Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit

Working with your Dad

DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,445
I was lucky enough to have worked with him for 15 years. We became best friends on a level that went far beyond father and son. Many of the stories I tell today came from him. Gosh, that man could tell a tale.

How about you? Were you lucky like me?
Retired and loving it.


  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981
    Got the chance....

    A couple times. Dad says it was more money to feed me than it was to pay me on the job!

    My father was a sheetmeatal tech. It could be anything from bathroom partitions, to stock shelving in factories, to "pressurized environments" for computer manufacturers cleanrooms.One of the first jobs I did with him was moving a screw and fastener company from southern Ma. to the greater Boston area.( I think that some of the "left behind" hardware is still in the hosehold inventory).

    I wouldn't trade those times for the world. Dad gave me an appreciation for both, the trades AND the ability to work with my hands and tools. ( As some kind of cosmic mis-adverture, he was happily retired when the boiler in their house failed, and he worked with me for the day. Made the flue piping wonderfully, and chased down a part at 4:30 in the afternoon for me. )

    Hope to see some great stories from this thread. Thanks Dan! Chris
  • Victor H Plank
    Victor H Plank Member Posts: 17
    working with Dad

    First time I worked with Dad was in 1956 when I was 8!
    He had me replacing a chamber a boiler he couldnt fit in but I could.
    worked with him whenever school didnt interfere with learning until I went to college.
    Dad was a great teacher but a hard task master (being a Marine during WWII (thanks again Dad) had a lot to do with that)
    The lessons Dad taught me about work and life are still with me today.

    Dad is still alive and kicking in FL so I get to see him often....but thats another story

  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    was a blast

    My Father had worked as a delivery driver for an oil company for approximately 25 year's when I got into it. I had left law enforcement for a number of reason's after 8 year's and started with a different office. The radio system was the same which made for some interesting day's. I sound EXACTLY like my father on the radio. I got the old man in more trouble than he care's to remember. I am lucky on the fact that we get along great and fish together many weekend's during the summer. My father retired from the company after a total of 34 year's delivering with one minor accident.
  • Robert O'Connor_7
    Robert O'Connor_7 Member Posts: 688
    O those golden rules...

    I have very fond memories working with my dad and after reading this thread I began to reminise. I started by looking at some photos of him and then got digging into a few old boxes, and to my suprise, I belive I struck literary gold. I found some old books about plumbing & heating dating way back to the turn of the century. One is the I.C.S. Plumbers and Fitters Handbook (copyright 1905). The next one is the R.M. Starbuck book, questions and answers on the practice and theory of SANITARY PLUMBING, Vol.2- Range Boiler Work Hot Water Supply and Circulation (copyright 1910). One I really like is the Sanitary Code of the Town of Belleville, NJ (where I was from) 1913. And another Starbuck book on Mathematics for the Plumber and Fitter 1946. Isn't history great! God Bless the DEAD MEN..Robert O'Connor/NJ
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322

    His name was Harold C. Ebels and I loved him. He taught me practically everything I know, period. His intellect and grasp of nearly anything you wanted to discuss was incredible.

    I took piano and guitar lessons but it was him who really taught me about music. I took voice lessons but he taught me how to sing. He helped instill a love for reading and knowledge that I carry to this day by reading to me when I was young.

    He owned the small country general store that I spent more time in than I did at home. I remember the first job he gave me to do. The eggs used to come fresh from the farms packed in big cases and it was my job to take the eggs from them and pack them in the old one dozen cardboard boxes. That job had to be done before I could go out and play on Saturday mornings. He taught me how to be diligent in my work and stick at it by making that rule. I remember his definition of profit and I can hear him say it right now like he was standing alongside me. He said, "Profit is the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people, including the customer." I doubt that he'd get far in corporate America with that philosophy today.

    By watching him I learned that when you believe something is right you just put your head down and go for it. He was singlehandedly responsible for getting the regional utility company to run natural gas into our little town almost 40 years ago. It wasn't the most popular idea to a lot of folks but he felt/knew it was the best fuel source at that time so he went for it. Same way with telephone service. Into the late 60's early 70's we had a local operator you rang up whenever you wanted to call someone. Some lines had 6-8 homes on them. He pursued the idea of a private modern phone exchange and made it happen. This wasn't the most popular thing he ever did but I don't think there's a single person who wouldn't agree it was for the best. Whatever needed to be done in the community, he would step up and do. I would say the examples he set by doing those things are the main reason I'm the township clerk today.

