My Father-a dedication to all father’s everywhere

This post was written by Valerie on June 15, 2012
Posted Under: Grandma Quotes

My Fathers Grave

My father is buried at Ft. Rosecrans because he served in WWII. He would not talk much about his time in the war but he was stationed  in Guam and my missing son Cameron interviewed him when Cam had a high school project. Cam came back so excited about the things my Dad shared with him about his experiences in the war and Cameron was very impressed.

My father was born in Nebraska on a horse ranch and his father was a famous horse trainer along with my Dad’s uncle. Willie Shoemaker wrote about my grandfather in his book. Many of the old timer horse trainers I got to meet all remembered my grandfather. They did not know about his son, my father.

Dad’s father left his two son’s with his ex-wife and my paternal grand mother. Mae did the best she could but she was not able to always do the best by her sons. My dad was once found on a street in downtown San Diego and Mae had just left him there.

My Dad went to Hoover High School a year younger than Ted Williams the baseball player. Don McDougal and their family who owned the first refrigeration company in all of San Diego adopted my Dad for the most part. Don’s wife Joyce told my Dad about this cute blond who worked with her at Eastman Kodak and introduced them to each other. Both my dad and mom loved dancing-so their bond drew strong and were always dancing. My maternal grand parents always loved my dad even when my parents divorced when I was 7 and my brother was 5.

The things I learned from my father during those years when I did not get to see him as much as I could was how resilient he was. His first occupation was as a butcher but he did not make enough money at just one job so he took another job nights selling cokes and popcorn at the Roller Derby in downtown San Diego around where the convention center stands today. He would take my brother and I to some of those nights at the Derby and even though to this day I can’t roller skate I always loved seeing the men or women skating around the rink and how tough they were. My dad was tough but would always cry when it was time for us to leave him. He lived for a while in a small trailer he rented a “room” from another friend and the only bathroom/showers where just in another building. There was a pool and my dad “taught” me to swim by just tossing me in the deep end of the pool and yelled, “Kick your feet.” I swam.

Reflecting on my father today made me realize that aside for my own love of dancing my Dad taught me I could do anything. I have lots of different jobs, part time News reporter/receptionist for the Pacific Beach Sentinel then run by Clinton D. McKinnon, then Pacific Southwest Airlines as a stewardess (yes the ones that wore the “pettipants” in the late 60’s and early 70’s), as a teacher for the Peace Corp Camp in Escondido, as an ESL teacher ( I am bi-lingual -Spanish) and the list goes on and on. I laugh at myself when I talk about an experience I learned that can help someone and I start with “when I worked as a back office nurse….”. I honestly have done every kind of job I ever wanted to do including teaching art and working with the schools and I attribute my flexibility watching my dad struggle with life and learning how to cope and move forward.


My father had many challenges in his life and he worked hard and even though there were some years we stopped communicating with each other (over my brother’s death) we made up and moved on too.

So what have you learned from your father? What got you to where you are today? I would love to hear from you.

But now I want to dedicate this father’s day to my friend’s daughter Asha and her Dad Lou.

Asha with her father Lou

Lou is someone I have known through my old boss (when I taught art at La Palma in Carlsbad) then through my children that went to the Boy’s and Girl’s club after school in Carlsbad when Lou ran it and through the father of two of my children where Lou has remained a life-long friend.

Lou recently had a stroke and his daughter Asha flew to California to be by his side and to give him hope to recover. She brought him home to her family back East and is helping him with his therapy. She is such a gentle and wonderful soul. She treated everyone with a very special kindness and I believe Lou was a major part in raising Asha and helping her become such a great person. So I dedicate this article to the father that made Asha and to all of you father’s that do so much and are so involved with your children’s lives.

Happy Father’s Day


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