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: 37

Tags: Lessons in Manliness

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

Lucius Artorius Castus replied to Chu Kim's discussion Slavery is Awesome
""I don't know why I am responding to your asinine comments, " Denny already answered that in his first sentence."
2 hours ago
Lucius Artorius Castus replied to Chu Kim's discussion Slavery is Awesome
"Chu, Nothing you just said refutes what Will said."
3 hours ago
Chu Kim replied to Chu Kim's discussion Slavery is Awesome
"I don't know why I am responding to your asinine comments, but just let me straighten you out on some things. 1) Koreans and Chinese are ethnically distinct people. If you have any actual experience with these two groups, you can notice…"
3 hours ago
Chu Kim replied to Chu Kim's discussion Slavery is Awesome
"Will. I can honestly say that you don't know that much about Koreans. If we were such a conquered and dominated people throughout history, how is it that we survived for thousands of years caught between these civilizations that went to war…"
3 hours ago
Michael J. K. left a comment for Damaged Boy
"Wish you would show up sometime hope you are doing well"
5 hours ago
Shane replied to Christian's discussion 20 year old looking for advice from you "white collar" gents.....is the money worth it?
"Only two?"
7 hours ago
John White commented on John White's blog post where are the decent women?
"not many opinions on women? so most men here are happy with their relationship? I highly doubt it."
8 hours ago
Michael D. Denny replied to AlanR's discussion Picking up a side hustle - Investing the time and energy before you see a payoff.
"My experience is that a side gig should be doing something you really love. My buddy and I are slowly amassing the equipment and tools to get into doing marine salvage work on the side. I have no idea if it will actually make money or not, but…"
8 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service