Story Submitted by Deborah Bostock-Kelley


My daddy taught me to write by writing
To enjoy the feel of a pen in my hand or a keyboard beneath my fingers
To believe in magic and mold words into a perfect story
To speak with clarity though my voice shook
To stand up for myself by standing up for others
To stand tall when I wanted not to stand out
To judge a person only by the content of his character
To not brand a person with biased labels
To give a dollar to a stranger because it’s the right thing to do
To be kind when no one’s watching
To never be scared to soar by giving me wings
To know I have a safe landing place, should I falter in flight
To not let a diagnosis define you
To fight like hell against an invisible monster
To never be afraid to show I am afraid
To accept a setback as it is and move forward
To celebrate the smallest triumphs
To appreciate the little moments
To love by loving
To do by doing
My daddy still teaches me

Story Submitted by Georgette De Salvo

After my father died, my mother called my sister and me into their old bedroom. My dad’s big lacquered jewelry box was on my parent’s bed – where he kept his personal things. Together, we were going to go through it. Let me just say that we all loved my father dearly, and he was totally a stand-up guy-a responsible, loving father and husband-so we really didn’t expect any big surprises. What we did find was loose change, jewelry, various papers, a thick white sealed envelope and a big pile of losing OTB tickets. My father loved to gamble. He played the horses and bet on football. In NY we had off-track betting, or OTB. One could bet on horse races without having to be at the track. There were OTB storefronts in all the neighborhoods, and my dad, like my uncles, and all of their friends, headed down to OTB on Saturday mornings to study the race sheet and hang out with their cronies. This was acceptable because my dad only bet with his allowance. My mom handled all the money for the household, including paying the bills. She permitted my father an allowance every paycheck, which was for him to spend as he pleased. My dad never complained about this system, and I think he enjoyed this system. My dad wasn’t gambling with the mortgage payment or the electric bill money. It wasn’t a lot, but it gave him freedom, and my mother didn’t even bat an eyelash about it. She knew gambling was what he enjoyed; it was his hobby. The funny thing is my dad really wasn’t a lucky guy. Quite the opposite, he had a reputation for losing, and losing big. I can remember one time a jockey fell off a horse mid-race, and of course that was the horse my dad bet on-disqualified. Another time my father’s horse was in the lead, but suddenly he dropped dead right before the finish line. This would play out in front of our eyes. On Saturdays they televised the 9th race on TV, called “Live from Aqueduct Racetrack”. My mom would pull the portable TV on the rolling stand into the kitchen so we could watch the race at dinner time. That morning, my dad would be studying the racing sheet, and if he was at a loss for a bet, he’d ask me or my sister to pick a horse. We learned how to read a racing sheet early on as a rite of passage, all the cousins knew how. The televised races were so exciting–we’d all be screaming and urging his horses on. Then if he lost, he’d be in a bad mood. My mom, sister and I mostly thought his losses were funny. We were a giddy crew to begin with and he was a dead serious kind of guy. It was tough being the only man in our house, with two giggly girls and a mom who was just as bad. Plus, he was a NY Giants fan – not the best team in football by far. Watching the games, he would swear a blue streak, throw his Giants doll at the TV, rip up his betting tickets, and say he would never bet again. But he did! He would bet on everything, but he never bet against the Giants, he just couldn’t. They were his team, and betting against them would be inconceivable. See, my dad had eternal hope. Hope that the next time, he’d hit it big. He’d pick that trifecta, the Giants would make the playoffs, even win the Superbowl. My dad lived his life with the emotions of anticipation and expectation leading the way. Hope. My dad was a wonderful father. He passed on the excitation of live horseracing; the love of football; he made me a diehard Giants fan, but mostly he gave me the greatest gift, that of hope. For me, there always is a chance I will be lucky, I will choose correctly, things will work out. And when we went through his jewelry box that night, we came across all those losing old OTB tickets that he had saved. We also found a big, thick, sealed white envelope. My mom looked at us and joked tearfully that now we discover he had a secret wife and family. I knew we wouldn’t have to worry. I had everlasting hope in my dad. And that envelope, it was stuffed with cash, over $1,000. We knew he went out a winner!

Story Submitted by Beverly Bitterman

I was 21, off at Nursing School, and living off-campus in an OK but not great apartment with my friend Jamie and her sister Mary Anne. I went out to get in my car and it wouldn’t start. Turns out the battery was missing. What to do? Seemed like a problem Dad could solve. Dad was a shift supervisor at Dow Corning in Hemlock, Michigan. He was working 3 – 11 that day. So, getting to him involved calling Mom to get the number, dialing it up and because it was second shift and the operator worked days, Dad answered my call. I explained the situation. Dad said “Ask Dave (Jamie’s boyfriend) to take you to K Mart and buy the medium-priced battery. Then ask Dave to put it in. Go buy him a 6 pack of beer as a thank you.” Worked like a charm.

