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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Here’s To Dad

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, June 16, 2005

Alan Richer said his dad "Red" Richer is "the best father anyone could ask for."
June 16 was a busy day at Tom’s Getty Station in Williamstown. The gasoline island was almost constantly occupied with cars or trucks and the garage bays were full of vehicles at various stages of repair.

But Thomas Peckham III wasn’t too busy to speak about his father and business partner Thomas Peckham Jr..

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

“He’s a good dad,” said the 28-year-old Peckham. “He’s offered very good advice. We do have different opinions about stuff and we do butt heads. We have our days but there a lot of good things about my dad. I respect him, and I love the guy to death.”

Father and son opened the Route 2 service station in June 2001 and the elder Peckham was a source of support to his son during the business planning stages and first weeks of operation, said the younger man.


"I love the guy to death," said Thomas Peckham III about his father Thomas Peckham Jr..
“He was very encouraging,” Peckham said.

This year’s June 19 Father’s Day holiday is fast approaching and several Northern Berkshire residents shared their thoughts about their fathers.

North Adams firefighter Alan Richer’s father, Edward “Red” Richer, preceded his son as a city firefighter. Father did influence son with career choice, Alan Richer said.

“He’s the best father anyone could ask for,” said the younger Richer. “I’m proud to be following in his footsteps.”

Nicole Young of North Adams is a young woman in her 20s who said that she adores her father, Russell Young.

“He’s one of the most important people in my life,” said Young. “He makes the best decisions, and he helps me with all my decisions.”

Daddy's Girls

Lida Watters and Ginnie Thompson, both Vermont residents, said that their fathers were role models who made certain that they knew right from wrong.

“My dad was a [U.S.] Marine at Iwo Jima, and he gave me a strong sense of right,” said Thompson. “There was no cheating, no lying, it was honesty the first time. And that sticks with you. And I got a strong sense of patriotism from him. You stand up for your country no matter what.”

Nicole Young's father Russell Young "is one of the most important people in my life."


Watters shared vivid memories of her father Zdenek Kopecky, who died in 1987.

“I would give anything to have another day with my dad,” she said. “He was fun and he was interesting. He escaped from Czechoslovakia and communism after World War II, traveled around Europe, and ended up in Canada. He became a draftsman, an engineer, and when I was a teen-ager, we moved to Massachusetts.”

Watters’ father sometimes struggled with the English language, but his sense of humor knew no barriers, she said.

“He had a dry sense of humor and he loved [Pink Panther movie character] ‘Inspector Clouseau’ and he loved Monty Python,” said Watters. “He always traveled. He took my brother to Egypt and he took me to Greece.”

Watters said she has been twice blessed; her stepfather, Dr. John MacDonald of Maine, “is a great guy.”

“He has a great sense of humor, too,” she said.

Watters recalled that her father was proud and eager to walk her down the aisle for her wedding ceremony, but was reluctant to attend the reception because of some unease about large social gatherings.

“When I told him it was ok, that he could walk me down the aisle and he didn’t have to go to the reception, he was happy,” she said. “My step-father was at the reception, and he danced with me during the father-daughter dance. When I showed my father the picture, I was a little worried, but he just smiled and said ‘that came out nice.’”


Lida Watters: "I would give anything for one more day with my dad."
“I was so fortunate to have them both, my dad to walk me down the aisle and my step-father at the reception, and no one felt slighted,” she said.

Once a Dad, Always a Dad

Children may grow up and away but most will never leave their father’s heart, as was proven as the interviews concluded.

A woman who identified herself as “Chris” answered her ringing cell phone, spoke for a few moments, and then hung up.

“See that, there’s a father story,” she said. “That was my dad. There was an accident on my street, and he was calling to find out where I was. He just wanted to make sure it wasn’t me.”

Happy Father's Day to Harry P.Chesbro, who knew enough and cared enough to lay a solid foundation, with love from your grateful daughter Susan Bush. If the bricks are strong, the building will stand.


Susan Bush may be reached at 802-823-9367 or by e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net.
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