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Growing Up “Rich”

"Rich" Daddy - TBL Leadership Partners
My daddy is rich.

He never earned a college degree.

He never carried a fancy business card in his wallet or worked in a high- class office building.

An old Subaru is his vehicle of choice…

His home boasts of three small bedrooms and two tiny bathrooms (each barely big enough for a gnat to turn around in and get wet)…

The Smoky Mountain National Park is his favorite “exotic” vacation destination…

He prefers homemade chicken pot pie over the fancy delicacies of any 5 star restaurant…

And…banana pudding is his favorite dessert…


Do these sound like the traits of a “rich man”?  Perhaps not if one measures wealth by the number of figures in one’s bank statement.  But let me explain what it was like for me to grow up with a “rich” daddy…

My daddy is rich in laughter…. With a twinkle in his eye and a trick up his sleeve, my father is ever ready to kick up a good laugh.  Often the butt of his own jokes, he never shies away from laughing at himself…like the time the automatic seatbelt nearly took off his head as he opened the car door to speak to a stranger at the gas pump in Florida.  The woman at the gas pump looked mortified while Daddy danced like a monkey at the zoo trying to escape the clutch of the seatbelt’s latest automatic technology.  Any average person would have been embarrassed by the incident…but not my daddy.  He roared with laughter at the time and still gets a kick out of reliving the story today.

My daddy is rich in ingenuity…  During my childhood and teenage years, I don’t remember my father ever taking a car or truck to the mechanic.  Growing up on a farm and later servicing helicopters in the U.S. Army, Daddy learned the ins and outs of automobile maintenance.  He taught me to think mechanically…how to trace a drive train…and to be creative in finding solutions.  And he taught me to believe in myself as I dove under the hood of the car to make a few repairs while away at college…a story for another day! 

My daddy is rich in friendship… Daddy fondly calls his best friend Alvin by the nickname “G”.  In their younger days, Daddy and “G” spent many hours walking the woods in search of grouse and fly fishing mountain streams for rainbow trout.  Together, they’ve camped beneath the open sky, grieved the loss of family and friends, discussed politics and the general state of the world, and laughed over many a “tall tale” of their outdoor adventures.  Their friendship is a priceless treasure.

Yes, my daddy is a rich man, and I’ll be forever grateful for what I learned about true wealth from my precious father.


Thanks for the lessons, Daddy!



Still Your Little Girl

2 responses to “Growing Up “Rich”


  1. Carol Daw says:

    Thanks for sharing this and most importantly for honoring your father!

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