Am I More Like My Father or My Mother?
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Frank at
The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
 by Frank Shortt
2020 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
My Dad, Edward Shortt, sprung from the Shortt/McGlothlin clans. He had the determination of the Irish, on the McGlothlin side and the tenacity of the British on the Shortt side. When dad started a project, he always seemed to finish it, one way or the other.

Dad was a coal miner by profession, usually running his own truck mine, and this required a lot of tenacity and determination. Rock falls in the mine could not be left for the next crew to clean up as there was no other crew. The most men that worked any of his mines at one time were, usually a partner, and possibly one of my older brothers. The passageway to the coal had to be clear at all times, otherwise a logjam occurred and profits came to a halt.

In the stubborn way, I am like my dad. When I tackle a project, I go about it with the tenacity of a bulldog. I cannot wait to get the job done and move on to the next one. I suppose wanting to get on to the next job is a trait of the McGlothlins. Determination is not a bad trait! Another thing that I believe I am like my dad is that when I am apprised of some Truth, I hold onto it with all my might. Truth is a hard thing to come by in this day!

My Mom, half Addison, and half Davis, also had the tenacity of the British on the Addison side. The Irish Davis' were a determined group! "Steady as she goes" was their philosophy! When I was younger, I seemed to be more stubborn in a negative sort of way. I had the Irish temperament, fighting at the drop of a hat, and holding grudges for periods of time. My wife had a 'rough row to hoe' as she put up with some of my tantrums when we were first married. How she remained with me is anyone's guess. This was a problem with my mom and dad as they both had the "bulldog" attitude. They were still young when I came along and I can remember them holding on to little differences of opinion for days. As they grew more mature in a natural and spiritual sense, they were able to get along much better. I would like to think that this is what happened to me as far as my temper. My wife would be the ultimate witness.

I remember one case in point. When I was a young boy, a neighbor caused me to get one of the hardest whippings I ever got, or since, when he told my dad that I had sassed him.
I held this grudge until I was in my thirties. My dad had passed away and I saw the man at his funeral. Upon seeing the man stooping over, hoary head, and wrinkled, my spiritual side reigned supreme and I had the compassion to go to him and tell him that I was sorry I had held the grudge about the whipping. He simply looked at me through dimmed vision and replied, "Why, Frankie, I don't even remember that!" This was what we call a wasted grudge!

So, am I like my dad or my mother? As you can see, I have some traits of both. They were both upstanding citizens, well respected in their community and environs. They were both as honest as the day is long, not ever knowingly cheating anyone out of a penny! Their word was their bond! They raised ten children to emulate their behavior. If one of my brothers or sisters 'tender their word', you can count on it 'til the cows come home'! I would like to think that I inherited these same attributes. As I mentioned before, in my younger days I went somewhat wild in nature, doing some things that I am not proud to mention in my older days, especially as a young Airman, but, as I matured spiritually and naturally, these escapades became dim memories that deserve to be kept in the vault of forgetfulness! If mom and dad are looking over the bannister of time, it is my hope that they will find some reason to be proud of their fifth child!