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  • #16
    absolutes. This is true of nations and this is true of people. There is no middle ground and there are no compromises. The first rule is that you never, ever, under any circumstances throw the first punch. The second rule is that you always, under all circumstances, throw the last on. Son, never start a fight, but always finish it." He walked out of my room and didn’t say another word.

    That kind of leads into the next one. I was getting ready to go out with some of my friends one night. I was probably 16 or 17 I guess. As I was headed towards the door, Dad stopped me and you know, the standard, "Where you going? Who are you going to be with? What are you going to be doing?" And I gave Dad a version of events that might not have been entirely accurate for what my plans were for the evening. And, he didn’t challenge me. He didn’t question it. He just looked at me and said, "You know, if you ever do something stupid enough that you get thrown into jail, don’t call me for two reasons. Would you like to know what the two reasons are?" Given the circumstances, I thought that might be useful information to have. So I said, "Yeah Dad, what are the two reasons?" He said, "The first reason is that if you called me from jail, I would not come and get you and you will have wasted your only phone call. The second reason is that if for some reason I did come and get you, you would wish that I had not and you will still have wasted your own phone call." I never had to find out if Dad was kidding or not, but I don’t think he was.

    But you know, Dad was always trying to teach us. Dad was very insistent that we learn how to solve our own problems because I don’t think Dad ever met a problem he couldn’t find a solution to. His ingenuity was just incredible. The ice storm back in 2002 when the power was all knocked out. Dad had gotten together a number of the neighbors and they had punched a gas well many years ago and several of the houses out there were all on natural gas. When the power went out, Dad called KCP&L and they said it would be quite a while before we can get you back on. So Dad went out in the workshop. He had a generator. He had a piece of electrical cord with nail on both ends. He plugged one end to the generator and the other end was arc welder. He had a 220 line that ran from the house out to the arc welder. He fired up the generator, sent the power the opposite direction back into the house. They had enough power to run their furnace, their refrigerators and freezers and the lights for the room they were in. Dad called KCP&L back and said, "No hurry. We got gas. We got power. We’re good."

    Dad found a way to solve his own problems and he was insistent that we find a way to solve ours, as my sister found out one day. She had acquired her first real horse. We’d always had horses and ponies growing up and she had acquired her first real horse. This horse named Lady. She was 12, 13, something like that. She was riding and she was up in the peach orchard and Lady decided she was tired of Robyn, so she threw her off. After my sister hit the ground, she got up fussing and stomping and swore she was never going to get back on the horse again. Dad said, "That’s all right. I’ll just sell it. If you aren’t going to ride it, I’ll just sell it." Well, (Continued)

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    • #17
      he knew how much she loved it. She’d just gotten it and she wasn’t going to have anything to do with that. So she dusted herself off and no doubt, muttering her under her breath, got back on the horse. Dad kept reassuring her the entire time, "Don’t worry. I’m right here. I’ll help you through it." She gets back on the horse and the horse was facing the road and by the time she got Lady back under control and turned around, Dad was gone. He wanted her to figure it out on her own. Dad was always trying to teach us that you are going to fall down, but you’ve got to get back up.

      But you know, it wasn’t always serious with Dad. Dad had a sense of humor that was infectious, as my mother found out one April Fools Day. Dad would occasionally take hard-boiled eggs in his lunch. Mom thought she’d be cute once on April Fools Day for his lunch and she sent him an egg that wasn’t hard boiled. It was still raw. Well, Dad figured it out before he cracked it at work. So he goes in the break room at FAA and he boils it. He puts it back in his lunch box and he takes it home. He walks into the house. Mom’s in the kitchen fixing dinner. Dad walks in and sets his lunch box down on the table, opens it, pulls out the egg and says, "Hey Juanita, didn’t eat my egg today. Here, catch!" Mom screams, Dad’s laughing his head off. It was the perfect role reversal for an April Fools joke. If you ever heard Dad laugh, you can just press the play button in your head and that what was going on. He was laughing his head off and Mom was standing there doing this [gestures with hands on side of face].

