourself solidly, though imaginatively,  a part of Dr. Foster’s world.

Wells has the gift of expression. Her writing is full of wit and understatement both in narrative sections and in dialogue.  This is a novel you should read.Here are are just a few of my favorite lines:

“God has a tendency to not follow my orders, a niggling little policy of His I find quite maddening” (52).

“The manic laughter drained from his expression, leaving the raw hate and the impentetrable mistrust from years of a hard, bottom-scraping life” (291).

“My sink is pristine. My soul could use a can of Comet” (150).

“That was his style–vandalism with a creep-out factor”  (195)

Melanie Wells website has already been mentioned on this blog, but you can find more about her here:

“Manhunter”: Lesson 5 from Stories of the Confederate South

Lesson Five: “Manhunter”


“There is no hunting like the hunting of men, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.”—Ernest Hemingway

Topics for discussion and writing:

1) Discuss who would be manhunters today? (Bounty hunters, criminal investigators, elite soldiers, etc.) What skills are required? How would Chicoilithe have learned his skills? Do you think he enjoyed hunting men? Why? What did Hemingway know of hunting and especially, of hunting men?
2) Chicolithe is a true character. How does knowing this affect your perspective of him?
3) Camp Ford and the lives of the prisoners held there is described in detail at this site: Research and share interesting findings.
4) One of the “red-capped Zouaves” mentioned in the story kept a diary, which you can read here:
5) Discuss the dog Nimrod? Why was he given this name? How is the term Nimrod used today? (Someone foolish or silly) Discuss its original use in the Bible. Tradition says Nimrod was the builder of the Tower of Babel. There are many other legends about the historical Nimrod.
6) Chicolithe’s “Let loose the dogs of war” is a quotation from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Discuss its original context and why Chicolithe uses this quote.
7) Kate Stone from Brokenburn Plantation wrote a famous memoir entitled, Brokenburn. Research Kate Stone and the value of her journal. Find this book, read it, and discuss the life of a young girl in the time of war. Discuss why her family moved to Tyler.
8. Another of Chicolithe’s dogs was named Cerberus. In mythology, In Greek mythology, Cerberus was a vicious three-headed dog guarding the entrance to Hades, the realm of the dead.
9) Another allusion is to Cortez, the Aztecs, and the dogs Cortez used. Research how the conquistadors used the Mastiff in war.

Vocabulary and interesting people mentioned:

1) Molly Moore – a famous poet and writer of the day and in years after the war. She was known as the Texas Songbird. There is a United Daughters of the Confederacy Camp named after her. She really did visit Camp Ford.
2) kepi – type of cap worn by some soldiers.
3) stockade – a fence of built around the prisoners. Camp Ford used pine logs.
4) Jayhawkers – rogue groups of men who terrorized the civilian (and sometimes military) population. Members were often deserters, criminals, escaped slaves, or fugitives from justice.
5) mush – This was made of cornmeal. You can find a recipe for this hot creal and for fried cornmeal mush here: http://southernfood.about.com/cs/cornbread/a/bl30930u.htm
6) muslin – Any of various sturdy cotton fabrics of plain weave, used especially for sheets
7) cypress brake – A brake is an area overgrown with dense brushwood, briers, and undergrowth; a thicket. As cypress trees must have water for at least some of the year, this was then a dense thicket of cypress trees.
8. towhead – a blonde
9) sic – to set the dogs on someone. Compare our “sic’em!”
10. lariats – Used for throwing. In those days in Texas, they were usually made of horsehair or leather.

“The Taking of Jim Limber”

With this post, I continue work on my study guide for my collection of historical short fiction, Stories of the Confederate South.

