Tell Us The Best (and Worst) Fatherly Advice You've Ever Received

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 04:17 PM

Young girl and her father at the Coney Island beach the Friday before Memorial Day. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Father's Day is coming up this Sunday, and we want to hear stories about your dad. What's the best — or worst — piece of fatherly advice your dad gave to you?  Leave your answer in the comment section, or call us at 877-8-MY-TAKE, and we might play your stories on air on Friday's show.

HC from Oklahoma City, OK (via text):

It wasn't really a piece of advice, but rather, it was him being himself — good and bad — that I have taken my lessons from and it's made me who I am. And what lessons have I taken from him? "Love God, love your family, work hard, take it easy and don't sweat the small stuff ... it'll be OK."

Listener from Las Cruces, NM (via text): 

Don't squat with spurs on.

Listener from Florida (via text): 

Worst advice: dreams are for fools. 

Maryska from Augusta, AR (via text):

My dad taught me how to shuffle cards, make pancakes, and play chess, but the best advice he ever gave me was to be self reliant.

Sara from Davie, FL (via text): 

My father always told me that being second place was the same thing as being the first of the losers. His father told him that haste is plebeian.

Listener from Oklahoma City, OK (via text): 

"Life sucks" is the one thing my father said that stuck with me.

Listener from Coventry, RI (via text):

Retire as early as possible so you are still healthy enough to enjoy it.

Listener from New Brunswick, NJ (via text):

"Cast the widest net:" don't be narrow professionally, culturally, socially, etc. Don't let yourself become narrow.

Janice Bissell (via Facebook): 

The first time you get into trouble, I will accept the call and bail you out. The second time you get into trouble, I don't know you. (Not sure if this is best OR worst...)

Lyndon Dees (via Facebook):

He told me to not take any wooden nickels. I thought that was weird, since I've never seen a wooden nickel. I think that if I saw one and it was offered to me, I probably would take it because of the novelty factor.

@LindaLuAllen (via Twitter):

Best: always look at all four tires before you get in a car. Worst: being thin is the most important thing. 

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Comments [6]

Nata T. from NYC

My dad always told us to live with someone for a year before you married them.(He did and so did I)
He was married 60 years when he passed away in 2007

Jun. 17 2011 09:36 AM
Jane Turbov from Chicago

My father was a tinkerer and could fix anything. I used to follow him around the house, learning how to use tools. My father taught me problem-solving. From the time I was a kid and burned my fingers splicing wires (without electric tape!), I have used what my father taught me every day, both at home and at work, a research science lab. The last time I saw him when he was well, before his life was abruptly shortened by septicemia, I was returning a bucket of tools. I'm so glad I decided to pop in on him that day in the winter of 1987.

Jun. 17 2011 08:26 AM
Pam Malaska from Michigan

My Dad is a man of few words, but his actions are many. At 84, as he ages and battles with his own health issues, he continues to support his Wife and my Mom, who is in the last stages of her life and support the five children that they raised together through smiles and small but meaningful thoughts of wisdom. I am blessed that he is still here to share another Father's Dad and will always be grateful for his wisdom and loving support even when he did not agree with my actions or choices.

Jun. 17 2011 08:26 AM
Larry Horany from Enid, Oklahoma

Just one brief story that describes my dad. He once had a kid who worked for him, started out washing dishes as a young teenager and worked his way up through the kitchen. Good kid, young black guy with a pretty rough home life. He was a hard worker, and smart, and my dad took an interest in him, as he had many others over the years. I'll call his name, Calvin Prince Jr., 'cause I don't think he'd mind.

Dad helped Calvin with a lot of things. Co-signed for him to buy a car, I don't know what all, really, but I started callin' Calvin my little brother, 'cause that's almost the way Dad treated him. He was a good student, a damn good football player for Enid High, and a hard workin' good young guy, pretty much raisin' himself under rough circumstances.

One day, Calvin's senior year, my dad got a call from the bank, Calvin and some guy were trying to cash a check that had obviously been forged. Long story short, Dad got him out of jail, refused to press charges, and didn't give up on him. Calvin went on to graduate from high school and go on to college, and I lost track of him after that.

A week or two after my dad died, we got a call from Calvin. He said how sorry he was to hear about Dad, and that he owed him some money, and wanted to come over and give it to my mom.

Well, Captain Calvin Prince Jr. of the U.S. Air Force showed up at our door, and we laughed, and cried, and he gave my mom six hundred and fifty dollars that Dad had loaned him, that we had no idea about. He said, "Johnny was so good to me, I'm sorry it took so long, but I had to pay him back".

It was the greatest tribute to my dad that we could have had.

Jun. 16 2011 08:56 PM
Jo Strausz Rosen from West Bloomfield, MI

At almost 94, my father maintains his healthy lifestyle and brainpower because he has always said, "Sport is good exercise for all ages." Practicing what he preaches, he works out daily and is an avid reader and news watcher. As a child and still to this day, conversations across a table tennis table where advise about doing the right thing, contributing to society, choosing the right boyfriends, volunteering, eating right and off color jokes were the topics. He also advised me to "look everyone in the eye when speaking and to shake hands firmly; never spoil your children, and go easy on desserts."

Jun. 16 2011 11:10 AM
Kitty from Bronx

That's easy........Atticus Finch!

Jun. 16 2011 08:33 AM

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