By: Tammy Showalter, Staff Writer
Father’s Day was celebrated all across the tri-county area Sunday, either over video or six feet apart because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It didn’t put a damper on the spirit of togetherness that some local families felt.
Family legacy is more than property passed on; it’s morality and character traits gifted to the next generation on a day to day basis.
Boat captain and Piney Point resident, James Phillips said first and foremost being a father are about teaching his children the love of God. Phillips and wife Naomi have five children, two that live at home; Jacoby and Zeppelin. Marley, Brycen, and Kylie do not live in the area.
“We’re the modern day Brady Bunch,” Phillips said. “The quarantine has been a blessing and a curse, although the family time has been amazing. We’ve been getting outside a lot and that helps expend some of that energy. We’ve really formed a bond, adding principals from the bible.”
Phillips said he’s noticed Godly principals have been taken out of families.
“It’s really tough,” he said, “When you don’t have Godly morals in place in your life, it puts you all over the place and leaves you with a lot of confusion and disappointments. One of the main principals I’ve tried to teach them is to show love. When you show love, it’s kind of hard for someone to hate you.
“We want to teach our children to have a sense of pride in what they do; to be a good worker and to always honor God because he’s the one that’s given you these talents.”
Lexington Park resident, Pastor James Spence oversees the congregation at Oasis of Victory Christian Church International on Tulagi Place said he’s spending Father’s Day with his 16 year old daughter and his parents, who are now in their late 70’s.
“I’ll be cooking for my parents and my daughter is here with me.” Spence said.
Spence’s daughter lives in Virginia with her mother and quality time is spent via video chat or he makes the three hour drive. With both parents in leadership positions he can see the natural leadership skills of his daughter as well.
“She’s excelled in school and I’m proud of her,” Spence said. “I want her to remember where she came from and to also remember the mistakes of her grandparents and her parents.”
Spence spoke of the fathers that have been through a divorce or who are in the process of a divorce.
“Because you may be divorced from your wife, you’re never divorced from your child,” he said. “Take time to assess the relationship with your child. Ask what can I do to be a better father, or a better mother. Love your family. Keep them close; you never know. Enjoy the time you have together.”
Buddy Harrison, father to 26 year old’s, Dusty and Salena said he wants his children to always remember that money does not define the person we are.
“It’s about kindness and treating others right that leaves the biggest impression,” Harrison said. “I also want them to remember that I have 100 percent faith in the almighty God.”
Harrison owns Old School Boxing. His son, Dusty, a Thomas Stone graduate turned in his amateur boxing gloves at the young age of 17 for the professional stage. Dusty’s last victory came on February 8 with a knockout over Les Sherrington at Tysons Playground in Vienna, Va.
Huntingtown resident well known to the softball coaching scene, Kenny Shawyer spent Father’s Day weekend on the Eastern Shore at the Blast at the Beach softball tournament with his two daughters, Ashley, 15 and Cali, nine. Shawyer coaches the Maryland USSSA Pride Elite fastpitch team where Ashley plays catcher and infield.
Shawyer said his dad Ken is everything to him and he cherishes the memories surrounded near a ball field growing up.
“My dad was firm, but fair and growing up, I didn’t realize the lessons he was teaching me until I became a father,” Shawyer said. “He has always been there for me, let me learn from mistakes and supported all of my dreams. My fondest memories is he always being at my games, but every day he was molding me into the dad I am today. He’s the reason I’ve gotten into coaching.”
Shawyer said he’s passing on these traits to his daughters and now enjoys making memories on the ball field.
“It seems like every father’s day, we’re on a softball field, and this year even though we had to make it work with social distancing and having hand sanitizer readily available, we made it work. It was our first weekend out and it was nice to get out there. I’m a little nervous with the spikes [of corona virus cases] in Florida but hopefully we’ll get some tournaments in.”
Although losing to the Delaware Cobras, 7-3 and 8-3, the 16-and-under team faired well in an 18-U tournament. They’re looking forward to a state tournament this weekend.