      Dad always seemed to be doing things that didn’t really seem possible. The night that we got Dad’s diagnosis, the oncologist that broke the news to us visited with some of us separately from Mom and Dad. In the course of that conversation, the question came up about Dad going home. The doctor’s name was a gentleman by the name of Dr. David Lee. Dr. Lee just kind of casually asked, "Where do they live?" I said, "They live on a small farm south of Gardner." Dr. Lee said, "Gardner, huh? What church do they belong to? Do they go to church?" I said, "Yeah, they do. They belong to the First Presbyterian Church in Gardner." Dr. Lee goes, "Really? That was Chuck Ashmore’s church wasn’t it? His wife’s name is Minnie."

      I was taken aback by that because, for those of you that are unfamiliar with this congregation, Chuck Ashmore was the pastor of this Church for many, many years. He was the pastor that I grew up with and Chuck passed away a number of years ago after a very long, difficult battle with cancer. I was very surprised that Dr. Lee would remember somebody that had been gone that long and his wife’s name. I looked at Dr. Lee and I said, "Dr. Lee, how do you know Chuck and Minnie?" And he said, "Because Chuck Ashmore was the only true miracle I ever observed in all of my years in oncology."

      He goes on to tell me the story how he had been Chuck’s treating physician. Chuck had been in the office one day for one of his weekly follow-up appointment and as Dr. Lee said, "We knew we were getting very near the end. Chuck knew it as well." (Continued)

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      • #18
        Dr. Lee said that after Chuck left he turned around to his nurse and said, "You know, I really hope I’m wrong, but I have a feeling he’s not going to make it to his next weekly appointment. I think we are getting very close."

        The next week rolled around and Chuck showed up for his appointment. Not only did he show up, he walked in under his own power, slapped the counter, kidding the nurses. Dr. Lee wasn’t expecting that. He takes Chuck back to examine him and the extremely large tumor that had existed, was gone.

        Dr. Lee got a little visibly shaken up at this point recounting the story many years later.

        He said, "I had to palpate for quite a while before I could find what was left of it. I called the radiation oncologist and I asked what was going on." The radiation oncologist said, "I have no idea, but it has nothing to do with any treatment we’ve done." So Dr. Lee looked at Chuck and he said, "Do you have an explanation for this?" Chuck said, "I might." He said, "Last weekend we knew we were near the end. There was an anointing and a prayer service with the elders at the First Presbyterian Church in Gardner."
        At that point every hair on the back of my head stood up. I had moved away from home, but I remembered being told that service had taken place. I knew none of the other information that Dr. Lee was telling me. I only knew that the service had taken place.

        I looked at Dr. Lee and I said, "Dr. Lee, I insist that you go back into my Dad’s room and tell my parents that story and when you are done I want you to ask my Father if he knows anything about it." So, Dr. Lee goes back in and tells the story. He looks at Dad and says, "Mr. Murrow, do you know anything about that event?". Dad says, "Yeah, I do. I was one of the elders."

        Those of you that had the privilege of knowing both Chuck and my father shouldn’t be surprised that when two men of their character and faiths got together, something like that was possible. For a long time, I thought that incident that night was meant to give us hope. I thought it was meant to give us hope that maybe the same thing could happen to Dad. I was wrong. I know realize that the incident was meant to give us comfort for what was coming. It was meant to remind us of all of the lives that Dad touched and the legacy he is going to leave behind.

        A couple of days ago I was mowing the yard and I was thinking about what I wanted to say here today. And I suddenly realized something. I realized that all of the stories that I was thinking of, that I wanted to use, examples that I wanted to give of Dad’s wisdom, his character, his honesty, his humor. They all had one thing in common. The one thing they had in common was that in every single instance, in every single story, the actions that Dad took were for the benefit of someone other than himself. Everything that Dad did was for someone else. I quote Dad’s wisdom, but I will remember his honor. I will remember his sense of duty, his (Continued)

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        • #19
          commitment to doing what was right and how that guided every decision he made and every action he took.

