Updated date:

Stories My Dad Told, Ditching Butch

My father was a plumber and an electrical repairman as well as a general do-it-yourself repairman. He taught me many valuable lessons.

My dad is on the right with a bucket on his head.

My dad is on the right with a bucket on his head.


My father was the middle boy of 6 children growing up in the southern part of Indiana. There were some 5 to 6 years between his age and his younger brother, Butch. As siblings often do, they fought from time to time. My father expressed his annoyance about having the younger brother “tagging along” all the time. He had many stories he told us about his little brother and how he ditched him.

Although he told these funny stories about what a pest his little brother was, I suspect they bonded and were inseparable. Whenever we went to Indiana from California for a visit, Dad spent most of his time with his brother, fishing, talking, and reminiscing. Butch has to be my favorite uncle because he looks and talks so much like my father did.

“It is much easier to become a father than to be one.”.

— Kent Nerburn

Dad's last few weeks

Dad's last few weeks

Gone Too Soon

Although my dad has been gone 28 years now, I still remember his voice and his walk. Mom said he had ESP. Whenever she put the meat on the table for dinner, she would say, “Where is your father,” to all of us, and just then he would come driving in the driveway. Every time she would say, “He must have smelled it.” And I think maybe he did.

I worry about my mother alone all these years. When she was younger and more capable there was nothing but her loneliness to be concerned about. But lately, she has been unsteady and falls a lot. The doctor has told her if she drops something, to leave it lay there, but my mom is still stubborn. She will be 90 this July.

My drawing of ditching Butch

My drawing of ditching Butch

Ditching Butch

Here is the story Dad told about ditch his brother.

Ma little brother, Butch, was an annoying bugger. He wanted ta faller me everwhere. I was gettin’ perty tarred of it but Momma said he could go with me as long as he could keep up. I was ‘bout thirteen or fourteen and wanted to meet ma buddies without a tag-a-long. Sos I was determined to ditch that varment. I hopped on our hay-burner bareback and trotted off with Butch faithfully a runnin’ along behind me. He was a perty fast kid. Even on horseback I could see I wadn’t goin’ ta lose heem easy. Sos I waited ‘till I turned a bend in the road, jumped off ma horse an we hid in them bushes by the side of the dirt road. Perty soon, here come Butch, pumpin' his arms, huffin’ and a puffin’. He was a picken’ ‘em up and a putten’ ‘em down.

Ah admit, I did feel a twinge a guilt as I seen ‘em rush past, but I dismissed it. Glad to be shed of the varment, I went on to meet ma buddies.

Butch forgave me though, ya reckon?

Me and my siblings in 68.  I have glasses on.

Me and my siblings in 68. I have glasses on.

“It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping.”

— John Sinor


I am the oldest of 3 sisters and then one little brother. The poor boy is tail in the line-up. We certainly harassed him and made fun of him at times. He was always trying to “wraastle” with us but we were all bigger than him. More than once we would get him down and sit on him. Then he would make us laugh by saying, “I’ll give you a chance.” I remember laughing so hard he was able to get away.

However, my sisters and I didn’t have the closest relationship until now that we are grown. So Dad’s stories of trying to ditch his brother resonated with me. I wanted to ditch those girls in the worst way but Mom was always putting me “in charge.” That’s a laugh. They never listened to me or obeyed me. I was in charge of nothing and no one.

The Penny

Dad told us a story about a penny. You have to picture three prissy little girls gathered around him to hear a funny story, all dressed in frilly dresses with petticoats (those were the days), prim and somewhat proper. He absolutely loved to hear us squeal and get offended. He said that one day he accidentally swallowed a penny. That in itself is gross when you consider how dirty money tends to be. I mean, who knows where it’s been. Anyway, he said he was walking in the woods when he got the “call to nature” so he squatted down right there in the woods and relieved himself. All three of us grunted and “Aww Dad,” him but then he went on with a slightly wicked smile on his face. He said he turned around and noticed there was something shiny in the warm pile. It was his penny. But now it was bright and shiny and new looking. So he fished it out of the pile and wiped it on his pants and put it in his pocket. By this time we were all grossed completely out. “Eww Dad, how could you?” "Oh, Dad! You awful boy!" But he just laughed. I have never handled money without thinking of the places it could have been.


