Once upon a time there was a little boy. Nearly ten years old, he lived way out in the country. There weren’t many organized activities or playdates, even friends in the neighborhood. He played Little League in town. Other than that and going to school, he was free to roam the woods with his brothers and sisters. Build forts and such.
Unsung Heroes by allie taylor
This little boy didn’t have much money in his piggy bank, and being an entrepreneurial soul, wanted to earn some. He thought and thought about what he could do to earn some money.
“Maybe I could build something,” he thought. “Sell it, earn some money.”
Then a stroke of genius. He knew exactly what he’d do. Build a gun rack, sell it.
He talked to his dad that night and his dad agreed to help.
“A gun rack is a useful thing that should sell,” said his dad.
That next Saturday he and his dad designed a gun rack on paper. Hunted through the discarded plywood in the garage. His dad helped him with the electric saw, cutting out the pieces and hammering it together. They sanded and stained it. By day’s end, they had a solid gun rack to be proud of.
Monday morning came, and the little boy quivered with excitement. He drew a FOR SALE – $10 sign in big black letters. He lugged the heavy card table down the long hill out front to the mailbox. He set the table up under the oak tree, put the gun rack on top with the FOR SALE sign. Then he sat down in a chair to wait for customers.
It was a quiet country road, and there wasn’t much traffic that day. Every ten or fifteen minutes a car would pass by. Occasionally one slowed, but each one drove right by. People were in a hurry, had places to go, things to do. The day was heating up. He ran inside to get some ice water. By lunchtime he was pretty hot and discouraged. Not one person stopped to see the gun rack. He took a quick break, went in for lunch.
All afternoon he sat out by the roadside with that gun rack. Noone ever stopped. The afternoon was as long as the morning. But hotter.
It was nearly six ‘o clock in the afternoon and the little boy was discouraged. He was ready to pack up the gun rack, table and sign for the day, when in the distance a car approached, slowed down. It parked on the side of the road and a man got out.
He walked over to the table, picked up the gun rack, felt that it was sturdy, well made.
“Nice gun rack you have here,” he said. “You sure did a nice job. So you’re asking $10, huh?”
The little boy nodded. The man fished out his wallet, handed him a $10 bill, bought the gun rack.
That little boy was my big brother John. And that man was his daddy. My daddy too.
I’m tired of seeing how dads are portrayed in sitcoms and the media. Big oafs. Dumb. Glued to the tube, clutching a beer and nachos. Dads who don’t have a clue, aren’t involved. The dads I see in the media seem to be the exception, not the rule.
Because as I look around, I see a generation of dads taking time out for their kids. Coaching their sports teams. Attending school programs. Wrestling on the floor. Reading stories. Cooking dinner. Playing ball. Encouraging and affirming. Helping with homework and carpooling. Changing diapers. Folding laundry. Giving hugs. Loving their wives. I see hardworking fathers providing a living, taking responsibility for the children they brought into the world. Dads who love their families with all their hearts. Contributor dads. I see my friends who are dads. My brothers and brother-in-laws. My Jon. My own dad. These awesome dads are the Unsung Heroes. And they’re the dads we’re thankful for and celebrate today.
Happy Father’s Day to all you great dads out there. You are so loved and appreciated, impacting and shaping our families. Please tell us about your dad today!
And Happy Father’s Day Dad.
Related post: Kindness
Loved this beautiful story. Thank you, Allie.
Many thanks for the kind words, Simone!
Such a sweet story.
Thanks Ell. XO
Aunt Pinkie says
Great story! You and each of our family have/has been blessed with awesome fathers and dads! God bless them!
Thanks Aunt P., you are so right. We sure have some great dads in our family. XO
John Ryder says
Allie, thanks for the reminder. I will never forget this day…
And dad, 35 years ago, and I still remember this day like it was yesterday. You have always been a great role model to me–the way you love mom, the way you love your kids, your grandkids. I admire the way you have navigated through the stormy times…your integrity, your perseverance, your character; all have spoken volumes to me. Even when life, especially when life, gets difficult, as it does from time to time, you have shown me what it is to be a man, and for that, I will always be grateful. I remember sharing at your 50th anniversary these words that are still hanging in a frame at the house.
