“Fathers Day.”

1st motorcycle trip to St. Louis 1994
My dad standing next to my first touring motorcycle a Kawasaki Voyager-12

Today men all over America are celebrating Father’s Day spending time with their families, throwing a ball in the yard or enjoying a quiet day they all deserve.

Church morning photos mid 1960"s moms the photographer.
Church morning photos mid-1960″s moms the photographer.

My father, taught me by example that every day is “Fathers Day” because my father worked consistently, rarely taking a day off, never taking a vacation, leaving town for special occasions like funerals but always providing for his family of five.

My father was no stranger to hard work and struggle because, well before I was a twinkle in his eyes, he suffered life in the Mississippi Delta, picking cotton, living under the Jim Crow Laws, in place to enforce racial segregation and the ever presence of white terrorist threatening him harm or death.

Dad standing on ice in Korea early 1950's
Dad standing on ice in Korea early 1950’s

He volunteered for entry into the US Army during the Korean War, serving and returning to the US to settle into the African-American community of St. Louis’s called the “Ville.”

Joe Leake severe station, Standard oil gas station late 1960's
Joe Leake Standard Oil Service Station, late 1960’s

In the mid-1950’s my father was a determined African-American who started a family, purchased a home, worked for the city of St. Louis for 30+-years, and drove a cab, until becoming the owner of a Joe Leake Standard Oil Gas Station in the late 1960’s that is currently open and operated in the community.

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So, for me, “Fathers Day,” is the reminder of how my father taught me responsibility, perseverance, determination, and discipline, which are the four cornerstone foundations for being a father.


Poem

Every day is “Fathers Day,” is my father’s wisdom.
Every day is mothers day and your birthday.
Never go a day, a week, a month without showing someone you care.
But more importantly never wait for a birthday, holiday, or any special occasion to celebrate and cherish someone you love.

MJL

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11 thoughts on ““Fathers Day.”

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