CHECKLIST CHARLIE

Good men are hard to find

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Good men are hard to find. Yet, our culture cries out for them.

This was a tough year because we lost two good men from the same family right here in Bullard. If you knew Jim McKellar or Todd Anderson, you know what I mean. The thing is, we have more than our fair share of good men in Bullard. Please forgive me, if I overlook anyone by focusing on these two.

I first met Jim when I tracked the McKellars down for an interview. I had my questions. Was it a fluke that some folks seem to raise strong, enterprising kids? Are there tips any parent can try? What are the common denominators for good parents?

Believe me, I know these are not easy questions; I inflicted plenty of parental heartache on my own parents.

I soon learned to love the way Daisy and Jim laughed together and bounced ideas off of each other in deep mutual respect. They welcomed me into their family circle like they welcome everyone, with a million questions about my life. Daisy’s kitchen is in the heart of their home and she fixes the best pork chops this side of heaven.

Devoted life-long learners themselves, Jim and Daisy instilled a love for education in their family creatively, often pairing vacations with history, for instance.

Jim’s generous spirit took the lessons he learned as an African American man growing up during Jim Crow and transformed them into a lifestyle devoted to breaking down barriers. He wholeheartedly embraced my desire to put Stanton High School on the front page of the paper. Like this newspaper, he recognized our opportunity to get oral histories documented on the internet for future generations. He enthusiastically introduced me to key people.

With a dad like that, it’s no surprise that their daughter recognized and cherished Todd’s heart. Like his father-in-law, Todd devoted himself to crossing barriers and uniting people around things that really matter. He was a giant of a man, a rugged football player in high school, known for his tenderness and love of family as an adult. At his funeral countless people said, “I can’t believe I won’t get anymore Todd hugs until heaven.”

Todd unselfishly did anything he could to provide for those less fortunate than himself. Whether it was health care, physical necessities, education, or opportunity, Todd spent a lifetime devoting his own tech and financial skills to the service of others. Not to mention his huge heart.

I know we will see our brothers Jim and Todd again in heaven, but all I feel right now is the vacuum created by their absence. The more good and godly men are, the more we miss them when they go.

Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Contact her at CathyKrafve.com.

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