My father was full of sage advice, none of which I ever followed. He was also full of witticisms, which are all I can really remember.
“Great minds travel in the same plane, but fools just think alike.”
“You pays your money and takes your chances … but mostly you just pays your money.”
“Some people get filthy rich in the oil fields, we just get filthy.”
“I love hard work. I can sit and watch it for hours.”
“There were two Mitchells killed in the Alamo, so you know they were surrounded.”
He was a decorated hero of World War II but said he refused to wear the Purple Heart so he wouldn’t have to explain exactly where the wound was.
When he and his war buddies got to together they never talked about the fighting, but only the antics, like climbing on the hood of a truck and stealing eggs out of the back of a slow moving truck climbing a hill.
Though one of his friends once let slip that Dad, a bulldozer operator, actually did that scene from a John Wayne movie in which the bulldozer operator raised the blade to deflect bullets while rescuing pinned down soldiers.
Because he was a bulldozer operator they called him Bull Mitch.
After he died in an oil field accident while I was in college, I began to ask my co-workers to call me Mitch. I think they sometimes called me Bull Mitch behind my back, but for an entirely different reason. There is a little of our fathers in each of us.
Happy Father’s Day.
First posted in 2012.