Story Submitted by Kaedin Cammareri

Dear Dad,

You are such a dad.
– Rant about politics.
– Make cheesy dad jokes.
– Insist that I will not be allowed to date until I’m forty years old.
– Lecture people in customer service.
– Put tons of salt and pepper on everything.
– Reminisce about what it was like “back in your day.”

However, you also do so many amazing things that set you apart from others.
– Tear up over Hallmark and feel-good movies.
– Served in the military for 21 years.
– Watch shows with me till midnight even when it is “lights out at 10:30.”
– Drive me to all of my theater rehearsals.
– Give me a hug every night, no matter what.
– Love and care for everyone, no matter their circumstances.
– Give advice to random strangers like they were your own child.

It would be selfish of me to keep all of your great qualities to myself, so I am glad I get to share you with everyone around me. Please never change. I hope you always cry at sappy movies and make cheesy dad jokes. Don’t ever stop giving fatherly advice to strangers and loving everyone. Your small acts of kindness and small gestures of generosity do not go unnoticed. So I, on behalf of every person you have ever affected, would like to thank you for making our lives a little brighter. I’m sure we would all like to thank you, and any other great dads out there, for putting meaning into Father’s Day. So, maybe you are “such a dad”, but that is what makes you so great. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you for being my dad.

Love you most,


Story Submitted by Anonymous


My father died 3 years ago. In the year before his death, I spent a lot of time with him. He shared stories of his youth, and we traveled together visiting family. One of the things we discussed was cars. We were both in the market for a change and we were both looking at SUV’s. He had a big truck and was ready to downsize. He also thought he would buy Mom a newer model car. She had an old Cadillac she called her “creampuff” car. Dad was very knowledgeable about cars and we discussed which model would be the best and so on. One day when I went over to visit, there sat a SUV in the carport. He had gone out and chosen a new car before me! We all laughed about it and used that car to travel around. It had lots of “bells and whistles”. He just knew it was the right car for Mom for after he was gone. 6 months later Dad died. One of the things I wanted to do was buy that car from Mom. She did not want it, did not like it, and was set on keeping her “creampuff”. So, are you wondering how it is that a car I bought from Mom is a gift from Dad? Well, let me tell you. I knew it was a very good car if my Dad picked it out and I would not have to worry about going to a dealership and haggle my way through a car sale. And every time I drive the car, I have the memory of Dad in the passenger seat as my co-pilot, telling me stories. If you see me in my car, all alone, talking to myself, you might think I am crazy. But I am not. I am talking to my Dad. He still rides with me in that car, listening to all my stories. What a great gift! Thanks, Dad.

Story Submitted by Carris Williams Cash


During those young years on the big farm, I lived outside for all the daylight hours. Roaming on the bluff with my black cat or climbing to the top of trees where the wind would blow me around. Pretending I was either flying or sailing and I had never seen the ocean at that time. The rest of my time was spent following Daddy around being the farmer’s daughter.

I spent the winters making fudge, peanut brittle, and cookies for everyone I knew. Making doll clothes for my neighbor’s girls – Cecilia and Pam Glenn. But spring was soon to come. I watched the ground for the first sign of daffodils yellow on the hills and paperwhites outside my bedroom window. Lots of my days were spent in the barn looking for kittens in the hay. I couldn’t wait for them to open their eyes. Then the apple trees would bloom, beautiful pink and white blossoms. Most of the time no one knew where I was, and I would live in those trees until the blossoms were gone.

When the ground was ready, Daddy would start plowing. I loved the smell of the loose topsoil, and I spent time literally “following in his footsteps.” I remember hopping in his deep shoeprints one to the other to keep up with him. I adored my Daddy, and he always allowed me to tag along with him. When he would go into the back fields, I would run to meet him so I could ride the mules back to the barn. They were so sweaty and slick I could barely stay on as I held on to their mane. Daddy would laugh all the way to the house. Imagine how bad I smelled when I got there. Thankfully back then I could easily fit into a #2 wash tub to clean up before supper.

One of my favorite places to play was in the big pasture. There was a small pond that never dried up, so in the spring it would fill up with tadpoles. I would watch every stage of their development as they turned into frogs. I lost interest when they matured, and I wondered what became of them because there where hundreds.

