SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Dad made all the difference

Published: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 05:16 PM.

Dad shared his love for the University of Tennessee Volunteers with me. Dad was a Volunteer fan so it seemed only natural that I too became a Tennessee fan. We only saw four UT games together live and in person, but we watched countless others together on TV.

Even though we lived 400 miles apart, we managed to watch the games together. Dad would be in his favorite recliner at his place and me in my favorite chair at home as we cheered on the Big Orange.

As is the case with most good fathers, Dad took time to not only teach me the basics of sports but the basics of life as well.

He taught me many of those life lessons as we threw an old baseball around the backyard. The most important lesson he taught me during those long ago games of catch is to take time for those you love.

I know Dad might not have always felt like playing catch, but he was making time for me that I'll always treasure. He was forming a bond that remained strong right up until the very end of his life and, I believe, will last forever.

I could tell you of the years he worked for the railroad or the years afterward that he spent as a Baptist preacher. There were years, before he became a preacher, that were spent coaching youth league sports in Gulf Breeze and working with kids at First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze.  

Dad was many things to many people, but I was his only son.

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