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    Clifton Penland Jr., left, made a strong impression son Scotty Penland who turned out to longest serving superintendent of schools. “If you’re digging a ditch, dig the straightest dig,” remembers Scotty.

Father’s Day: My dad, my mentor, my friend

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 Father’s Day: a special recognition for fathers was first brought about by Sonora Smart Dodd, born in 1882 in Washington State, after hearing a mother’s days sermon at church.

Dodd wanted to honor her own father, William Jackson Smart, who raised her and her five siblings after their mother died in childbirth in 1898. Thus, followed the first Father’s Day celebrated in Washington state in 1910. The story of the Father’s Day celebration hit the papers and went nationwide but was slow at becoming a regular tradition. Dodd spent the next 62 years trying to gain support needed to have Father’s Day recognized as a national holiday.

In 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson set the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day through an executive order, but it wasn’t until 1972, Father’s Day was officially recognized as a national holiday when Nixon was President. Dodd, who died at 96 years old in 1978 had accomplished her goal thus honoring her own father and leading a tradition of paying respect of fathers everywhere.

Father’s Day celebrations are diverse. There’s everything from spending time together, a family dinner, little handprints plastered on construction paper hanging with magnets on the refrigerator door, on down to the No. 1 most popular gift, according to statistics — the dreaded necktie. 

No matter how you choose to celebrate Father’s Day this year may your day be full of memories you make with your dad or memories you carry only in your heart. Here’s how two of our residents feel about their fathers, the late Clifton Penland Jr. and Randy Canup.

Douglas Scott Penland

Two things come to my mind when I think of my dad: Hard work and a kind heart. He exemplified both.

My dad, Clifton Penland Jr. gave me the necessary tools to be successful in life. He certainly taught me the value of hard work and dependability. I don’t think he ever missed a day of work in more than 50 years. He worked 14-16 hours per day, 365 days per year. He taught me to be frugal. He bought one new car in his life at age 20 and never owned a new one again.

He always stressed doing the best job you can at whatever you were attempting. He always said, “If you’re digging a ditch, dig the straightest ditch you can dig.” He always tried to portray a rough and tough image, when in reality he was kind. He seldom turned anyone away that needed credit, even if he knew he would never receive payment.

There is a great song by Josh Groban titled “You Raise Me Up.” These lyrics are how I think of my dad:

You raise me up to stand on mountains.

You raise me up to walk on stormy seas.

You raise me up to be more than I can be.

He definitely raised me up to be more than I could be.

Whitney Jane Canup 

My daddy, Randy Canup, is special for so many reasons. He’s always stood by me no matter what. Even when I’ve literally been at rock bottom, he’s always been there. He has shown me love, caring and guidance, always wanting me to be a better person.

Daddy is the best “Poppy” to my kids, loving them and playing outside with them. He has been a positive influence in their lives.

My daddy loves my mama with all his heart and has shown me how a man is supposed to treat his wife. He is a hard worker, showing me that hard work pays off and most importantly to always be able to take care of myself and my children.

He is special because my daddy helped me become the woman I am today and I’m so thankful God chose him to be my daddy.

Happy Father’s Day daddy, the boys and I love you to infinity and beyond.

By Deby Jo Ferguson: Staff Writer

Clay County Progress

Mailing Address: PO Box 483, Hayesville, NC 28904
Physical Address: 43 Main Street, Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: 828-389-8431
Fax: 828-389-9997