That part of my life on the big farm was filled with wonderful memories still entrenched in my mind. There was a grape arbor near the dirt road. I would sit there on top of the vines and watch for dust to come up over the hill, which wasn’t often as there were few cars. Now I look back on those vines as a symbol of life itself, so intertwined but always leading back to the base and the beginning, and so it has been that way for me.

I was thirteen when we left that place. I came in from school one day and daddy had my cat in a burlap sack ready for me to join him in the back of the truck to leave and go the new place. A smaller farm, easier to handle for Mama and Daddy. A new community, a county away, where I would go to a new church and a new school where I would meet my future husband. Daddy lived to be 92 years old, and I never stopped adoring and admiring him. He always had a great curiosity and zest of life that I know he passed on to me, and he never lost it. I would grow up to learn he had a fascinating life full of travel, adventure, and wars before he settled down with Mama to start a big family on that first big farm.

Story Submitted by Julie Ravelo


Glenn was a cute baby. He was a good baby too. When Glenn was a teenager, he loved to play baseball. He was a catcher. That skill followed him all the way to college. He played as a catcher for Spring Hill College during his freshman year. Although he was a good baby, he became a little bit more adventurous as he got older. One day, during practice at Spring Hill, he was carrying on with some of his friends on the field. His coach came up to him and said, in the good ole Southern accent, “Boy, do you know why you’re here?” Glenn’s cocky self said, “Because I’m a good baseball player?” His coach roared a belly laugh and said, “Boy, the only reason you are here is because you are the only minority I could find.” That put Glenn right back in his place, behind the plate.

Glenn and I go back a long way. We met on a blind date when he was a freshman in college and I was a senior in high school. I knew right away what a nice guy he was when he agreed to take my mother with us as a chaperone on all of our dates. He simply said, “She seems nice enough, we’ll just bring her along.” That’s where our journey begins. Several months later, I received a call from my mother. She was working at the airport at the time. She said, “You know that guy that has been taking us out to dinner?” Well, I just saw him walking across the airport, in handcuffs!” It turns out that Glenn and a couple of friends were headed to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. One of the guys was running late and when he just barely made it to check in, he said, “All we need now is for a bomb to go off.” Well, even pre-911, that is not something you say at an airport. And that, my friends, is how Glenn ended up walking across the airport in handcuffs. Air piracy with attempt to commit murder was the charge. The charges were dropped once the FBI realized that they were just a bunch of kids messing around. We married 2 years later AND the adventure began.

In our 20’s, we thought it might be fun to have our family of 3 kids WHILE we went to college. Picture this, Glenn would go to school in the morning, work his part time job at Gayfer’s Department store selling ladies shoes in the evening and study late into the night. Only to start over the next day. He would ask me to meet him for dinner. So, Nikki and I would stroll around the mall until his break. Then we would eat at the only place we could afford, The Gayfer’s cafeteria……you know, employee discount.

While it might sound monotonous to some, we interjected some craziness here and there. Like that one road trip we took to Miami to visit family. It would be a 10-12 hour drive, but Glenn wanted to make it in 9. He made sure to tell everyone to go to the bathroom because he WAS NOT stopping for pee-breaks! We didn’t get but 1 hour down the road when guess who needed a pee-break? Not me!

We were staying a t Glenn’s parent’s house. The house was located under a landing path at the Miami International Airport. The family would gather in the tiny Florida Room, with tile floors, where the 2 birds lived, and watch the 52 inch TV. This is how it went……Baseball was on the TV, the family was telling stories and laughing, the kids were arguing, and the birds were saying “Nikki, Chris, Ryan”. Then an airplane would fly over the house. The TV volume was increased, the family’s inside voices became their outside voices, and the birds would scream louder to accommodate for the noise level. And so it went, plane after plane after plane. As you can see, family has always been the most important thing for Glenn.
About 5 years ago, Glenn’s mother became very ill. His parents were still living in Miami without any support. Glenn made the decision to move them up to Tampa so that he could care for them properly. Sadly, his mother passed away a few years ago, but Glenn continues to look after his dad. When he is not traveling, Glenn works upstairs in his office into the evening most days. If anyone calls for him or tries to ask him a question, he always says, “Can’t you see I am working?” Unless his 2 year old grandson stands at the foot of the stairs and yells, “ Gramps, come ere”. Then, Glenn becomes a bowl full of mush and he’s downstairs in a split second. He is crazy about that boy and it is clear, that the feeling is mutual. So as our adventure continues, I wish Glenn a very happy father’s day!