    Years after he was gone a local man was talking to me about how he missed my dad in the community. He said,"I always appreciated your dad. I didn't always agree with him, but he sure made things happen. You always knew where he stood on an issue. There weren't any backdoor deals or politics with him, it was all up front. That man cut a swath wherever he went." My dad taught me how to deal with things and people in an honest forthright way.

    He died when I was 27 and I really miss him yet to this day, 20 years later.
  • Jimmy Gillies
    Jimmy Gillies Member Posts: 250
    My Dad.

    I never worked for my Dad for wages, he had a ''Croft''(a small farm that is worked on by most people on a part-time basis), here in the West Highlands of Scotland. My brothers and I worked and helped out with all the chores.
    I did not enjoy it one little bit, but I did like working with my Dad. His fulltime job was a Linesman, a hard job, working in the worst types of weather, with high voltage lines.
    He is a lovely man, I have never known him to swear and I'm very lucky to be his son.
    He's now in his late Seventies and does not keep very well. If I can be half the Dad to my kids, he was to my family, I'll be happy.
    Thanks for reading.
    Kind regards.
    Jimmy Gillies.
  • steve gates
    steve gates Member Posts: 329
    been thinking also

    being Memorial weekend and all.

    Long story short(which when talking bout dad ain't easy)Things I learned from dad.


    Always look forward.

    Don't be afraid to cry.

    I learned from his example. He's been in heaven 18years and I still learn from him!

  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    My dad...

    I started working alngside my dad when I was old enough to carry a tool and keep up with his long legged stride. He used to take the time to show me nuances of the old lead pping in the houses we worked on, saying stuff like "Kid, ya see that horizontal swipe of the bottom of the 4" closet bend? This joint was installed by a plumber who came from North of the Mason-Dixon line." Whooda thunk. Now, everytime I see a wiped joint, I look for the "signature", and sure enough, they're there.

    He taught me a lot of things, many of which I didn't understand at the time he told me them, but they came to sink in at a much later date in time, and I'd stop and say "Thanks Pops!" I'm still thanking him today.

    I think the most enjoyable times with him were after work. My dad worked hard, and liked to play hard too. He was a master at playing pool, and often said that if he had to do it over, he's come back as a professional pool player.

    I remember being out with him one night after working hard all day, and it was his birthday. We were at a local bar, playing pool, and he could NOT miss a shot. Running the table with every break until he dropped the 8. Dad used to play for beers, or the table. Never money.

    The next "challenger" stepped up to the table and said "Five bucks?" My dad said, "Nope, it's my table. I'll play you for a beer, or the table. When you win and it's your table you can do with it as you please." This upset the young pool shark but he relented anyway.

    Pops got up, broke the rack with such fury that the cue ball actually went into the air and kinda hung there in mid air for just a second, bounced on the table top and jumped up on the rail, rolled down the rail and knocked the 8 ball into the corner pocket. The bar errupted with cheers!!

    The young pool shark said "YOU LOSE! THE POOL CUE LEFT THE TABLE AND THATS A SCRATCH!" About that time, the young shark found himself surrounded by about 10 biker types who wanted to discuss the finer aspects of the rules regarding Straight 8. He was promptly "escorted" outside and put into his car and told not to come back.

    I think the old man held the table for the rest of the night as I remember. Free taxi ride home...

    I miss ya pa...


    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,472
    We almost

    lost Dad 2 years ago to an infection in his lungs. I never worked with him. He was an electrical engineer for IBM his whole career. He helped design the computers for the Gemini space project among many other projects. He always fixxed things around the house. We never had a serviceman come. When I grew up it was a surprise to me that all Dads didn't do the same. He built his first color TV from a "Heathkit." I got to solder some circuit boards for my part in the endeavor. He was old school from WWII. He flew in the army air force. First bombing runs over France and then he Flew supplys to China from India, over the Hymilayan Mountains. We really were not close until I was grown and had a family, but he has my respect and love for all eternity. WW

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • jerryb
    jerryb Member Posts: 113
    Working with Dad

    I have fond memories working with" MY POP"he taught me things which i use every day still.Bieng a TOOL/DIE maker everything was precise,not just good enough.Pop always repaired everything himself,if you couldn't buy it he make it.We worked on his cars together,heating system in our house,we built boats,fishing tackle,model aircraft,model cars,the list goes on and on.I lose my POP when i was 20 in 1967 while in the AIR FORCE,Same as him.Tkink of him every day,Will stop by his grave today to say hallo,and honor all those at Pinelawn National L.I.God Bless all today Remember those in uniform!!
  • frank_25
    frank_25 Member Posts: 202

    My father began working for his father-in-law (a NYC licensed Plumber) right after WWII. In 1960, Pop went on his own and became a LMP in '62. I worked for and with him from that time on and got my own LMP plate from NYC. We were a "Fix my leak" local shop and I learned a lot from him. We expanded a bit and I continued learning by mistake and by using the guidelines he instilled in me. Pop is no longer with us, and God I miss that man. Had his name(POP) tatood on my arm when he died. Godd memories of him, and I'm lucky to have been his son.
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,431
    A Father's Influence...

