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Local Editorials

SVM Editorial Board Roundtable: What are some life lessons your father taught you?

Father’s Day is Sunday. What are some life lessons your father taught you?

This week’s question: Father’s Day is Sunday. What are some life lessons your father taught you?

Jeff Rogers, editor

I think we all have learned things from our fathers, often without there having been that "aha" moment of spoken instruction.

From my father, Richard Rogers, I learned how to work hard. I remember my father coming home late often from the service station he, his father and another brother owned and operated in Lanark. (At least it seemed to me he got home late often. I remember eagerly awaiting him to come home from work.)

From Dad, I think, I learned to stay on the job until the work is done.

I also learned from my father my love of music. That record he didn't like and handed down to me? "A Night at the Opera" from Queen. That opened my eyes to what I thought was weird music at the time. I still listen to new, alternative music today.

Finally, I think I learned from my dad the value of making sure your words carry weight when you speak them. Dad isn't a big talker. Never has been. But when he says something, it carries clout and authority.

I try to be the same way, whether it's as a father or a boss.

Kathleen Schultz, news editor

Bob Schultz was funny, quick with a joke, never missed an opportunity to crack wise. He gave me the brothers Marx and Ritz, Olsen and Johnson, “Hee Haw,” Bullwinkle and Bugs Bunny. We watched them together in black and white on our only TV, him on the couch and me on the floor, nestled between his legs, listening to his laugh.

Sometimes he'd let me stay up and watch Carson with him, all the way through to the comedians, and when Mom would take away my Mad magazines because she thought they were too raunchy for an 8-year-old, Dad would sneak them back – after he read them, and dog-eared the good parts.

In one college care package was a Ziggy day planner, with every Saturday's box inscribed in Dad's scrawl with a goofy reminder to call home. I could reach him, he wrote, at BR-549.

He stayed up all night thinking them up, Mom said. I still have it.

He raised eight kids on a salary that never cracked $20,000, and he died on Father's Day, 10 years ago this year. I so miss his laugh.

From Dad, I learned: Life is hard – and then you laugh.

Happy Father's Day, from Bob Schultz's oldest. Emphasis on the happy.

Jim Dunn, editorial page editor

My father, Jay Dunn, had a wide range of interests, a few of which rubbed off on me. That’s been useful in my newspaper career, where it helps to be acquainted with many topics.

Dad appreciated history. We took family trips to museums and presidential libraries (Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower), and had biographies of famous Americans (Ford, Lindbergh and Edison) at home.

He liked to take photos and orchestrated many family slide shows.

Dad had an amateur radio license and assembled a Heathkit transmitter and receiver. As I grew up, it was not unusual to hear him talking on the radio in the den to other “hams” from distant lands.

He liked antique cars and at one point owned several, including a rough old Model A Ford that I enjoyed tinkering with.

As a farmer, Dad experimented with no-till farming in its infancy; from that venture, I learned that it doesn’t hurt to try something new.

He had a dry sense of humor and got a kick out of practical jokes. He loved to sing corny novelty songs from the 1940s. He was respectful, sought out the good in others, and urged us kids to overlook other people’s flaws.

Dad taught me to be curious, follow your interests and see where they take you.

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