Final Thoughts

Have you any stories to share about your father’s childhood. I’d love to hear about them. Let me know in the comments below.


Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 25, 2021:

Linda Lum,

How sweet to think of them both enjoying each other's company in heaven and having us and our friendship in common. That made me smile. Thanks for commenting.



Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 23, 2021:


How wonderful to discuss the news with your dad. My dad wasn't interested in discussing events of the day with us females. Thanks for commenting.



Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 23, 2021:

My father died when I was 18 and because he was growing his business, he was often away but I miss playing chess with him and reading the weekly news magazine he likes so we could discuss it.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 22, 2021:


What an interesting story. I hope you find the answers. My Dad called all horses hay-burners. He called kids cookie-crunchers or curtain-climbers. He had a unique way of looking at things. Thanks for commenting.



Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 22, 2021:


I read the memories of your father. He must have been extraordinary. My dad never finished high school. Yours was so highly educated that it must have been something you were very proud of. Thanks for commenting.



Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 22, 2021:


Eww, you just grossed me out again. I figure my thoughts are worth more than that anyway. Haha. Thanks for commenting.



Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 22, 2021:


Wow, but his time on the road/train must have been full of adventure and stories. It's a shame he didn't share that with you. Life lessons. Thanks for commenting.



Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 22, 2021:


I agree. I love revisiting these stories of my Dad's. It's been fun to get into his accent as well. I can almost hear his voice in my head again. Thanks for commenting.



Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on February 22, 2021:

My Dad never talked much about this childhood; perhaps that's because he left home at the age of 15. But he was such a tease (a lot like your Dad), funny, kind, and loving. I'll bet the two of them are having the best of fun in Heaven.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 22, 2021:


Isn't it interesting how private men are yet they led such interesting lives. I can't get my mother-in-law to share one story about her childhood. Some people just don't want to open up that way. Thanks for commenting.



Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 22, 2021:

Peggy W,

I'll have to look up your articles on your father. I'm really enjoying revisiting his old stories as well. Thanks for commenting.



Ann Carr from SW England on February 22, 2021:

Another great article about your Dad's stories, Denise. I love these two! It's great to 'hear' his accent too; you do that well.

What's a 'hay-burner', apart from being a horse? I've never heard that before. I'm guessing that maybe it's one who eats a lot of hay (!) or maybe has something to do with bringing in the hay....?

My Dad once went to Germany with his father. It was 1933 and the Hitler youth were already starting. They stayed with a family, the son of whom was in that group and Dad said that the lad would've sold his grandmother for the Hitler movement. Dad was 15 and granddad was on a business trip, though my sister and I think that he had an agenda connected to the Home Guard - we're still working that out and finding papers!

Hope you're keeping safe and well.


Rosina S Khan on February 21, 2021:

Your Dad's stories are fantastic and I loved all of them. He had such a great sense of humor. I am sorry he passed away at a young age.

You will find an article on my Dad in the feed. I would only edit it and make it appear in the feed on Feb 22 in the late morning of US time.

Thank you for your wonderful article. I appreciate the way you crafted it.

James C Moore from Joliet, IL on February 21, 2021:

That puts a new spin on the question : a penny for your thoughts?

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 21, 2021:

Love your stories. I really have no stories about my dad's childhood. He didn't talk much about that time. I know he was in a lot of fights. I know the girls loved him. And I know he dropped out of school when he was fifteen. Oh, and his dad, a mean drunk, beat him. There you go, a quick summation of his childhood. :(

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 21, 2021:

Thanks for sharing the interesting stories about your father. I think that remembering our family members who have passed on is important. I enjoy thinking about my parents and their activities.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 21, 2021:

I really like reading the stories about your father, Denise. He sounds like he was so much fun.

I don't remember many stories by my father. He was kind of serious, yet he played cards and board games with us all the time. My father use to dance around some times to our rock and roll music when I was quite young. He was a good, hard-working man too.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 21, 2021:

I am enjoying the stories that your dad told you when you were children. I have written quite a bit about my parents in earlier articles. My dad was a hard worker, but he also had a lot of fun.

Related Articles