Breland: Whistle lesson recalled on Father’s Day

Published 11:28 am Friday, June 17, 2022

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When we think about our earliest memories, people have different ages they remember. I have some treasured images of experiences with my dad.

My very earliest memory, apparently pretty early in my life, has always been very vivid. If I close my eyes, I can almost imagine that I am there again.

I was a small tot standing in a doorway, restrained by a wooden chair placed crosswise so that I could not get past and go outside. There was no screen door. On the other side of the door, outside, my daddy was working on the porch.

He was trying to teach me to whistle. As I think about it, the door, the porch, my thoughts, my trying to whistle … it’s all stored there in my memory. On other occasions Daddy tried to teach me to whistle, but I never could. I had a cousin who could whistle so loud and I was always jealous!

When we think about our earliest memories, we may have different ages we recall. I have vague images of sitting in my dad’s lap, playing with the cigarettes and matches in the big top pocket of his overalls. I would take them out and put them back in. He wore white overalls because he was a painter in those early days. I treasured those moments when I was my daddy’s little girl.

We all remember waiting for him to come home on Fridays, which was payday. He always brought four little “candy” bags filled with goodies, one for each of us. This was the 1940’s and times were hard for most following the days after World War II. Those little bags of candy were a treasure.

As we were growing up, when we wanted something that was important to us, our parents would move heaven and earth to get it. We didn’t get everything we wanted by any means, but if it was really important, they managed somehow to find a way. Our wants were usually pretty conservative and when we decided we really wanted something, we ran the idea by mother first, and if she thought it was a good idea, then we approached daddy, or she did it for us.

One thing we really enjoyed was going to the drive-in theater. We would put our baby brother up to asking Daddy to take us, since he usually wouldn’t refuse when the baby asked. He was so cute that we were pretty sure we would get to go.

While childhood memories are precious, so is the time I spent with my dad as an adult. When we were growing up his main focus was making a living for his family. As we left home, he was able to focus on things he wanted to do…and almost everything interested him.

He would find an interest, concentrate on learning everything he could about it and then satisfied, move on to something else. Whether it was hunting, fishing, reading, seeking and collecting arrowheads and old bottles, refinishing old furniture and musical instruments or growing tomatoes. He also loved being with people, including his children and grandchildren. He was spoiled by his mother and some things never went away, but he adored our Mother.

Memories are precious treasures that we take with us all our lives, even though our parents may not be here anymore.

On this Father’s Day, please take a few minutes and remember all the good times you have had with your daddy. If he is still with you, share some of those memories with him. It will be one of the best gifts he can receive today.

Young fathers, if you don’t usually spend time with your kids, take some time and teach them to pitch a baseball, or read a story, whistle or do whatever they like to do.

If they are anything like this “kid,” they may never learn to whistle, but they will never forget it.

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at