Good morning and happy Sunday, folks. Thanks for joining us once again this morning, or whenever you happen to be reading this. For all we know, it could be tomorrow or even sometime next week. If that’s the case, we hope the future is treating you well.
Back in the present, however, it’s Father’s Day. While not as celebrated as Mother’s Day, we’re still in Tier 1 holiday territory for this one. Today’s post is dedicated to all the great dads out there across The County Line Coverage area and beyond.
We’re going with a Father’s Day-themed Quote of the Day here, from the OG of funny quotes himself, Mark Twain:
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”
As we did a few weeks back for the moms—we have to mention a few dads in particular today.
From the time I was old enough to grasp a ball, Gordon Feese instilled in me a lifelong love of sports that has only grown stronger as I’ve gotten older. He coached baseball, basketball, and soccer teams I played on as a kid, and spent countless hours with me in a batting cage growing up, throwing thousands upon thousands of pitches to me and sometimes my friends or teammates.
The time and effort he put into helping me is incalculable, but I at least cut into the deficit yesterday, ferrying him up and down the parkway as he had car trouble, trying in vain to get that thing to start.
I should also mention my two late grandfathers here, two of my favorite men of all time: Bob Willis and the original Gordon Feese, AKA Grandpa Bob and Pa Feese. These two dudes were my heroes when I was little. Grandpa Bob was the Adair County Sheriff, and I used to campaign for him when I was still a toddler, telling everyone I encountered to “Vote Bob.” Pa Feese was a farmer, the hardest worker I had ever seen. He taught me how to do all kinds of cool stuff on the farm, and he rode horses on the weekends. Packing guns and riding horses—there was literally nothing cooler to me as a child.
A quick story before I pass the mic to John: Grandpa Bob once told me he was such a crack-shot that he only kept one bullet in his pistol. Even as a 4- or 5-year-old, I wondered what he’d do if he ever needed to shoot multiple people, but I definitely did believe him.
Like Wes, my father, James Overby, helped get me into sports at a young age. I tried pretty much all sports, but my love of basketball was the one that stuck with me the most. Dad would always tell me about the good ol’ days of basketball. I’ll never forget his story of Dan Issel taking on two 7-footers in Artis Gilmore and Pembrook Burrows and how a Jacksonville guard slid in front of Dan Issel to foul him out. And I’ll REALLY never forget the Pete Maravich Homework Basketball VHS tapes we would watch to learn how to play the game from The Pistol himself.
I envy Dad’s ease of talking to a person he’s never met for an hour and his ability to make every story interesting. He truly missed his calling as a journalist. I also regret not paying more attention as he tried to teach me things I would need to know as I got older, but I’m thankful that he’s still around to help me whenever I need a refresher course.
While I never knew my grandfather on my dad’s side, I knew my Grandpa Johnny well. He passed away several years ago, but I think about him often. He was strong-spirited, effortlessly funny, and always could make his grandkids smile. I miss him every day.
Stephanie’s dad and granddad have also been instrumental in my family’s lives, with words of encouragement and pieces of advice. We are truly blessed to have as many strong father figures in our family as we do, and it’s something we need to remember to never take for granted.
In addition to all the dads out there, this post is also dedicated to Barbara Parson, who celebrates a birthday today and we wish the best, most fun-filled day imaginable.
Thanks for reading!