Thirty five years ago, plus about one hour, Jack Huddle Jr. died.

He was my dad.

He was a man of integrity and a recovered alcoholic.

He listened to me when I was 13 when I cried and wondered if God existed.

He took me to work, dressed as a switchman, when I was 19, into the Alcoa plant south of Little Rock.

He learned to love my mother in the same way she loved him, the last months of his life.

He believed in God, playing chess with his best friend, and thought it was always better to leave a place better than the way you found it.

He hated to eat and was abused by his mother.

He love to fish. I loved to sit in the boat, holding my pole, while he sculled.

He only had Jake for a grandchild. I suspect they have had a few conversations. Where they are now, you know

He wasn’t a perfect father, but he was mine.

This is what he told me when I had Jake.

“Teach him how you love him, no matter what. Teach him about God. Those two things are what he can be sure of. Nothing else much matters.”

He was right.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Dad.

JackFishBoat