Father’s Stories

Jason and Pop Pop 001 (2)

My father had a heart attack in 1975, when he was 65 years old. He recovered and lived for five more years. After he recovered, I realized if I wanted to find out about his life, I needed to ask him now. I took my cassette recorder and sat down with him asking him to tell me about his childhood. The tape ran for almost an hour as we talked back and forth. I took the tape home and put it in my file drawer. I did not know when I would get it out and listen to it again.

Forty years later, I decided to write a biographical fiction book about my grandfather who came to this country when he was six years old. He was a most interesting man who was a concrete mason in Central Pennsylvania. One of his hobbies was catching and breeding skunks! He operated on them and took out their stink glands, selling them as pets and also selling the hides. It was during my writing of his story that I remembered my father’s interview tape. It was most helpful in adding depth to the story.

Most young folks are too preoccupied to think about asking parents or grandparents to tell them their stories. Sadly, most of the stories die with them when they are gone. I urge you to ask your questions while you can. Your fathers and mothers will not always be around.

Father’s Day stories

Lifetime of memories shared

Ask them while you can


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

You can read my grandfather’s biographical fiction here:

50 thoughts on “Father’s Stories

  1. What insight you had. This is great advice. I’m older now than my father was when he died from a heart attack. He’s gone but still with me.
    Thanks for sharing your story and happy Father’s Day to you. I bless you.
    (I’m assuming here. Forgive me if I’m assuming wrong 😑)
    Be well by friend. Bless you still. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such good advice. I’ve written my memoir for my children. One hard copy is in my bedroom for my kids when I’m gone. I wish I had asked my dad more questions. He was the silent type who had to be drawn out. I’m glad you had that tape of your dad!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy Fathers Day Dwight! What a beautiful legacy you have created for your family. Such a good idea. We tried to interview the parents and my mother in law just cried and made us all stop. We have to start it again with the others. Thanks for the reminder. Have a wonderful day! 💕🌹💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is insightful and a beautiful suggestion, sadly I never got a chance with my dad as he left to be with his maker before I could open my eyes but my grandpa use to tell me all kinds of stories I still remember some and will cherish it forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my gosh Dwight, what an amazing story. And here you are telling it decades later. I agree with you that so many of our young people are too preoccupied with “stuff” and to sit down and talk with their elders about their family history is the farthest thing from their minds. 😟 But Dwight, I am not too sure about that skunk breeding. 🦨😲🦨😝🦨 Obviously, you inherited your storytelling talents. That is a gift and thank God for your tapes. You were a visionary back then and you still are! Thanks for sharing such a touching story, especially today. Happy Father’s Day my dear friend. 🥳👔🥰


  6. What a beautiful gift God gave you with those precious five years together. What a neat idea to record the conversations: that’s what my MIL did with her Dad also 😊❤

    It’s such a privilege, isn’t it: listening to and learning from those who walk before us. I am so thankful for the five months we had with Mum, when she battled brain cancer, before she went to be with Jesus (at 59 years of age). So much of what she shared with me still returns me, almost daily.

    I had such a precious time alone with my Dad (unheard of as one of his 6 kids 😂), a couple of years ago, when I returned to Germany to visit him again alone (without my husband and kids), when he was staying at a rehabilitation center after his open heart surgery (and his new wife, who was in hospital after a car accident). Never before had Dad been as open with me in person about the past as then. It was such an incredible gift, as what he shared so affirmed God’s working in my own life at that point. He’s since finished writing a book on his life (and my Mum’s life) and it’s such a gift (also in helping me to better understand him and my own childhood too).

    Yes! Let’s ask and listen and may God open fathers around the world to bare their hearts and tell their stories – using what the enemy sends to hurt them (like illness), to bless them and their families. May He shed fathers’ fears and reveal His deep love and compassion for them and their families.


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