My best male friend is my father, James Redd. We talk a couple times a day especially during football and basketball season. It is not uncommon for either one of us to call the other and say, “Hey did you see that play?”
Dad and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye during my teen years. Of course, I would never let him know that I felt that way. It’s not that he ever spanked me or anything. I count on one hand how many spankings I got in my lifetime from him. It was just the fear factor of knowing what would happen to me if I got out of control. Between the ages of 13 and 17 I felt like I was in the army. I didn't realize it at the time but he was raising me to be a man.
The one sport that I do not follow extensively the way my father does is baseball. Dad grew up a baseball fan. He is always telling me stories about the times when he would ride on the handlebars while his cousin, Ray, steered them across the bridge from Phenix City to Golden Park in Columbus to watch baseball games. He saw famous players such as Hank Aaron and Harmon Killebrew. To this day he says one Friday afternoon he saw Killebrew hit the longest homerun ever hit at Golden Park.
During the late 80’s early 90’s my father became ill. Unbeknownst to me, several men played key roles in my life during that time. There was my barber, Mr. Norman Pitts, the man who married my wife and I, the Reverend John Thomas, and my first boss at Total System Services, Lynn Drury. I appreciate these men so much for filling the gap.
My father has accomplished a great deal in his lifetime. He overcame circumstances not unlike many of his generation. He is a man of character and integrity and he has always stood up for what he believed in. With my father, what you see is what you get.
I love him, dearly.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!