My Dad's Legacy

My family is touched by the outpouring of support shown to us over the past week. Thank you for all the flowers, letters, food, and hugs. A little more than 600 people came to the Funeral home to pay their respects to my Dad. Here is my speech from the Funeral: My dad was not a boy scout, but he could have been. He was always prepared. I was cleaning out his work truck when he first got sick. I found 3 sets of handcuffs, 4 pairs of sunglasses, 2 pairs of reading glasses, a polaroid camera, hundreds of rounds of ammo, a 40 caliber, shotgun, AR-17 rifle, 2 first aid kits, 5 jackets, 2 pairs of pants, 15 baseball caps, a blanket, MRE’s, 6 sets of silverware, and a 7 year old can of Beanie Weenies. He has taught me to be prepared for just about anything life can throw at me. He had 3 loves in his life: his family and friends, the ABC, and the University of Tennessee. For those of you that don't know, ABC stands for Alcohol Beverage Commission. For a long time, my sister thought my dad taught people how to say their ABC's. He loved his family and friends so much. If you really knew my dad, then you know that if there was anything you needed all you had to do was mention it to my dad once and it would get done, usually on the same day. Growing up my dad didn’t have a lot of things so he made sure that my sister and I always had anything we wanted. There were years where he and mom didn’t buy anything for themselves at all so that Kendra and I could have what we wanted for Christmas or be able to go on a school trip. I don’t think he missed one football game, school play, or softball game, or clogging competition. No matter where he was in the state with the drug task force, he always found a way to get home and be at the game. There was one Friday Night football game that he delayed having surgery so that he could watch me play. He loved the ABC. He loved doing his job. He enjoyed the camaraderie, he respected his friends and colleagues Mike, Deborah, Donelle, Wade, Jack Blackman, Bob Gaskell, Mr. Cathy. He talked about you all the time. He loved and respected all of you. He would want me to ask if anybody could please help Mike out with paperwork and to not mess up the catalogue system in “his vault”. He enjoyed doing inspections and meeting new people. He especially enjoyed helping a new business owner navigate the regulations and get their restaurant or liquor store opened on time. He was fair, believed in second chances,and gave people the benefit of the doubt. He loved the University of Tennessee. If you have been to his office, been upstairs in his house or seen him dress casually, you have seen his love for the Vols. In life my dad was an optimist but in sports he was a pessimist. If things were going well, he would wait for a fumble or interception to screw things up. If things were going poorly then he would change the channel or leave the room for a little while. If they did good while he was not looking the he would stop watching until the last 5 minutes. He was convinced that his watching the game could potentially bring bad luck. My dad did not want today to be about being sad but instead, a celebration of his life. My dad touched a lot of lives and helped a lot of people. When the news of my dad’s illness got out he received prayer cards from states all over the country, food baskets from liquor stores, friends and former colleagues, most with orange ribbons and bows. A couple of ABC Agents drove here from Memphis to bring his favorite BBQ. Kyle Van den Bosh of the Tennessee Titans even called my dad to wish him well. I have even heard stories of people that have not been in a church for years going to church to find out why something so bad can happen to such a good man. Wow, that is what I call making an impact on someone’s life. I have a lot of good memories of my dad. Going to football games together and working in the garage. I will always remember my dad when I am sitting in our seats at the Titans games and when I hear Rocky Top.