          Not long after I realized that I began to get calls from guys that I had grown up with or other buddies of mine. After the third or fourth call, it was almost like they were following a script. In every single instance I was hearing the same thing, "You know, I’ll never forget the time when your Dad helped me do this." It may have been through a particularly difficult time in their life. In one case it was offering support and encouragement that the individual didn’t receive from their own father. He said, "I’ll never forget that. Your dad supported and encouraged me more than my own father."

          Dad never talked about what couldn’t be done. He only talked about what could be done. Dad will long be remembered for his patience, his wisdom, his humor. But I will most remember his very quiet sense of duty and his service to others. That devotion to others extends to the last words that Dad was ever able to speak. The last words that my father was ever able to speak were, "I love you too" to our mother, as she touched his forehead and kissed him and said, "I love you".

          I said we are not here to mourn, but to honor. If we want to honor Dad, then let’s live by his example. Let’s take actions for the benefit of someone else. Let’s find solutions to problems. Let’s correct our children with humor and occasionally reverse and April Fool’s joke. And let the last words on our lips be, "I love you too" to the spouse you shared your life with for 55 years.

          And on that subject of devotion and service to others, Mom gets a lot of credit for all of the things and care that she took of Dad in his final days. Most of us know that love isn’t the googly-eyed feeling we get as a school kid. It’s the actions we take for the benefit of someone else that are inconvenient to us, or difficult. Never have I seen such examples of love for a spouse as I did the care that Mom took of Dad in his last days. Those words, "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part" - the day that those were uttered and Mom said, "I do." - I’m sure she didn’t think it was going to end like this. But she honored those words, spoken 55 years previously.

          I was asked a couple of times this week how I thought I was going to be able to get up and do this for Dad. The answer ... is because I had to. It was my duty to honor Dad one more time. Because Dad would never talk about these things himself and Dad deserves to have his stories told and his character remembered. (END)

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          • #20
            This is Dad's obituary, which I wrote:

            Richard L. (Dick) Murrow, 75, died Sunday, April 13, 2008 surrounded by his loving family in the home he designed and built after a brief battle with a brain tumor. The funeral be at 10:30am, Thursday, April 17 at the First Presbyterian Church, 138 East Shawnee, Gardner, KS 66030. Visitation will be from 9:00am to 10:30am Thursday at the church immediately prior to the funeral. Burial will be at 3:00pm the same day at the Sunny Slope Cemetery in Blue Mound, KS. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the First Presbyterian Church in Gardner, KS.

            Dick was born December 8, 1932 in Blue Mound, KS. He grew up on a farm in a home that was materially poor but spiritually rich. He graduated from Blue Mound High School in 1951. He married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Juanita Townsley, on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1953 in the Blue Mound Methodist Church and he entered into the service of his country through the U.S. Army nine days later. Dick and Juanita celebrated their 55th anniversary with all of their children and grandchildren eight days prior to his death.

            After serving his country for two years overseas, he returned and built on the electronics training he had received in the Army by getting his Associates degree from Central Technical College in 1957. Following graduation, he worked for the Atomic Energy Commission at Bendix in Kansas City.

            In 1960, he went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and became one of the original employees to open the Air Route Traffic Control Center in Olathe, KS. He worked there as an electronics technician until his "retirement" in 1990. Not long after his "retirement", Dick went back to work for various contractors doing much the same work he had done while at FAA, which he continued until his final retirement in 2002. In addition to working full time at FAA, Dick also sold real estate part-time and farmed about seventy acres. Also, he and Juanita operated a small but successful ceramics and craft business together, conducting sales both through craft shows in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma and in various consignment shops in Branson, MO.

            He resided in Lenexa from 1959 to 1967 when he moved his family to a small acreage near Gardner, where he resided until his death. A few years later, he would acquire an additional sixty-five acres which he farmed, fished and hunted.

            Working three or four jobs was only the start of Dick's service to his family and his community. He was a member of the school board for USD 231 in Gardner from 1975 to 1979, including serving as vice-president in 1976-77 and president in 1977-78. A member of the First Presbyterian Church in Gardner since moving there, he also served that faith community as both a deacon and an elder. He was also a member of the local Masonic Lodge.

