2017-06-19 / Columns


He came to the rescue every time we called
KLONIE JORDAN — Executive Editor

I lost my dad some 10 years or so ago. He spent the final three years of his life in a nursing home, or elderly care facility, whichever term you prefer.

Whatever you decide to call them, it’s kind of sad to see someone you love have to go to a place like that.

I visited my dad as often as I could while he was there and while we laughed and reminisced and watched some games together on the TV, that person still wasn’t the dad that I remembered sitting out on the front porch on a summer day watching the kids play in the yard, or the dad who drove us to the Smokies in his 1950-something Chevy, or the dad who made sure we made our annual trek to Tweetsie Railroad to duck for cover when the outlaws came to rob the train and the shooting broke out.

Coming home from church Sunday, I heard a song on the radio that had the lyric, “nothing stays the same.” I reckon that is true in almost all cases.

Although my dad is gone, I still think about him a lot. I miss him greatly and I look back on the times we spent together as some of the best times of my life.

And speaking of dads, I want to tip my hat to a man who has been like a second dad to me.

George Fizer, some of you might know him as Rev. Fizer or Rev. George, has been a part of my life for the past 35-plus years. His daughter Vici and I spent a glorious 30 years together before she was taken suddenly in 2014.

Through those years that Vici and I were married and the three years since, George has been a rock for me, a supporter in every sense of the word and helpful at every turn.

Vici and me would call on George quite often. Every time something broke, or something didn’t work right, or whenever I would try to repair something and instead make it worse, we would call on George and he would be there in a flash with that soft-spoken demeanor, old-timey toolbox and decked out in his trademark coveralls.

Whenever he came to the house to fix something, I would tell him that being summoned to make repairs was what he got for being so good at doing, well, just about anything that needed doing.

The man can fix anything. If it’s brick, concrete, steel, wood, wire, plastic or any kind of synthetic material in between, George knows how to fix it. I’m telling you without fear of contradiction, the man is a wizard. I’ve often joked that he could take a hammer, a box of nails, a crescent wrench, a pair of pliers and a couple of two-by-fours and build a four-bedroom house complete with a deck and backyard gazebo.

And he would do it quick, too. When did you say you wanted it? By next weekend? No problem.

Although I’m no Bob Vila, I can fix a thing or two around the house when they break down or go on the fritz. But anything I know about putting things back together when they break or how to get them back on track and running comes from what George has taught me over the years.

I’m pretty sure that George might have gotten tired of seeing our number pop up on his caller ID back in the day. I can picture him looking at his phone and seeing it was us calling. “Oh mercy,” he probably said to himself, “what have they done now? Don’t tell me Klonie tried to wire up another outdoor light and forgot to turn the power off.” Then he would probably sigh and add, “I reckon I’d better answer it and see if the boy has fried himself.”

OK, it wasn’t quite that bad, but there have been occasions when I’ve gotten myself injured from ranges of “slightly” to “near-emergency room visit” in the name of being a handyman.

George has been there for me a lot of times and I’m grateful for each one.

So, Happy Father’s Day to my dad. I miss you Pop, but I know you’re celebrating with the angels.

And Happy Father’s Day to George. God bless you. Thanks for being there for me.

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