By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ronda Rich: Celebrating good folks, especially fathers
ronda rich
Ronda Ronda Rich is the author of "Theres A Better Day A-Comin." - photo by File photo

Ronda Rich

Syndicated Columnist

A friend of mine and I were talking once about a crook we both know.

As my Daddy would say, “He wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him between the eyes.”

The stories about this crook are endless. It seems like almost everyone has a story about a lie, illegal transaction, or some such. When I was growing up, there was a county a distance away that constantly had some kind of story coming out of there – moonshining, drug running, killings, ballot stuffing (back in those days, ballots were filled out by hand). I always found it wonderfully entertaining to hear of such things. It was better than television because it was clean and family-oriented.

This friend with whom the conversation occurred, said, “Well, the crook learned it from the daddy.”

I paused before I spoke. I knew of the honorable father that my friend had – a hard-working, Bible-believing, family man. My words came thoughtfully. “Aren’t you glad that we were raised by the kind of men that our daddies were?”

There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think of a piece of wisdom from Daddy. I would be hard-pressed to say who was wiser: Mama or Daddy. Both were levelheaded and observed carefully the life around them. From that and their mistakes (as well as other peoples’), they gleaned important pieces of advice.

I shared one of Mama’s wisdoms recently with a friend who thought someone might not like her because she was always quiet around her. I know the person. She is extremely quiet and introverted.

“It’s not you,” I assured my friend. “Mama always said that still waters run deep. That’s her.”

“What does that mean?” she asked.

I explained that the quiet people are the deep thinkers. While the rest of us are talking or texting, the quiet – really smart folks – are observing and learning.

Tink recently asked me what the best piece of advice was from each of my parents. It’s hard to choose because I could name at least ten from each.

Mama said, “Be careful what you tell your best friend because she may not always be your best friend — then, she’ll know your secrets.”

Probably more murderers have gone to prison by doing that than by actually being caught with evidence.

It was probably my ninth-grade year when Daddy said, “Don’t ever get yourself so deep in debt that you have to stay enslaved to a job you hate, just to pay the bills.”

At 15, I didn’t understand. At 25, I understood much too well. I promised the good Lord that if I got out of the mess of a miserable job in Indianapolis, I’d never let it happen again. And, it hasn’t. May I continue to carry that wisdom with me.

In the days of my growing up, no one leased cars. They bought them. If someone had a Cadillac, we’d say, “Boy, are they rich!”

Dolly Parton tells the story that the first thing she bought herself when she started working with Porter Wagoner, and appearing on his TV show, was a new Cadillac. She bought it on payments. To this day, every year, Dolly still buys herself a new Cadillac. That’s why America loves her so much – she is solid and never changing.

When I was a teenager, Daddy, rather sternly, said, “Don’t ever let a car own you.” I was puzzled, sitting beside him in the greasy, oil-smelling garage he owned. He cut his eyes toward me.

“I don’t understand that.” “Save your money, then buy your car.”

A dear friend is battling horrific cancer. The chairman of a large company, he is wealthy and still young. There is no silver in his hair. Shortly before the cancer was discovered, he said, “I was taught that if it’s something that can be fixed with money, it isn’t a problem.”

I think of that every day when I pray for him.

Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of “St. Simons Island: A Stella Bankwell Mystery.” Visit www. to sign up for her free weekly newsletter.

Sign up for our e-newsletters