Echoes From the Campfire

Money was no yardstick of a man’s worth.”
               –Elmer Kelton  (The Good Old Boys)

     “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.  These things are good and profitable to men.”
               –Titus 3:8 (NKJV)
Many times Father’s Day is on my Dad’s birthday.  It is fitting that I write something about Dad, and Father’s Day.  My Dad died fairly young, he was 57.  It was a drowning “accident”.  There are still questions on the books if it was an accident or if he was killed.  I have my own thoughts on that, but this is not the place nor time for that discussion.
     Dad was born in 1922, the first to Robert and Ollie Adkisson, back in Williams, Oklahoma.  It was a coal-mining/farming community.  By the age of 12, Dad was doing most all of the farm work, while Grandpa worked in the coal mines.  In 1936, the family moved to the region near Pitkin, Colorado where Grandpa worked as a lumberjack; Dad borrowed a rifle and was expected to keep meat on the table.  A few months later the mines opened up in Superior, Colorado and the family moved.
     He worked several jobs:  cowboyed a year in Wyoming, worked in the CCC, served in the Army in the Pacific during World War II, but mostly he was a truck-driver.  When our little church was in town, Dad would drive by in one of the eighteen-wheelers and pick me up from Sunday School.  I remember climbing up into one of those big rigs on Mapleton and Broadway street thinking I was pretty cool to picked up in a “big truck.”  One of the greatest compliments my Dad ever gave me was when I borrowed a truck to help the family move from Spruce to Grove in Boulder.  I backed the truck up to the back door to unload.  Dad told my Aunt Bern, who later told me, “I couldn’t have done it better myself.”
     To describe Dad would be to say that he was generous.  He would help anybody and if need be give them the shirt off his back.  Work, he always said the most valuable thing that Grandpa gave him was knowing the value of hard work.  Dad knew his baseball, and the modern game would frustrate him.  His favorite player was Joe DiMaggio.  He was adamant about knowing and practicing on fundamentals.  Dad played when he was younger; though small 5’7′ he played catcher – that way he would be in on every play.
     I even learned from Dad’s weakness:  alcohol.  I learned never to touch the stuff.  I saw what it did to him, how it changed his personality.  But in all the times I saw him drunk, I never heard a cuss word escape his lips.  When Dad was under the influence of alcohol, he wouldn’t shave, he’d sort of mope around, but when he sobered up, he cleaned himself up.  When he went to town, for whatever reason, he always shaved and cleaned up.  He would work around the house, but if money came his way it was soon spent on drink.  He’d try to lick it; he went to Fort Lyons a few times to detox, but he just couldn’t quite do it.
     Father’s Day means to remember my Dad.  The things we did together, mostly baseball-related.  But this is a day when I also remember my heavenly Father.  Dad would work, but Dad was feeble in some areas of his life.  My heavenly Father is all things good.  He is never feeble, or weak, and is always faithful.  Sometimes, when I think of Dad, I get a little weepy-eyed.  Sometimes, when I think of the wondrous love of my heavenly Father, I get a little weepy-eyed.
     One last thought.  One of the reasons America is seeing so much chaos and problems is that there is no father in the homes, or if there is he is not fulfilling his obligations as a father.  People can get a wrong idea of a heavenly Father because of an absent or abusive earthly father.  If more dads would take an affirmative action in the raising of their children there would be far less trouble in this country today–FACT!