    Great stories... I started very young helping my dad at the supply house. It was expected that a 7 year old could unpack fittings or take inventory. I still can remember the smell of fish oil used to protect steel fittings way back (in the '50's)I used to love when he asked me to open up the place to help out a plumber after hours or on weekeends. He would always have a story about the plumber he was helping, and what loyalty meant. Sometimes we'd have to wire up and test a submersible pump...which I enjoyed because I thought it so cool to lower the pump into a deep sump and watch it spurt volumes of water. Such power! Often it was for Rappi, the local plumber who helped out everybody, no matter what time of day. Rappi was a union plumber who fought at Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. He plumbed into his 80's. Rappi had a way with kids, and I got to watch him work many times. I worked for my father part time and full time over the early years. We'd have lunch together and talk business. He made sure I spent significant time with Lin Patterson, who headed the engineering departmnet for pumps, steam and HW.heating. (Dan H. can also tell some stories about Lin) Lin didn't have an engineering degree, but had designed most of the steam systems in schools, hospitals and prisons throughout the Hudson Valley. Lin was an early mentor. Dad had an awesome memory and new the line codes by heart. He knew the most obscure plumbing item and where to obtain it. He often knew the owners of the manufacturing company, because in the old days...relationships were paramount. He was patient in teaching, and when he was sure you got it...he'd tell a story about the Civil War, which was his favorite interest. I miss the guy. He was special.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • John White
    John White Member Posts: 120
    My Dad

    I was blessed with the time I had with my dad. He was truly a maverick. He didn't teach me EVERYthing I know, but all of the good stuff I've done and become absolutely has his thumbprint on it.
    We became very close towards the end of his life. Mostly after he came to trust me with the business. There were years when I think he was jealous of the success of the business without his direct involvement. But I loved him totally, as he did me, so over time things worked.
    He was tough with me. Unusually tough. It was difficult for me, but I'm a pretty patient guy, and time has a way of making things right.
    I just know that I'm a much better person for having had the time in the business with him that I did.
    I know I loved him.
    And, I know I miss him every day.

    Thanks, Dan, for giving cause here for me to sit and reflect. Johnny

  • beeper
    beeper Member Posts: 32
    The years go buy a boy ,and his DAD relevant not then!!!!!

    I am what I am today because my DAD had the insite, intiuition, and wisdom to guide me to the greatest step of my life Me,

    I asked DAD what is life all about at age 11. His answer it was, it is what you make it what you want it to be.

    At age 15, DAD, what now? Just watch, I will Guide you. The years went on and after working together for 15 years, my DAD, the man who put me here, the man who worked three jobs in his early days to support my brothers & MOM, was suddenly strickened with the illness that takes many good people from ther loved one's. CANCER. DAD, his spirit lives in my every breath. Someday we will be together again. In the meantime his spirit guides me througout life's time, and the reason's I am here is to make a difference in someone's life. Live on, all life is for us is the moment. Be you and belive in your self and hold your heads high and be proud. Live on, Be proud of your DAD, My DAD Russell L. Cook
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    Your dad...

    was a VERY special person indeed. I'm honored to have spoken with him...


    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • beeper
    beeper Member Posts: 32
    Robn Jeff's wife

    My DAD, he is the man who constructed the buildings in which many heating systems were installed. I can remember the days he would go out into the snow,rain,or sleet, kindof like a mailman,to work. I would always be in awe as to how he could work in such circumstances. There were some days that it was so hot that not even a fly would bother flying but he would be out there with a pick and shovel working , to provide his family with the American Dream a home in the country. A home in which I and my husband and children now enjoy and call our own piece of paradise. My dad was my best friend besides my husband, He showed me how to nail a nail, how to ride a tractor and how to spot a good deal. He showed me thru his burns he recieved, which was almost ninty percent of his body , and his battle with cirrohcis of his liver, from a tattoe in his days as a sailor in the korean war, That things were still going to be alright. His most famous words were don't worry about it. MY DAD EUGENE PAUL JESSE was the strongest man I ever knew and he was always there to help anybody with a good shim. I wish everyone could have known him. Dan you inspired me. MEOW.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,445

    Retired and loving it.
This discussion has been closed.