            A strong advocate for education, both formal and informal, he always insisted that his two children would attend college and worked hard to ensure that it became a reality. They learned well from both his counsel and his example, as one would go on to earn a Masters degree in education and the other became a practicing attorney.

            Dick loved to fish, hunt, camp, read and work in the yard, garden and various orchards that surround their home, but nothing delighted him more than spending time with his four grandchildren and attending their various activities, recitals, sporting events and concerts.

            Dick was preceded in death by his father, Clifford, in 1981. He is survived by his mother, Inez Grogan; his wife, Juanita; one daughter, Robyn McGuire and her husband Mike and two grandsons, Cameron and Cooper; and one son, Rod Murrow and his wife Pat and two granddaughters, Anna and Sarah; and his brother Ronald and his wife Linda.

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            • #21
              Re: Your Dad

              [quote="bambam"
              Any stories about your Dad?[/quote]

              A million, mostly bad. :x
              phsstt!

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              • #22
                Interesting Topic

                My father never knew his own father well, and I have only been in my father's company a few times beyond the time I was about five years old. He is an unsassuming wood carver living alone on a hill in Zihuatenejo, has since after the '68 Games. I stayed w/ him for 17 days when I was about 19, and discovered we had a great deal in common- especially in our respective late teens.

                We wrote one another almost weekly throughout the mid-to-late 1990's.

                Athletically, he was co-captain of his h.s. basketball team in Haverhill, Mass., played basketball a year as a walk-on for Morgan State in the old CIAA, hooped as New England semi-pro until 1961, and taught over 2,000 kids to swim as a YMCA instructor and camp counselor/coach at Camp Union in N.H. He sells his carving to friends such as Ornette Coleman, Randy Weston and Jackie McLean- the late Don Cherry was a customer. My sisters, unlike I, were born in Mexico, having lived there until they were nine and five, respectively. My father gets or reads the USA Today during his walks into "town", watches the NBA Finals at a sports bar, and knows more about prep basketball and world soccer than many of my friends. His command and recall of jazz history is uncanny.

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                • #23
                  Re: Your Dad

                  Originally posted by SQUACKEE
                  Originally posted by bambam
                  Any stories about your Dad?
                  A million, mostly bad. :x
                  Very sorry to hear that. I respect and admire my father more than any man I have ever known.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Your Dad

                    Originally posted by Zat0pek
                    I respect and admire my father more than any man I have ever known.
                    If my son ever says anything even remotely close to that it would be the greatest day of my life. :cry:
                    phsstt!

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                    • #25
                      It sounds as if most of the fathers are above average..the greatest, most admirable, most honest, possessors of unsurpassed integrity...
                      Of course this is a collective illusion...but we perhaps we need illusions...

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by zzbottom
                        It sounds as if most of the fathers are above average..the greatest, most admirable, most honest, possessors of unsurpassed integrity...
                        Of course this is a collective illusion.
                        Speak for yourself.

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                        • #27
                          I'm speaking a truth which is ostensibly beyond your capacity to comprehend based on your defensive response...

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by zzbottom
                            I'm speaking a truth which is ostensibly beyond your capacity to comprehend based on your defensive response...
                            No, you speak from utter and complete ignorance because you disrespected my late father, a man whom you never met and do not know.

                            Ditto the other men described on this thread.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Zat0pek
                              Originally posted by zzbottom
                              I'm speaking a truth which is ostensibly beyond your capacity to comprehend based on your defensive response...
                              No, you speak from utter and complete ignorance because you disrespected my late father, a man whom you never met and do not know.
                              I never even thought of your father when I made my observation, and if you were able to detach for one moment you'd recognize the truth of my observation...Are you bright enough to understand that not all fathers can be the greatest men who walked the earth? You're drowning in a pool of your own narcissism....

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Zat0pek
                                Originally posted by zzbottom
                                I'm speaking a truth which is ostensibly beyond your capacity to comprehend based on your defensive response...
                                No, you speak from utter and complete ignorance because you disrespected my late father, a man whom you never met and do not know.
                                I think the many guys with so-so dads are not posting . The few who posted in this thread are most likely very sincere.
                                phsstt!

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