By Charles Towne

When I was no bigger than a pup-kid my first teachers were my folks and I am here to tell you I was a hard study. Daddy especially was a hard taskmaster, and the only thing that I can tell you for of certainty is that I sure do wish I had been a better student and listened to what he had to say better then I did.  If I had been a better listener I more than likely wouldn’t have had near as much trouble growing up, but then I always was dumber than a stump, a slow study, if you get my drift.

Several years before I was even a gleam in my daddy’s eye he settled on a little homestead on two islands on the Fox River in Illinois.  That’s where he took mama when they were married and that fertile river bottom land was good for raising two crops, corn and kids. Eventually, when daddy thought I was big enough he took advantage of the labor force and he taught me to plow the field at which time he gave me some darned good advice which eventually sank in.  His words were few and to the point and I will never forget them, they were, “Never look back boy, never look back.” Come to think about it I guess that is pretty good advice for all of us, isn’t it?

What he meant by that never look back thing can be found in Luke 9:62 in the bible, “if a man, (or a boy) puts his hand to the plow and looks back, he isn’t fit for the kingdom of God.”  Dad learned that by experience the hard way I am sure because I don’t remember him ever reading the bible in those early years.

What he meant was this, when You are pulling a plow, and if you want your furrows to be nice and straight you should always keep your focus way out there in front of you because sure as mama cats have little kittens, right at that place where you looked back you are going to have a crooked place in your furrow.

I thank our loving God for my daddy.  I wish I could tell him how much I love him and how much I appreciate what he did for me.  I believe he would be proud of me today.

Thanks, daddy, I love you very much.


Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. The memories & Love for my dad changed over the course of my life as I grew older; Becoming a wife, Mom & my career in law enforcement changed my view of my dad. When I was 18, I couldn’t wait to leave my dad; I thought he was strict; cheap & uncaring; comparing him to other dads. Moving out after HS; the first of many hard lessons to experience & learn; working full time & paying bills; Rent; electricity; gas bill & telephone just to keep the roof over my head .. priorities before buying make-up, clothes & shoes .. having a budget for the necessities, I.e. food & subway fare was a priority. It was then I began to think about my dad’s life & his priorities he had and all the responsibilities. He had a home & 7 family members to take care of. Me, I was one person. Fast forward… decades later, now in the present, memories of my late dad are fond; being so grateful for the life he lead being an example for us; he was born an only child to his Mom; Blessed with 5 girls and his only son (our special brother) with special needs… he provided for ALL of us with one job, his factory job and never complained or shared his struggles. It took for me to be a Mom, wife and a working woman to realize how much he did with so little resources available to him. He is resting in eternal peace; his Love ♥️ & the lessons he taught us Lives forever in my heart ✨ Yes, my dad was the Best Teacher in my life. When he was in hospice; God gave us the hours we needed to share with him words of gratitude and let him know how much he meant to us in life

  2. Dear NH, thanks so very much for your friendship. Fill our hearts and minds with an eternal love for our daddies Papa God, and help us to be the loving children you call us to be. Bless Nicky and hers in all ways and at all times, in Jesus’ holy and wonderful name I ask it, Amen

  3. Dear Diane, my prayer for you is this: thanks so much Papa God for touching Diane with memories of her daddy on this special day. Being a daddy is not always an easy task as you well know Father, but we do the best we can with the tools we have don’t we? In Jesus name we ask this, Amen. Bless you and yours dear one, Chaz

  4. Yes, what beautiful memories!
    Never look back are such words of wisdom to live by. Funny thing happened… I learned that as I got older, my dad got wiser. Amazing!
    And now that I can no longer talk to him or ask his opinion, I truly miss and value his intelligence.
    Thank you Lord, for the gift of a
    good father…not perfect, just perfect for me.
    Happy Father’s Day, Chuck!
    God bless you.

