... on My Father's Doubts
A number of years ago, my father--William Howard Welker--suffered a heart attack, and I began to consider how much my life was influenced by him. Allow me this opportunity to share with you excerpts from a letter I wrote to this "Champion" among fathers.
I started thinking about what you said to me last summer. We were talking about how many buildings, statues, roads, and bridges have been named after men of "questionable" character. You were kind of depressed and said that after your gone, no one will ever remember you. Well, Dad, this is one time in my life that I must disagree with you wholeheartedly. For one thing, the Father that you were will never be forgotten by Floyd (my older brother) and me. We are always telling our kids what a fine man you are, and how you never let us quit when things didn't go our way. Furthermore, the people you have come in contact with all your life have been affected by your "honorable" traits. So, maybe they don't remember your name; still, their lives have been changed for the better due to your influence. And that's a pretty significant mark to make in this world. But most important to greatness is not whether people who don't personally know you think that you were great (as is the case with many V.I.P.'s), but rather how people who were close to you throughout your life feel about you. And in this area you have scored nothing but the highest grades. Floyd and I have always wanted you to be proud of us--be it studies, wrestling, or life. Why, because you have been a man of high principles, a dedicated Father, and a devoted husband. So thank you, Dad, for being the best father that any child could ever have. And God knows it, too. That's a much greater accomplishment than having your name inscribed on some building, statue, road, or bridge in this world, which is often based on artifical success. I am,
Your loving son,
Updated March 13, 1999