Farm Collector

Lessons Our Fathers Taught Us

Reader Contribution by Column Leslie C. Mcmanus.

The lessons our dads instilled in us come up in conversation with some regularity. In my case, the lessons included how to drive, how to be an objective observer (There are always, he would say, at least two sides to every story), and how to comply with an established curfew (arriving home sooner was always better than later).

In this issue, Bill Vossler tells the story of the Abey kids who are happily sharing their dad’s antique engine hobby. Aaron Abey has a deep appreciation for history and the old ways, and he’s passing that on to the next generation. “This story shall the good man teach his son,” Shakespeare says. A parent’s job has never been as big as it is today. Hats off to those who take the time to bring the past to life in young minds.

Also in this issue, Bob Pripps takes a close look at inventor and entrepreneur James Oliver. Oliver was determined to teach his children by example. “I want my children to know the stress and strain of work,” he reportedly said, “and never to forget the burdens of life, in order that they may respect the burdens of others.”

And finally, I would share with you a poem written by my great-grandfather in 1939, well before the days when kids were distracted by cellphones and video games. It is a special thing to see a dad impacting young lives, but equally special to catch a glimpse, through a dad’s eyes, of a time irretrievably lost but never forgotten.

The Follerdads


Oh I was the big chief of the Follerdad tribe,

As loyal a crew as you’re likely to know

In the land of the true, where Kaw waters flow.

Oh blow east or blow west, or blow high or blow low

Where I wended my quest would the Follerdads go.

From the house to the farm, from the hill to the hollow

Where I pointed my arm would the Follerdads follow.


No more do my tribesmen respond to my rally;

Gone are the days when we scouted the valley.

But, oh, great Manitou, when you beckon me home,

I’ll be happy to go where the Follerdads roam.

— John Wesley Naylor

Happy Father’s Day to you all! FC

  • Published on Jun 4, 2019
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