One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
‘Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife
Love you dad–Happy Father’s Day! Thank you for helping us “set our sails” as we go through life.
Susie Mandel says
Beautiful, Johnny, and I love your tribute, too, Allie! What a dear, dear family you are.
Susie, thank you so much friend, feeling very blessed. Yours is a dear, dear family also. Thinking of your wonderful dad right now. XOXO
Loved this Johnny. Why did I not remember the second verse? All I remembered was the first verse.
Margie Harper says
That was a new story for me from your family memory bank. But your dad is a favorite to me and my husband. He’s all that Johnny depicted him to be and moreso because he’s marked with humility. Thanks for underscoring that there are dads out there who are deeply faithful to their God and to the families He gave them.
Awwww….thanks Auntie M., love you. XO
Such a nice story! I just love the beautiful picture of you two on your wedding day!
Thanks so much Tracy. It’s one of my favorite pics of us. Sure hope your dad is feeling better now and that you are having a good week. XO
Barbara Child says
Such a lovely tribute to fathers and your own especially! Thank you for sharing so beautifully!
Thank you Barbara. Always wish I’d met your parents. I will someday. XO
Linda Jenkins says
Great story, Allie. Reminds me of my dad who worked three jobs to provide for six children. Despite that he always had time for us. He taught me so many things in life, not the least of which was never to give up on my dreams. Even today, if someone tells me I can’t do something, I reply silently, “Really, you just watch what I can do.” Not only do I accomplish exactly what the naysayers thought I couldn’t but also complete it better than they thought possible. Thanks, Dad, for helping me to believe that I could do whatever I set my mind to.
I would have loved to have met your dad, Linda. He was definitely a keeper. Three jobs and six kids. Wow. What a beautiful legacy he left behind….
I am blessed to see so many Christian dads loving God, their wives, their kids. Thanks for reminding us!
Me too, friend. What a wonderful gift. XO
Christy Smith says
Beautiful story and postscript from Johnny too! Uncle Clarke has always been a family favorite!! Thanks Allie for reminding us that our husbands, fathers do important work and they do it well!!
Many thanks Christy. XO
Beautiful story Allie – thanks for sharing!
Thank you Susan. Love and miss you. Hello to all your family!
Allie, Great Story! Johnny has told us some tall tales, but I’ve never heard this one!! 🙂
Many thanks Linda, he was holding out on you….:)
Allie, what a beautiful story! Father’s Day is a little bittersweet for me. I miss my dad but I know he is with Jesus and the memories I have…, man oh man, what great memories.
From the stories you’ve told me, I always wished I met your dad, Denise. He was a funny man. As are you. (Not the man part.)
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says
Allie – I loved this story. It’s really well written and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing you story! My parents divorced when I was four, but my dad was able to spend time with my sister and me on the weekends. He showed us how to fish, bowl, and learn to love sports like he did (especially the Philadelphia Eagles). Although my dad is not perfect, he has tried his hardest to show his daughters life skills and courage.
Dear Erin, many thanks for the kind words. Your dad sounds awesome. (And he’s in good company with the rest of our imperfect dads.) I guess the important thing is our dads cared and they did their best. And not everyone can say that. Thanks for visiting the blog and I hope you have an awesome week!
Jenn @ A Toast to the Good Life says
Oh Allie, how incredibly touching! I love this story. So sweet and genuine. What a wonderful father. Thank you for sharing this!
Hi Jenn, Thanks so much for your kind words and visiting the blog! 🙂 I love that we both have a wedding picture with our dads on our Father’s Day blog post….
Carina Spring says
A wonderful tribute to fathers, and a beautiful (and beautifully told) story. I must admit that I teared up reading this post.
I have to add – I love the picture of you and your dad at your wedding. 🙂
Thank you very much Carina. I was trying to tell this story to my boys at the dinner table a few months back and I couldn’t quite get through it. That’s when I knew I needed to write it for the blog someday. Because it meant a great deal to me. XO And P.S. – I loved your recent post on gratitude….http://www.homehurrah.com/2015/06/14/remember-to-say-thank-you/