LESSON #4:  “The Taking of Jim Limber”

Summary of Story: After Jefferson Davis was captured, arrested, and taken to prison at the end of the war, Jim Limber was taken from the Davis family by force.  The child was never seen or heard from again.  When Davis was released two years later, he searched for news of Jim,’s welfare, but other than rumors, he never discovered anything. Remember too that Jefferson Davis was the most powerful and well-known man of the South. He knew everyone important in the South and many who were important in the North.  When any child is taken from a family by force and nothing is heard for years, we tend to assume the worst.  This story assumes the worst, and certainly Jim Limber would not have been the first child of the South—whether black or white—to die at the hands of the Northern invaders.

Both Jefferson and Varina died without knowing what happened to Jim Limber. Those who took Jim away from the Davis family died with the secret. His disappearance remains one of the great mysteries of history.  This story is speculative historical fiction, told from the point of view of one of the soldiers involved in “The Taking of Jim Limber.”  It would be helpful for the student or class to also read, Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House. In addition, it would be helpful for students to use a good data base to find images of many items mentioned in this story.

Opening Epigraph:

“My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer Can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder’?

This epigraph is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  Discuss the original context of the quotation, the tone it sets, and the direction it pushes the story.

Bible Quotation: (Isaiah 57:20)

“But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, said my God, to the wicked . . .”

Latin Quotation:

Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis. (Times change and we change with them)
Discuss the meaning of this quotation in the context of the story. Encourage students to find their favorite Latin quotation.


1. laudanum – liquid, alcoholic, herbal, opium-based medicine.
2. euphoria – feeling of well-being
3. mooring – a place where or an object to which something (as a craft) can be moored b: a device (as a line or chain) by which an object is secured in place
4. undertow – current beneath the surface that sets seaward or along the beach when waves are breaking upon the shore
5. rag parchment – paper made from cotton.
6. secessionist – Synonym for a Southerner, one who believed the Southern states had the Constitutional right to leave the Union.
7. tampion – a plug for the end of the muzzle loading rifles used in the Civil War.
8. slouch hat – a wide-brimmed felt hat.
9. tableau – a frozen moment on stage.
10. the devil’s tattoo – a drumbeat calling soldiers to formation or battle.
11. nimbus – a circle) of radiant light or glory about the head of a drawn or sculptured divinity, saint, or sovereign
12. phantasm – Literally, an image of the fancy or imagination. Suggests a ghost-like appearance.
13. whirli-jig – Also spelled “whirligig.” A child’s toy that made a whirling noise.
14. daguerreotype – an early photograph produced on a silver or a silver-covered copper plate
15. shadenfreude – joy in the suffering of others.
16. canister – encased shot for artillery. Canister made a cannon a giant shotgun.
17. hansom – a light 2-wheeled covered carriage with the driver’s seat elevated behind
18. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Anti-slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
19. “quicklime white beam of the followspot” – 19th century version of a spotlight.
20. abolitionists – Abolitionists wanted to abolish slavery.  However, some abolitionists were prejudiced, and though they wanted to end slavery, they did not want people of color in America at all.

Themes: (To write about or discuss)

1. Prejudice existed in the North as well as in the South during the Civil War.
2. In war, the innocent and the children often suffer.
3. Jim Limber was the first black American to be a member of a presidential family.
4. The power and pain of a guilty conscience.

Here is a photo of Jim Limber:

Jim Limber

Lesson #3: Stories of the Confederate South

LESSON #3   “Jasmine”

Setting: New Orleans after it’s been captured and occupied by Federal forces.

Helpful Study Aids Attached:  (Because they would have taken too much space the blog, I’ve not included them, but if you write me <rickeyp@bayou.com> I’ll gladly mail you the pictures)

Map of Civil War New Orleans
Butler Chamber Pot
Map of Camp Ford
General Order  28

Study Questions and Topics:

1. Research the 6th Louisiana. They were known as the Fighting Tigers.
2. Frederick was from Jack County, Texas and was a Federal soldier.  Two thousand Texan men fought with the Union Army during the War Between the States. Some parts of Texas were against secession.
3. Research burial customs in Louisiana There is an indirect reference showing why New Orleans (and much of South Louisiana) uses above ground crypts and tombs.
4. Research General Order 28 and discuss how it affected New Orleans and how the citizens responded to it.
5. Frederick had spent time in Camp Ford in Tyler, Texas. Research this prison camp and create an illustrated map or model of the camp. The site of the camp is located just off Highway 271 outside of Tyler Texas.
6. Research Benjamin Franklin Butler, known as “The Beast.”  Discuss why he was so despised.

