Six Degrees of Separation on Father’s Day

Dear Reader:

This is the only picture I have of me being in a photo with my father…and for that reason I treasure it even more. (I love you daddy and miss you every day of my life!)

One of the six degrees of separation Brooke and I shared as we would talk late into the night (in our college dorm room that freshman year at Erskine College) was the similarity between both our family lives.

Brooke lost her dad at six and I lost mine at five. I remember Brooke making an astute observation that has stuck with me the rest of my life… with a profound impact on my consciousness.  She told me that the day her dad died…she lost her tiara. She was never again anybody else’s little princess. How true! I felt exactly the same way!

Degree of Separation (tiara): I think of John who takes his family to the most powerful place of dreams and imagination…Disney World… and lets Eva Cate be a princess each time they go….even Jakie, the car man, is into the princesses…they are pretty and kind!

You are truly the knight in white armor, John, to give the gift of adventure and fantasy to Eva Cate and Jakie… (the car man.) Happy Father’s day John!

Continuing with Brooke’s loss tiara story…

Brooke told me she was more like her dad in personality…out-going, funny, while her older brother Rusty was quiet and reserved like their mother…she said she always felt like the outsider after her daddy passed away…that the one person who really knew her was gone. She remembered riding on his shoulders and going to football practices and all the games with him. He loved showing her off.

He was both principal of Mt. Zion Institute and head football coach…in 1949…he was given a car after the football season with the words in the yearbook reading “Well Deserved” but even better than that he got a daughter…Nancy Brooke Price…the love of his life…his little princess!

Brooke’s father was nicknamed “Monkey or Monk” Price and was a very successful, highly-recognized high school football coach in Winnsboro- (post WWII)…so much so that our Summerville famous high school coach, John McKissick, (winniest high school coach in the country) told me and Brooke once that he looked up to her father when he was just starting out. Everyone wanted to be just like ‘Monkey” Price.

Degree of separation?

Mollie brought the children over yesterday afternoon. Rutledge is now Summerville football Greenwave crazy…you might remember I got him a look-a like football jersey (like his dad’s) for kindergarten graduation and for his birthday coming up Tuesday (turning six) he wanted a SHS helmet.

I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods, went on-line and nothing was working. Rutledge was just positive he remembered seeing his dad’s helmet somewhere at my house.

I tore the house apart plus the apartment looking…for naught. But yesterday Rutledge, with Mollie’s help, found it in a closet behind some pillows…he was sure it was back there…and it was! In fact it is a remarkable memento inscribed by Coach McKissick to  Walsh after a benchmark win. Hallelujah…Whew! Rutledge’s birthday came early this year!

Rutledge idolizes Walsh and his football days plus he is an avid Clemson fan…Motherly advice to Walsh: Enjoy every minute of this right now son…one day he will be a teenager and everything will change 🙂 Bask in the sunshine and keep his dreams alive! Happy Father’s Day Walsh! ***(Rutledge arrived on Father’s Day six years ago…now wasn’t that the best Father’s Day gift ever?)

Besides finding the helmet we walked over to show Rutledge Coach McKissick’s house…(the McKissicks live a block from me) At first we didn’t think anyone was home…I was taking a picture of Rutledge in front of the house, preparing to leave… and who appears from around it…Mrs. McKissick! She had been gardening in the back and heard us.

Coach is in rehab now but hopefully will be back home soon… Joanne was so gracious and took pictures with the family…they will never forget it.

The day started off with another little boy…Ryker….Luke and Chelsey’s little four-year-old nephew. You might remember he helped Luke plant my redbud tree sapling early last spring…so I got a personalized rock for him (and a little truck) to place by the redbud.. He was so excited…but then it was the rope swing that really caught his attention.

He went on to play in the tree house and ride Jackson’s tractor which he loved…he likes my back yard…it was just waiting for children to come and play. The back yard was very happy too!

I can not get a photo of Eloise these days…she is too fast…the photo is always a blur of her running by..but such is the life of a busy fifteen-month old…

*(Degree of separation) Lachlan found his favorite Boo Boo item too…a Minnie Mouse magnet….he was as happy with it as Rutledge was with the helmet.

Ryker is a huggy, loving child who kept running to me to sit in the recliner…he told me about his new pet…a goldfish he named Hobo…but the first night he had him he cried until “MiMi” (his grandmother) took him out of his bedroom…he didn’t like the fish staring at him. Too funny!

*Degree of Separation: – Pets, especially dogs=Tommy and Kaitlyn

Not only do they adore their four rescue dogs…they adopt seniors with “issues”  (many coming from puppy mills/mistreated) who need a chance to simply be loved before their time on earth is over. It is important to Kaitlyn and Tommy that every dog should have their day and place in the sun…even if it is not for long… at least they will have left knowing someone loved them.

Happy Father’s and Mother’s day you two…what great humanitarians you are and to these four lucky dogs…the best parents ever!

So until tomorrow…Let us take time to remember the fathers who are no longer with us and more importantly to appreciate and take time today to let all our fathers know how much they are loved, appreciated, and needed.  Happy Father’s Day to one and all! Have a beautiful day!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

…And Good Night…I think I will share Jakie’s “night night”blankie and hold on to all the memories that made up this magical day yesterday…like Rutledge falling asleep with his prized possession…his dad’s helmet.

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Six Degrees of Separation on Father’s Day

  1. bcparkison says:

    I can’t relate to not having a parent since both of mine are still here.But I can tell you the most heart felt statement said to me after my husband passed was from our #3 son.”Do you think he knew he was loved”? I think so…but it is too late now. Don’t put off today what should have been said yesterday.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Now you have me in tears….I often think that same thought with my dad dying so early…relatives have told me that daddy loved his little princess so much….I do remember loving to hold on to his legs to be close to him and walking on top of his shoes with him…giggling. I hope he knows what large footsteps he left behind…and so happy I got his happy-go-lucky personality in my adolescence. He was a fun dad.

      Liked by 1 person

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