My Dad the Hero
A Collection of Images Gathered on Fathers Day
My father-in-law is a local celebrity. He, born at the end of the Dust Bowl era and raised on an Oklahoma farm, might say he is a businessman. Both are true.
I’d lived most of my life in Baton Rouge, but somehow I had missed the source of my father-in-law’s renown, over 20 years of stardom in television advertisements for his Goodyear tire shops.
Him, slim and 6 feet 2 inches, a workhorse of a man, wearing gigantic prosthetic ears, shouting to the camera, “Hi, folks! Simple Simon ear — I mean here! I still have WAY too much inventory. I’m not kiddin. HELP! I HAVE A WHOLE BUNCHA TIRES COMIN OUT MY EARS!” Or another, shot in his expansive yard on a day when the green of the leaves and grass looks neon and new. Never mind that it’s clearly spring. He’s dressed in full pilgrim regalia and pointing a rifle at a paper-turkey target posted to a tree. There’s a Goodyear tire barrier between him and the tree. Behind him, the American flag flies.
Elizabeth Sims got a call a few weeks ago that she didn’t expect: Could you come to Indianola, Miss., to help with B.B. King’s funeral? Sims is a marketing and media-relations pro in Asheville — and a lifelong B.B. King fan. Her personal account of the final laying to rest of Riley “Blues Boy” King is a great addition to our Folklore Project.
Julianne Hill is a born-and-bred Clevelander who now lives in Chicago. But in 1985, she married into a Georgia family. Her essay is a deep and beautiful account of how the pines and rivers of Georgia helped her put things back in place as the family's heart was broken — and then broken again.
Good parents try to be understanding and accepting of their children’s choices. That’s exactly what Scott Gould did when his daughter decided to take a job as a “shot girl” at a sports bar — a job that involves dressing “sexy not slutty” and selling alcoholic gutbombs with names like the Leg Spreader, the Dry Hump and the One-Night Stand. This is a hilarious story about navigating the obstacles of parenting while getting bad advice from a next-door neighbor with a pet raccoon named Buckshot.