Wish I could wish Dad “Happy Father’s Day”.

When I fail as a father or grandfather (and it is often) I think back to Daddy and how he worked constantly to make sure his children were taken care of. On the other hand – and I mean “hand” literally – he had a swift manner of enforcing discipline when needed.

That was to be expected at that time in America, but it is a luxury I don’t have today to get a point across. When I started dating JoAn, each of us had a toddler. She saw that I would spank Thomas if he misbehaved and so one day mentioned that she had never laid a hand on her children.

“But that’s the way we grew up,” I said. “I knew that if I misbehaved, I would catch a whipping at school and another one – or two – from Mama and Daddy when I got home.”

“And so you never misbehaved?”

“Well, no, I did. Spanking was not so scary that it kept me in line; the death penalty doesn’t deter every killer.”

“I remember that it just made me angrier,” she said.

After that, I strove to be more like her, and in fact never spanked again. I can’t say that it yielded perfect results, but it certainly saved wear and tear on my spanking hand.

Today, as my son approaches the birth of his first child, he and I have no compunction about exchanging “I love yous” and we smile as we remember the times late in my father’s life that we all sat on the porch and Tommy learned to whittle from the same hands that had, when I was a youngster, dealt out manual discipline with no thought that there might be other ways of interacting as father and son.

My father had seven children to discipline and had grown up in a house of that many siblings or more. His childhood was similar to, but much more grueling than, the one he passed on to me: a houseful of youngsters; the Great Depression; parents even more accepting of the norms that physical punishment was just what the doctor ordered.

My father was very much a product of his times, and for that I have tried to keep in perspective that we had no close personal relationship. His life was laid out for him early: to work hard, to keep his family together, to sacrifice his own plans.

I tried to help him with minor chores, but early on I saw that to live to work another day I had to steer clear of his impatient throwing hand. Incoming wrench! Rock! My mechanical skills are lacking today because I couldn’t stay close enough around the ailing Chevy to learn the rudiments.

He had not been taught to be touchy-feely. I remember that whenever I’m showing my grandchildren something about cars or machinery; they should have a chance to develop without requiring Band-Aids.

Still, I picked up much from Daddy. Learning often comes from watching the man, if only from a distance.

I wish he were still here, and in a few days I would shake his hand – that hand – and proudly say, “Happy Father’s Day

Reach Glynn Moore at glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

More in Life

Frenchy Vian, who posed for many photographs of himself, was acknowledged as a skilled hunter. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 2

In fact, Frenchy’s last name wasn’t even Vian; it was Viani, and he and the rest of his immediate family were pure Italian

Minister’s Message: Share God’s love even amidst disagreement

We as a society have been overcome by reactive emotions, making us slow to reflect and quick to speak/act and it is hurting one another

This image shows the cover of Juneau poet Emily Wall’s new book “Breaking Into Air.” The book details a wide array of different birth stories. (Courtesy Photo)
A book is born: Juneau author releases poetry book portraying the many faces of childbirth

It details “the incredible power of women, and their partners”

Lemongrass chicken skewers are best made on a grill, but can be made in the oven. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion
On the strawberry patch: Tangling with waves

Lemon grass chicken skewers top off a day in the surf

This photo of Frenchy with a freshly killed black bear was taken on the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1900s. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 1

The stories were full of high adventure — whaling, mining, polar bear hunting, extensive travel, and the accumulation of wealth

Seeing God’s hand in this grand and glorious creation

The same God of creation is the God that made me and you with the same thoughtfulness of design, purpose and intention

Chewy and sweet the macaroons are done in 30 minutes flat. (Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Sophisticated, simplified

When macarons are too complicated, make these delicious, simple macaroons

Michael S. Lockett / capital city weekly
Gigi Monroe welcomes guests to Glitz at Centennial Hall, a major annual drag event celebrated every Pride Month, on June 18.
Packed houses, back to back: GLITZ a roaring success

Sold-out sets and heavy-hitting headliners

Michael Armstrong / Homer News 
Music lovers dance to Nervis Rex at the KBBI Concert on the Lawn on July 28, 2012, at Karen Hornaday Park in Homer.
Concert on the Lawn returns

COTL line up includes The English Bay Band, a group that played in 1980

Marcia and Mary Alice Grainge pose in 1980 with a pair of caribou antlers they found in 1972. The sisters dug the antlers from deep snow and detached them from a dead caribou. (Photo provided by Marcia Grainge King)
Fortune and misfortune on the Kenai — Part 2

In Kasilof, and on Kachemak Bay, in Seldovia and later in Unga, Petersen worked various jobs before being appointed deputy marshal in 1934