Special Vocabulary:

1. Tafia – a low grade rum made of sugar cane.
2. Vieux Carré – the French Quarter
Texas in the Civil War: You can see details of an excellent Civil War exhibit at the Old Red Museum here:

Lesson Two: “Just Another Confederate Prisoner”: From Stories of the Confederate South

Opening Epigraph by Oscar Wilde: This epigraph is from Wilde’s poem, “Ballad of Reading Gaol” (pronounced “redding jail”). What tone does this epigraph set for the story and what truth does it teach us?

“The vilest deeds like poison weeds
Bloom well in prison air;
It is only what is good in Man
That wastes and withers there;
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
And the Warder is despair.”

Background of the Story: Since its beginning, West Monroe High School’s mascot has been Johnny Reb. They are a 5A school with high academic standards with a nationally known football team, The West Monroe Rebels. The school’s website is here: Several efforts have been made to force them to change their mascot and the use of the Confederate Battle Flag. These efforts have been resisted by school officials, students, and alumni. The Supreme Court refused to make the school change the mascot. For more similar society and school related issues, go this site and do some research: http://www.dixieoutfitters.com/heritage/news2.shtml.

1. avatar – an incarnation of a god in human form.
2. Deo Vindici – The official motto of the Confederacy, meaning, “God will vindicate us.”
3) Gestapo – Hitler’s secret police before and during WWII.
4) Reconstruction – the period in the South after the war ended.


Writing: TLW create an original essay or a speech and visual presentation of one of these topics:

1). Using this story as a starting point, discuss how the war in the Middle East affects American families.
2) Joseph has the words to “I’m a Good Ole Rebel” on a tee shirt. Research the origin of the song, the movies the song has been in, and the tone and meaning of the lyrics.
3) Research the treatment of Confederate prisoners in northern prisons, (POW), and identify the philosophy of Federal treatment of prisoners. There are many Internet sites related to Civil War prisons and the History Channel produced one of Camp Douglas called 80 Acres of Hell. How does Joseph’s new knowledge of the soldiers’ lives in Rock Island Prison affect him? How do his new insights relate to the theme(s) of the story?
4) Joseph and his father were members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. (SCV). Research and report on the Sons of Confederate Veterans organization. Be sure and communicate basic facts about them: Membership requirements, purpose and work of the organization, their work with cemeteries and memorials, historical work, and prominent writers.
5) Write or discuss the symbols scattered through the story and how the story addresses the stereotypical thinking of people.
6) Create a detailed and accurate model of Rock Island Prison.
7) This story is set in modern America. What does the story’s conflict reveal about the issues, then and now?

Study Guide for Stories of the Confederate South

I felt the need to create a study guide to help the many teachers purchasing Stories of the Confederate South. So for my blog entries, I’m going to try to enter one a day–one for each story in the book. Today is devoted to the collection’s opening epigraph and to “Deo Vindici,” a poem.


OPENING EPIGRAPH:”The real war will never get in the books.”

1) Discuss or research Walt Whitman, America’s Bard of Democracy, author of Leaves of Grass. He wrote several Civil War poems himself. Whitman was a nurse in the Federal Army.

2. Define of epigraph: “A quotation set at the beginning of a book, story, poem or other literary work that suggests a theme or helps set a tone.”

3. Discuss or freewrite about the meaning of this quotation. Why would he say such a thing? Was America ready for the truth about the war then? Is it ready now? What if historical research reveals that we’ve been taught some things incorrectly?

