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Sunday is Father’s Day, and I’ll remember Daddy

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Paul Stephens Hull Terrell, my daddy. Born in Crisp County, Georgia in 1918, he would’ve been 100 years old this year.

Most people think of their father as a great man. Sunday, June 17, 2018, is Father’s Day. I will be thinking about Daddy and what a great man he was. He was a good husband and father because he knew how to be there for us. Patient and kind, he enjoyed teaching us Georgia history, about which he had an encyclopedic knowledge.

Hardwired for joy, Daddy had a good time everywhere he went. He enjoyed life. It is fun being around people like that.

Because Father’s Day is Sunday, I’d like to share some stories about my daddy, like the time he coached a baseball game at the Georgia School for the Deaf.

Baseball Coach

Daddy coached the baseball team at Celanese. One afternoon they had a game at the Georgia School for the Deaf in Cave Spring. The deaf baseball players were not playing by the rules. Daddy correctly assumed that the boys could read lips. He went over to the pitcher, stood right in front of him and calmly said, “…you have to play by the rules just like our team does.” “And…,” he continued, “…you cannot disobey the rules just because you are deaf. Okay?” The game continued with everybody abiding by the rules.

Boy Scout Master

Scouting was very important to Daddy. He often said, “Scouting makes leaders.” He was a Scout Master for over 30 years.

Scoutmaster of Troop 11 at St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Celanese for many years, Daddy was active in the Waguli Lodge of the Order of the Arrow and served on staff at Camp Sidney Dew for many years.

Daddy helped organize Troop 113 at First United Methodist Church, where he served as Scout Master for many years. After stepping down as Scout Master, he served on the troop committee.

My brother, Steve Terrell, earned his God and Country award and Eagle in Troop 11. He was active in the Waguli Lodge of Order of the Arrow, was on the dance team and served on staff at Camp Sidney Dew, as well. My son, Paul Clark, earned all levels of the God and Country Awards and the rank of Eagle in Troop 87 at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Atlanta.

Several years ago an alumni group for Camp Sidney Dew was formed. Daddy was the first member with three generations of Scouts in the family. He was immensely proud of that.

Philmont Scout Ranch

Many years ago Daddy took his Scout troop to Philmont Scout Ranch. A large, rugged, mountainous ranch located near Cimarron, New Mexico, Philmont covers 140,177 acres of wilderness in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico.

Daddy drove the troop there in an old bus. They had a great time at Philmont and on the way back, they visited Carlsbad Caverns. When they left the caverns, the bus broke down. The service station working on the bus had to order a part which would not be in until the next day, so Daddy asked for permission to take the boys and camp out on the grounds of the local Boy Scout troop Scout Hut. Permission was granted.

The next day the bus was repaired and they got ready to leave. They offered him a teaching job in the local school of this small New Mexico town. Daddy said, “Well, that is mighty nice of you, but I have a teaching job in Georgia and we need to get home.”

Daddy retired in 1982

Daddy retired from Floyd County Schools in 1982. The retiring teachers were recognized at the annual banquet.

“Paul Terrell, Pepperell Middle School.” Daddy smiled, stepped forward and said, “This is a time to be happy.” He continued, “It’s like Kenny Rogers sings ‘…you’ve got to know when to hold ’em…know when to fold ’em…know when to walk away.” Then he said, “It is time to walk away. Thank you so much.”

During thunderous applause and a standing ovation, he returned to his seat. We think Daddy left us with a legacy. Coach. Teacher. Assistant Principal. Boy Scout Leader. Over 35 years of service to the youth of Floyd County.

Father’s Day is June 17

Honor your father and let him know how much you appreciate him and all he does for your family. Certainly, if your father has passed away, enjoy the good memories you have of him.

I mentioned that we think Daddy left us with a legacy. Indeed. He was a good man and we miss him.

Native Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a history enthusiast, and an avid reader of Southern fiction. Readers may email her at pamtwalker@gmail.com.