Robin Priddy, STOKESDALE
“One of the most important lessons I learned from my dad is that hard work and dedication will get you further in life than just about anything. My dad grew up on a farm, and as an adult he was a truck driver. Besides his full-time job, we always had a huge garden (my mom canned and froze vegetables for us to eat all winter), we grew tobacco, and sometimes we had a few cows or chickens.
“Even though he only had a high school education, my dad had many varied interests and took time to learn all he could about them.
“After he retired, he helped Oak Ridge – in a “David-and-Goliath” story – defeat a multi-state, corporately owned landfill, and was the first elected mayor of Oak Ridge. Most kids in Oak Ridge knew him because he drove their activity bus on field trips, and along with several civic and church positions, for years he was known to many children at Christmas as ‘Santa.’
“He lived a good life, and in the end, he died as we would probably all like to – at home in his recliner, the newspaper opened peacefully across his lap, a fitting ending to a life of hard work. I loved him, and I was very proud of him.”
Sandra Smith, OAK RIDGE
Sandra serves as town clerk for the Town of Oak Ridge
“My father-in-law, Anthony Truhon, never met a sale he didn’t like. When I first visited my future in-laws 40 years ago, I noticed toilet paper filling an entire shelf unit in their basement (boy, could we all have used such a stash during the first throes of COVID-19). After all, it’s not like it’s going to go bad, right?
“But Dad is no Scrooge; he just likes to save money with BOGOs and coupons so he can share his ‘wealth’ by hitting the back-to-school and Black Friday and after-Christmas sales to purchase school/art supplies for the poor kids in his parish.
“Dad is so thoughtful – he loves taking family and friends out for meals or dessert (ice cream at Papa Clyde’s is a favorite!). He always sends us coupons for cat food, products and treats, even though he’s never owned a cat, and often there’s a gift card so we can enjoy a human treat at Panera or Dunkin.
“Thank you, Dad, for being an example of thoughtfulness and caring for others throughout your life, and for welcoming me as your daughter, not merely your daughter-in-law.”
Yvonne Truhon, WINSTON-SALEM
Yvonne is a graphic artist with PS Communications