Story Submitted by Thomas J. Bostock


By seventy-five, I should probably be jaded. I’ve been a father, grandfather several times, and now a great grandfather. It’s official. I even have a shirt for it! Surprisingly, the wonder never dies as the cycle of life repeats itself, time after time. I see my two daughters with grown children of their own but still remember bouncing them and their children on my knee. If I tried it now, I probably wouldn’t be able to walk for a week! That’s the problem with us elder citizens, no matter how old and independent that they become, they will always be children in our eyes. I used to have an expression that I know my kids will remember: It’s not when your get up and go is gone, its where it’s been that counts. All I need to do is look at my family and I know where it went. Being a father is more than just giving in to a biological urge. It’s all those little things that accumulate over the years. It’s helping change diapers, bouncing a colicky baby on your chest until she falls asleep, kissing boo-boos, and eating biscuits that were made for you with baking powder substituted for baking soda making them the equivalent of hockey pucks…and liking them. It’s the late nights helping finish up last-minute assignments where they had two weeks to complete and then adding fluff when there weren’t the right number of words, and going to school to confront teachers who were so full of themselves that they couldn’t see that they were damaging your child. It is teaching your child to drive and not losing your mind when they hit the gas instead of the brake, almost running into your workplace. It’s comforting the heartaches and heartbreaks, knowing that there are many more to come and encouraging them to let their grasp outstretch their reach so that they are never bored and always challenged. It’s picking them up when they fall, knowing that they will fall again. It’s respecting their choices in life for careers and mates. It’s hoping that you taught the right values without being overly strict or restrictive and respecting their opinions and being glad that they are willing to think for themselves, not accepting everything at face value but questioning when things are not what they seem. It is a million smiles, tears, and kisses, in my case, Eskimo kisses (nose rubs). It is joys and laughter tempered with pain and sorrow. It is watching them as they learned to roll over, then pull themselves up in their cribs, and then teeter and crawl. The wobbly walk was a rite of passage. I see that in the cell phone videos that I receive from my granddaughter of my great-grandson. Suddenly, there was kindergarten and then grade school with indistinguishable animals that they drew for you. “Look, daddy, I made you a monkey.” You stared at the crooked lines and knew that if there wasn’t the likeness of a monkey, it should have been there; it was up to you to confirm it. Then middle school and high school with new relationships, hurts and rewards, being picked on and bullied. With the graduations came the college years and more boyfriends, advice, and relationships. With so many memories, it is hard to point to just a few things that represent fatherhood. In their own way, they all do. It was “the best of times, it was the worst of times and I wouldn’t have traded it for all the money in the world. It is “I love you to the moon and back,” wrapped up in my family.

Story Submitted by Miles Wesley Dittmar

At a young age I was fueled with entrepreneurship. Lemonade stands, knitting beanies and scarves, selling skateboards, and homemade duct-taped wallets led to my proudest accomplishment yet. My names Miles Dittmar, I’m 21 years old and I am the CEO and owner of, “Beaten Path Company”. To keep it simple, Beaten Path is not just a clothing brand, it’s a lifestyle. Mixing the niche based outdoor passions, such as, snowboarding, hiking, surfing rock-climbing and so on. Your passion, your path. It wasn’t till the start of 2020 that I created my campaign program called, “Be The Change”. Be The Change is any easy way for the community to give back. When you buy a “Be The Change” t-shirt, not only do you get a high quality tee, but 100% of the profits are being sent to a new organization every month. In January, I was so grateful to be able to send over $1,700 to the Australian Red Cross to help with the devastating wildfires going on in Australia. February was The Dolphin Project, to help protect dolphins worldwide, and end dolphin exploitation and slaughter. In March I decided it was only necessary to give to an organization helping with COVID-19 and that organization is called, “Direct Relief”. Their mission is to speed the process of production in medical supplies during the pandemic, while my mission is to spread awareness about my campaign. I later decided that it was only necessary to extend my COVID-19 campaign throughout the months of April and May. My biggest question with the campaign has been, “Why don’t you just tell people to donate the full $20 to the organization instead of buying a t-shirt from your company?” I have nothing against people doing that vs purchasing a t-shirt from me. However, by buying the shirt it is a quick and easy way to spread the word amongst others that are curious when the read the “Be The Change” designs out in public and on social media. It’s so important to me that I do whatever it takes to bring communities together and make an eco-conscious mark on Planet Earth. Not only a better planet for our children, but a better planet for our children’s children and so on. Not By Default – Beaten Path Company