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A father's advice

June 18, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

"Never give up."

That was the advice Nick Patterson's father, Ed, gave the 9-year-old this spring when he was tackling a standardized test in third grade at Paramount Elementary School.

Patterson's brothers, Andrew, 7, and Jonathan, 5, said their parents tell them to live by the Golden Rule - to treat others as they want to be treated.

To honor thy father this Father's Day, The Herald-Mail asked Tri-State area residents what the best advice was they ever received from good ol' dad and asked dads what advice they would give to their children.

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Dad's advice often centered around work.

"Do the best at what you do and be a good worker."

That was the best advice Janie Bofink said she ever received from her father, the late Hugh Manis, and she said she heeded it.

"He was a hard worker," said Bofink, 67, of Falling Waters, W.Va.

In addition to cleaning offices at the headquarters of the International Printing Pressman's Union in Tennessee, Manis helped raise his 11 children.

Bofink said she did the best she could, including learning how to operate a complicated sewing machine that stitches books. The machine uses about 10 needles, said Bofink, who went into printing and worked for Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown before retiring.

Sandra Bassin, 53, of Mercersburg, Pa., said her father shared the same advice every day. "He said, 'Enjoy life,'" Bassin said. "I'm listening to him."

Her father, the late James Platner, was an engineer for Bethlehem Steel in Baltimore and died young, retiring for only a short time before returning to work.

"He didn't enjoy life as much as he could," she said.

When Nigel Hosein was playing soccer, his father would tell him to "Always be positive." Even when his team was losing, it was possible to come back, said Hosein, 33, of Hagerstown.

Ninety percent of the time, things did come out positively, according to Hosein, who said he played soccer for Trinidad in the 1990s.

And what advice would he leave for sons Kyle, 7, and Connor, 3?

"Always work hard toward what you want to achieve and the same thing my dad said, 'Be positive,'" Hosein said.

Leo Murray Jr.'s father told him to work hard and be honest with people. "Never lie. Always tell the truth. The truth never hurt anybody," said Murray Jr., 63, of Hancock.

Murray's advice for his three grown children addresses work and family.

"Always treat your family with respect," he said. "Work hard and treat your family as your best friend. Family is the most important thing."

Murray said he helps teach his grandchildren the value of work. His grandchildren helped him in the garden last Sunday.

"Do the best you can. Do the very best you can," was the advice of the late Hobert Bonner.

"I would say the same thing, and love your family. Stay true to your family," said Bonner's son, John, 54, of Keedysville and the father of two.

Ken Sturm, 65, of Smithsburg, said his father used to talk to him about personal integrity and being genuine.

"In everyday life, you try to apply that," Sturm said.

Sturm said he'd share the same advice with his three grown children.

Passing on the advice of fathers was a popular sentiment.

If Jim Godlove, 53, of Hagerstown, were to leave one bit of advice with his son, he said it would be his father's advice, "Be honest."

John Fager III, 32, who works for DOT Foods Inc. in Williamsport, said he plans to share the advice of his father, John Fager Jr. of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., with his son Hayden, who is only 6 months old. That would be to "Always tell the truth."

"Always take care of No. 1," was the advice Francis R. Snyder left his daughter about 20 years ago.

"My father was two days off from dying and he told me that," said Mildred Holtzman, 84, of Mercersburg, Pa.

Some fathers gave advice about avoiding trouble.

Shannon McNamee's father Tom's advice to "Just be yourself" has helped her at school. She didn't let peers push her around.

"Just do what you think is right," said McNamee, 20, of Clear Spring.

The best advice Ruth Smith has gotten from her father, Robert, was to "Stay out of trouble," said the 16-year-old Hagerstown resident.

That advice has come in handy, though Smith had no particular example to share.

Ellis Estes, 49, of Hedgesville, W.Va., followed his father's advice. He joined the Marines.

"It taught me responsibility and stuff. It kept him from killing me and me from killing him," Estes said.

James Willard Sr., 74, of Hagerstown, said he would tell his son "to listen to the old man because the old man has been over the humps and bumps."

Also, to stay away from women, Willard said.

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