My Dad, Henry Halcomb of Hindman, Kentucky, and I had nothing in common. There are no tales of great bonding moments, only moments of acceptance and relief. Neither of us were who the other thought we were. Accomplishments were few for either of us. He was born in Whitesburg, Kentucky, somehow (story is still unclear) dodged the draft during Vietnam, and never got a high school diploma. No major legacy or words of wisdom left behind. His life and desires lacked nuance, complexity, or ambition. He had left all that behind. He was the greatest man I have ever known.

My Dad worked as a supervisor for a coal company for most of his life. Was respected, actually worshipped, by the men who worked for and with him. At his funeral, my wife and I saw men of much greater wealth and esteem; relate stories of how they wouldn’t be where they are if it wasn’t for “Good Ol’ Henry”. Others were men of the working class who he had counseled in their youth, gave them a job and saw him as a father figure, even more of one than he was to me. Then there were the women.

I would not consider my Dad a great man of fidelity; he had a wondering eye. Now how much this translated into indiscretions during his thirty plus years of marriage to my mother, I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter now. I can tell you he loved her. He gave his whole life to keep her centered and safe. She fell apart after his passing, only living six months later.

He tried to be more of a part of my life after I moved away. He saw that I was becoming a man just as he had, just a different path. He saw me find a good woman, who I married. He saw me work and play just as hard as he did, but I used my mind not my hands. He saw the struggles that we had early in our marriage. Our financial woes, our desire to have a child, and our struggles just better our home and ourselves.

He never got to hold his namesake and grandson, Quinn showed up almost two years later. My wife jokes and says when Quinn smiles that it’s his Grandpa, giving him ideas on how to drive us crazy. I like that thought. I hope when Quinn gets older that when we travel to Eastern Kentucky, he will get to hear all the good, the bad, and the crazy antics of his Grandpa. I hope for every truth there are ten lies; Dad wouldn’t want it any other way. His example to me was to simply MAKE LIFE FULL. Every day he worked his ass off to provide for us, to put me through college, to keep his head above water, but I have never seen a man outside of a politician more admired. His life was FULL: friends, his work, co-workers, family, and love. He may have not left much in the bank account, or left a legacy of words of wisdom, but the Fullness of his life touched so many. He is a man to admire, just because of that: he was a man. Also, a cup of coffee and a newspaper on your front porch on a quiet Sunday morning, is a simple pleasure that you should never let anyone take away….

Views: 46

Comment

You need to be a member of Art of Manliness to add comments!

Join Art of Manliness

Comment by Stephanie Wireman Mays on March 8, 2010 at 8:52am
I didn't know your dad, but I'm sure he was A GREAT MAN! After all look at the GREAT MAN he raised.

Latest Activity

Shane replied to Shane's discussion World's Best Can Opener
"How else?"
13 minutes ago
Shane replied to Shane's discussion World's Best Can Opener
"Looks like all the one star reviews are from previous owners who bought new and the. 5star are people who have owned them for years."
1 hour ago
Shane replied to Pale Horse's discussion The Current Healthcare Issue in the group The Great Debate
"Here's Ryan's bill. I'm curious why Koch's lackeys hated it. SEC. 102. COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER PROGRAM >additional $422m funding for Medicare/CHIPS 2017 SEC. 103. FEDERAL PAYMENTS TO STATES >no direct Fed funding for…"
2 hours ago
Themetalman replied to Shane's discussion World's Best Can Opener
"p38 or p51 "
2 hours ago
Jamara Newell joined A.C.'s group
Thumbnail

Autodidacts

A group for those who seek knowledge on their own, with whatever discipline they choose.
3 hours ago
Pale Horse added a discussion to the group The Great Debate
Thumbnail

The Current Healthcare Issue

It's pretty important. I'm surprised it hasn't been brought back up.See More
3 hours ago
Shane replied to Nick H's discussion Has AOM jumped the shark or is it's just cyclical in the group The Great Debate
"@Nick AWG is not a theory. It's not science at all. WRT Big Oil investing in "Green Tech", they learned their lessons from the railroads. WRT Trump and renewables, he campaigned as pro renewable. His most recent EO on energy…"
3 hours ago
Shane replied to Nick H's discussion Has AOM jumped the shark or is it's just cyclical in the group The Great Debate
"Try reading the Politifact article. Al Jazeera isn't talking about the same wall. That's the very definition of a "Red Herring". They started talking about something else and hoped nobody would notice. Apparently it worked on you."
3 hours ago

© 2017   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service