My dad passed several years ago. Many times when I am reading or posting here, my mind goes to him and the things he did to start me out in life. I`d like to share an especially vivid memory. Then I`d like you to share one about your dad. Daddy was poor, dirt poor. He had a third grade education, the Amish were not big on schooling. When he moved the family to Florida, it was because of his rheumatic heart. There were 6 of us kids, one with Downs Syndrome. Daddy worked as a carpenter, leading a crew. He would come home after a long day, eat supper, and then return to the jobsite, off the clock, to do some more work to keep the boss happy with the progress. That`s how important that job was to him. He never considered aid of any kind. And he worried, man he worried. Many nights he would be up at 3am, worrying. Just couldn`t sleep, thinking.... I never heard daddy say one word about finances, I had no idea we were poor. We were sheltered from all of that and a whole lot more. He did the worrying and protected us from all that. I never heard my parents say a cross word to each other, NEVER. Looking back, now that I am married and a father, how outrageously incredible that is. So, daddy was sensitive. He knew what made me tick. I would lay accross his lap in the long, boring church services of the Mennonites, he would pull up my shirt and get out his pocket knife and scratch my back for the whole service. This was not looked on with favor. There was a hierarchy in the church, and he knew he was not going to be in the upper echelon, ever. The church meant everything to him, but I was more important. I`ll never forget that. Anyway, here is the story I wanted to share. Even as a kid, I was a hunter/gatherer. I wanted to catch every living thing that posed a challenge. Toads didn`t interest me, I was after frogs, the bigger the better. When I discovered the bream we were catching were worth $.50 a frozen bag full to some of daddy`s coworkers, it was HUGE. So, one day I caught a striped neck turtle. This is a species that is not considered edible, even to the older African American guys who would pick up a freshly killed opossum from the side of the road on the way to work and put it in the fire to eat at work. But, daddy knew how important it was to me to sell that worthless turtle. There were more of them, and this represented a business! He carried that worthless turtle into one bar after another, in the 'black' section of town, This was unfamiliar territory for him, both the bars and trying to sell something. He had to feel uncomfortable. But, he knew how much it meant to me. And he kept going, through one rejection after another. I believe he finally gave the thing away, but only after hitting every bar and gathering place in the area. I`m sure he knew it was a worthless turtle after the first bar, but he knew how much it meant to me...... That was my daddy, in many ways willing to be a failure. The most successfull man I will ever know.