Notes for Deo Vindici


This is a performance poem, designed to be read aloud, and to be read with fire and feeling. A study could be made of oratory or of famous orators during the Civil War.

2) Vocabulary:  A quiz may be constructed from these words.  The students should definitely know the meanings of the words before they read the poem.  As some variant spellings are used in the poem, this too can be discussed. Many of these words lend themselves to discussion and historical and cultural discovery.  Each of these terms can be developed further in projects.

1. Deo Vindici – Latin for “God will vindicate us.”  This was the official motto of the Confederacy.

2. neocon – an abbreviation for neoconservatives, the new conservatives.

3. Leonard Skynard – A famous Southern Rock Band.

4.  Chivalry – A code of conduct for medieval knights that emphasized qualities such as oyalty to God, king, country, and friends; respect for ladies; courage in battle; truth and honesty in life; and protecting and helping the weak, helpless, innocent, and poor.

5. Civility – Possessing good manners, politeness, courtesy and demonstrating the qualities of being “civilized.”

6. Bonny Blue – Usually spelled, “Bonnie Blue.” It was a very popular flag of the Confederacy, and a very popular song was written about it, “The Bonnie Blue Flag.” Here is an image of the Bonnie Blue.

bonnie blue

7.  Sharecropper – a farmer who earns a portion of the crops he works or pays the landlord a share of the crops he raises in lieu of rent.

8. Belles – A Southern lady.

9. Cajun – A descendent of the  French speaking Acadians who were expelled from Canada by the British and settled in the Gulf Coast region, centered around Louisiana.

10. Creole – a descendent of the original French and Spanish colonists of Louisiana.

11. Tejanos – Texans of Mexican or Spanish descent.

12. Isleños – Spanish colonists from the Canary Islands who settled in Louisiana in the late 1700s.

13. Celts – A person of  Irish, Scottish, Welsh descent.

14, Gullah – A member of a group of blacks inhabiting the sea islands and coastal districts of South Carolina, Georgia, and northeastern Florida.  They do have their own dialect.

15. Geechi – Often spelled “geechee.” Also describes the people along Coastal South Carolina and Georgia.

1) Create a collage that represents this poem.
2) Research in detail one of the groups of people named in the poem.
3) Create a music CD of the different types of music and of the songs or artists mentioned.

12 Skills Southern Fathers Can and Should Teach Their Sons

After I incubate on this topic, I’ll have a post with a list about what Southern Fathers can teach their daughters. I was fortunate because I raised both a boy and girl. It’s a great thing being raised in the South. I really don’t think I could live anywhere else. I wanted to list here (with a few comments) a dozen things Southern can teach their sons when they’re young.  I know the list changes with age and perhaps regions lived in, and there are many other skills that could have been listed here, but here is a list of what I think is important for a Southern boy to learn:

1. To sharpen a knife: This is a skill he will need all his life, so the younger he learns this the better. Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones.

2. To fish or hunt: You know the saying–Give a man a fish and you feed him for a meal. Teach him how to fish and you’ve fed him a lifetime. And I think all methods are important–rod and reel, cane pole, trot-line, nets, box traps. Fishing is great in the South. Same for hunting.

3. To type: This is really not hard to do. Teach him the correct finger positions and call out the letters, numbers, and symbols he should type.  I personally think a manual typewriter is best for this. Work him up to forty words a minute, and he will always be able to find work.

4. Teach him how to play different sports and encourage him to join organizations (Scouts, etc.):  He may not stick with any of them. He may not even like them, but if he knows he can make an intelligent decision about it. Besides, sports are good for a boy in this couch-potato, television numbed age. I really believe there is a physical sport for every and any boy. The more he learns the better. Time and talent will reveal the one(s) he excels in. Look for scholarship trends and opportunities.

