Celebrating Fathers

Photo of a white wildflower with the inscription: Happy Father's Day in white letters.

Sending a warm greeting to all my friends and family members who are celebrating Father’s Day. It will be a quiet one for me as the two most important men in my life, my father and my husband, are now playing Euchre together in heaven, but it will also be a busy day as I prepare for my vacation.

My siblings and I are gathering, along with our progeny ( I love that word) for a family reunion in Memphis next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We will celebrate each other, as well as our father who started this whole mess. 🙂 The only things that will be missing is him and his guitar.

When we were growing up, no gathering was complete without a sing-along, and Daddy could play any song if you gave him a few bars of the melody. He liked to encourage everyone to have a solo, singing a song of their choice, even if our vocal talent didn’t match his musical talent. He didn’t care. He just wanted everyone to have a moment in the spotlight.

I have so many fond memories of those parties, the people, the music, and the good times.

I’m sure I’ll return from Memphis with a whole lot more wonderful moments to remember and savor.

Now, because I really do have a kajillion things to do (love that word, too – kajillion not to do 🙂 ) I’m going to let Slim Randles have a moment in the spotlight here. Considering how temperatures are already climbing toward record highs in so many places, this story is most appropriate.

“Wonder what the count is today,” said Herb. “Sure is hot.”

We sipped simultaneously, as is our wont, and stared at our friend. “What count would that be?” asked Steve.

“The btu count, of course,” said Herb. “Those are British thermal units, you know. It’s how heat is measured.”

Leave it to Herb. There doesn’t appear to be any coffee-drinking topic that Herb can’t make completely obscure.

“I was just getting used to the difference between Fahrenheit and Celsius,” our cowboy, Steve, said.

“I always eat my Celsius with peanut butter on it,” said Doc.

“Doc made a joke!” came the coffee-counter chorus. That was unusual because Doc was considered by most of us as the chief justice of the supreme court of darn near everything because of all the initials after his name.

Windy Wilson got up slowly and stiffly, walked over to the phone sitting on the cashier’s counter, and dialed a number. He nodded and came back to the other members of the world dilemma think tank.

“97,” he said, taking a sip,

“97 what?”

“Degrees. Right now. Outside. According to that girl’s voice on the hotline number I called.”


“Don’t know,” Windy said.


“Kelvin who?”


“She didn’t say. Just a recordin’ on the phone, you know…”

“Number of British thermal units?”

“I don’t care how they do it in Britain,” Windy said. “Hotter right here, anyway.”

“Might be Celsius,” said Herb.

Doc looked up from the depths of his coffee, “Not without peanut butter it isn’t.”

Some onlookers just enjoy a short stack and try to figure out what we’re talking about. It could become a passion or trend or something.


Looking at the thermometer? When ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.


If you enjoyed this little story, maybe you’d consider giving Slim a Father’s Day present by getting his book, Home Country that’s a collection of the best of his weekly columns. Pick up Home Country: Drama, dreams and laughter from the American heartland

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