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Education Matters: Happy Father's Day to my anchor

June 16, 2011|By Dan Kimber

Editor's Note: Numerous instances of plagiarism have been discovered in Dan Kimber’s “Education Matters” column, which ran in the News- Press from September 2003 to September 2011. In those columns where plagiarism has been found, a For the Record specifying the details will be appended to the piece.


Years ago I wrote about my father once coming very close to taking a strap to me and my brothers for igniting lines of gasoline in our garage, “just to watch the flames,” as we told our horrified mother who happened upon the scene.

She said what mothers have been saying since the beginning of time: “Just wait until your father gets home.”

As it turned out, we were saved from what would have been the only physical punishment from my father, ever. It’s a long story that involves our collie, Hoppy, who was our protector, and who grabbed on to my father’s pants now made looser by a belt he was holding over his sons. This brought into view his patterned boxers (little hearts and flowers) and our fear of being strapped quite suddenly turned into a strained effort not to laugh, in keeping with the situation, but it was just too funny.

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When we saw a smile come across our father’s face — himself realizing just how ridiculous he looked — we knew we were saved. He managed a “Damn it, don’t ever do that again” and stormed away still angry but overruled completely by his sense of humor and his clear memory of what he was like as a boy.

My dad passed away 30 years ago, but he is still very much alive in my memory. Of his five sons, I was the “chip off the old block,” and that was the finest compliment that anyone could pay to me when I was growing up. From my earliest years, he was the one I most wanted to please.

When I was about 8 or so, one “good boy” from him had me sailing through the day. Same for when I was 18, only then it was a certain look he got that didn’t need words to tell me that he was proud of me. Years later in raising my daughters, I wanted to be that kind of father for them.

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