  5. Your daughter, Faith, posted this on FB yesterday (in case you didn’t see it): When you are a little girl, your daddy should be your hero, and a giant in your eyes. He should teach you what is right and read to you, & tell the best stories in the most dramatic way. He should know how to play, how to wrestle on the floor, swim in a lake or a pond, toss you in the air and catch you every time. He should be able to drive in the worst blizzards without losing control of the car. Daddy’s should know how to wipe tears and hug fears away. He should be able to say no…and mean it…and make it stick when necessary. He should be quick to laugh, and also quick to forgive. Daddy’s should be strong and fast and never get tired…or at least not show it! Daddy’s are heroes to little girls…and to little boys.
    I am very blessed to have a Daddy that was all of these things to me. No, he wasn’t perfect, but, then, neither were his parents…or his children!
    I am also very blessed to have given my sons the most amazing Papa. He was and IS the best!
    As I am no longer a little girl, and the giant of a father I had long ago is now much shorter…(is it that I am taller? Or has he shrunk???) and he is almost 85, there are signs of getting older and I know I probably won’t have him too many more years in this old world. There was a time that it didn’t seem like that was such a big deal, but, now, I know it is. I have been so blessed to get closer to him in the recent months. We live so far apart, that time and circumstance tends to let one drift away. But, I praise God that I got to spend time with my dad a few months ago and it was wonderful. My dad is not on FB but, I just want to say how thankful I am for him. I learned so much from him…my love of nature…my artistic eye…my love of a good story…my love of laughter and good books. Of course, my quick temper and a few other things might have come from him too…but, it’s fathers’ day, so let’s just think about the good stuff, shall we?
    In spite of our flaws and mistakes…a family still finds a way to love each other. And I am so thankful for my Dad. For all the good stuff he gave me…and the lessons he taught me. He is something special. God bless him. Happy Father’s Day to all the Daddy’s, Papa’s, Fathers, Daddio’s, and Dads…you will never know what you mean to your children.

  6. Dear CSG, one of the most valuable lessons we can ever learn is to let the past die because if we insist on living in the past, hanging on to slights real or imagined, if we can’t forgive, how can we be forgiven? Thanks so much for your perception. Bless you and yours. Chaz

  7. Wow, as I look back through the somewhat myopic vision at my past I realize all the more my failures and all the more I realize God’s mercy. If our children see us as giants perhaps it is due to the fact that our merciful God is lifting us up and as our children grow in stature, just perhaps we grow in character? (We can hope!) As you forgive me O Holy God, help me to forgive others and see them through your eyes. Thanks for passing on my beautiful daughter’s kind and thoughtful words Judy. I love you all. Chaz

  8. I do not think there are enough thankful words in the English language for me to express my appreciation for having my father around for 63 years of my life. I miss him every day.

  9. Mike, aint it the truth? Just telling him thanks, or saying”I love you dad!” would never be enough would it. Bless you Mike,

  10. Hi Charles, I know your father was tough on you quite a bit. So, it is so beautiful that you focus on and appreciate the goodness he did provide, in his tough old grisly way. I’m so lucky to have a father who is still alive, who is a gentle soul, and who has been an amazing Dad! Thanks be to God.

  11. Dear Kristin, I think there is a great blessing in being able to see the good, even if it is in retrospect. If we knew all the difficulties that life served up to our folks we would perhaps be kinder and gentler in our judgments. The years have been hard on me but thank God LIFE has been very good. I am the man I am because of my Father. Bless you dear friend, Chaz

  12. Dear Chuck, Your article brought back many memories, I lost my dad when I was in the service, I had just returned from three months out of country and when I was checking back in I was told, ” don’t even unpack, you have emergency leave and your plane leaves in 1 hour, the duty driver was standing by to take me to D.C to catch my flight home, Dad was in a comma from kidney failure and he passed two days after I got home.
    The man who taught me was gone! Form him I learned to be honest and honorable, I learned respect, manners and to stand up for what was right! If he thought I was acting correctly and trouble came, he would stand in front of me, if I was in the wrong he would stand next to me as I “faced the music” to show me that there were consequences but I didn’t have to face them alone! I like to think that God gives us fathers to in a small way, illustrate his love for us, letting us learn what we need to learn in our own way, but keep the lessons from being too harsh. I miss that man and often think I could have avoided a lot of trouble lf he were around so I could ask for his council but I know my Heavenly Father gave me a book if I just remember to use it!

  13. Richard, my papa, God how I miss him. I wish I had listened closer to what he told me, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. His life was never easy but he lived, laughed and loved, and was loved in return. Yeah, I miss him, but he lives on in my heart. In retrospect there were those times when he failed but he always stood tall in my eyes. Thanks daddy for everything. Praise God for my daddy! Chaz


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here