5. To read and use a map:  Very practical. Teach him perspective of distance and awake curiosity of new places. (Internet can help you with these matters). You can use a topographical map to teach compass use and about terrain when hunting.

6. To follow written directions to make or do something: A boy who learns to read instructions will be way ahead of the pack.  Too many boys live by, “When all else fails, read the instructions.”

7. To tie knots. We will always need to know how to secure items and accomplish tasks with rope and string.

8. To take photographs: One doesn’t regret taking too many photographs as much as “not” taking them.

9. To keep a scrapbook, diary, or create collections. Collections often teach the boy as he’s making them.

10. To defend himself and others. There’s no reason a boy or those important to him or the innocent about him should be victims. He will thank his father later for such training.

11. To start and build a fire (several different ways), to learn to swim, and other survival skills.

12. To work and to make money from that work.  A boy who doesn’t learn how to work won’t be worth spit.

There are many other skills and needs I could have put on this list, some that relate more to the spiritual and social side of a boy, but perhaps these will get you thinking. This list may be reproduced and used freely as long as you give me and the Southern Missive blog credit.

Thoughts on Ghosts

I’ve been thinking of ghosts a good deal lately. I think it started with my trip to Greenville, MS and staying up late that Friday night 7wapping ghost stories. I heard some doozies!  Enough to make you believe. Also, while in Jefferson, TX last Friday, I went on a ghost tour. The walk through Jefferson lasted about two hours. Evidently Jefferson is the seventh most haunted city in Texas. There were about twenty people strolling along with the tour. Some were really into ghosts.  A few were members of paranormal societies. Most of the ghosts discussed are rather peaceful spirits, but a couple of ghosts were malevolent. I was surprised to see how many people live in haunted houses. I guess they’ve made their peace with the ghosts who live there. I would be afraid that I would tick the ghost off in some way and they would flip out in some macabre manner and take it out on me.

Here is a photo of the ghost tour guide, Jodi. She is quite knowledgeable of Jefferson’s history and ghosts.


Louisiana, like Texas, has its share of ghosts. I am particularly interested in ghosts of the Civil War. That will be my next ghost search.


Tomorrow, I’ll be at the Grapevine Public LIbrary, presenting my Scots-Irish program for about 100 kids. Should be a great day. Hopefully, I return with a pic or two and a good report on it.

Thoughts on Father’s Day: What is a father?

Today is a tough entry. I have two fine children: Rachel, a RN at St. Francis Hospital; Zachary, a surveyor; and I have two grandchildren through Rachel, Mason (age 3 years) and Davis (a few days old). I’m not sure though I could call myself a good father, or that I even know what a good father is. I think my father was a good one. He was strict, but not too overbearing, totally devoted  to our family, and the hardest working man I’ve ever seen.  I think of this song by Holly Dunn when I think of him:

I remember Daddy´s hands, folded silently in prayer.
And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare.
You could read quite a story, in the callouses and lines.
Years of work and worry had left their mark behind.
I remember Daddy´s hands, how they held my Mama tight,
And patted my back, for something done right.
There are things that I´ve forgotten, that I loved about the man,
But I´ll always remember the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

I remember Daddy´s hands, working ’til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I´d live my life again.
And never take for granted the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love …..
In Daddy´s hands.

My daddy had a hard life–much harder than mine, and I wonder how he kept his ideals so intact. He was one who ALWAYS kept his word. For example, he promised his mother he’d never drink, and he never has, and as far as I can tell, that’s the only reason he hasn’t. God knows when I was growing up I gave him enough reason to. Here’s a short list of what I think a Father is:

A father is a trainer.  (he Hebrews said, “He who doesn’t teach his son a trade teaches him to steal.”)

A father is a protector. (He often protected me from myself)

A father is a teacher. (I could have learned more)

I won’t see my father on this father’s day, but I will call him. How can I tell him how much I love him? How can I tell him how grateful I am for all he did for me? I can only try.

More tomorrow.