To leave the world a bit better

Today’s my father’s birthday. He’s not here with us anymore–at least not physically. But in ways too many to measure, I find him still in the best of those who knew him.


To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

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10 Responses to To leave the world a bit better

  1. Marika says:

    I love this picture …

  2. Lynn says:

    Your dad was a pleasure to have as a teacher/friend. He made history a vivid and interactive subject in school. The love he had for teaching and his students was evident and lives on in my memories of him. What a treat for our small town to have had him as such a valuable part of its existence.

    • Becky says:

      It means so much to me when someone who knew him says so many kind things about him. I’m glad he lives on in your memories. Thanks, Lynn.

  3. Jim S. says:

    I know your Dad and my eldest share a birthday but, as we were celebrating hers on Monday, I forgot his. I will always remember your Dad for two reasons: for a “very special” visit I made to your home in W; and for you. May all your memories be fond and warm. I’m sure they are. He had a special gift: an old guy who was considered “too cool” by so many high school students.

    • Becky says:

      When you get old–a long time from now–I think you will be known for that same special gift. I, of course, see you as cool now.

      Thank you.

  4. arthur fonzarelli says:

    he may have been so “cool” because he had a succession of 3 kids to model after, plus all those h.s. kids. it surely couldn’t have been from the u.s. army, or guin, alabama could it?

    • Becky says:

      I don’t know–Guin could have been a hot, happening place. After all, there’s this:

      • Tom says:

        I’ve always loved that photo. It seems the world was way too serious back then to have such a goofball kid.

        • Becky says:

          People knew the value of hard work, but they also innately understood the value of play. I’m a big believer in unstructured play being a way that kids learn to think, use judgment, solve problems, form strong social bonds, and develop creativity.

          It’s as if there were a golden period between the days of child labor and now–the days of the over-laboring child. My grandparents worked hard–and she was ill most of Daddy’s childhood. Still, that’s what they gave him–a childhood.

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