Tributes honor dads who made a difference in kids’ lives

6/14/2013, 6:10 a.m.
CrossRoadsNews readers celebrate fathers who are or were present in their lives.
WINNER: ‘If he wasn’t always there, I might not have made it here.’ Capri Smith and her father Roderick Smith of Decatur.

Editor’s note

When we invited readers to brag about their dads, entries poured in from across our coverage area, including Decatur, Clarkston, Snellville and Buford. They all celebrated fathers who are or were present in their lives. Our judges picked Capri and her dad, Roderick Smith, for the dinner at Arizona’s in Stone Mountain. This Father’s Day and every day, we salute all fathers who are a constant presence in their children’s lives.

– Jennifer Parker, editor

‘If he wasn’t always there, I might not have made it here’

Capri Smith, Decatur

Father's Name: Roderick Smith

My father has always been by my side supporting and encouraging me. He told me that when I was a baby, he had to change because he knew I was meant to do great things. When I was in the school play with only one line, he was there. When I got Principal’s List, he was there. When I wanted to shoot hoops, he was there. Even as I spent my summer afternoons watching “Dawson’s Creek” and other soap operas, he was there sitting right next to me. And you better believe when I walked across the stage at my college graduation, he was there filled with pride. My dad has always been there, and he’s always been happy to be. If he wasn’t always there, I might not have made it here. I have been blessed to have him.

‘I see him and I hear him within me’

Judith Barnes, Snellville

Father’s name: Ivan Barnes

I am 59 years old. My dad died in December 1992. I am my father’s daughter – so much of what I am is because of what he told me I was.

He told me I was bright and intelligent. He told me I was pretty. He told me I was humorous. He loved words – he used to read the dictionary. I absolutely love the power of words. I am a published writer.

He loved truth – I am known in my family and other circles as a truth seeker and speaker. I am a motivational speaker/writer/encourager, and when I do all those things, I see him and I hear him within me; he wasn’t wildly successful on the world’s terms, but of all the things that I remember and value about my father, the fact that he never left his nine children sticks out in my mind. Through financial difficulties and relational issues with my mom and his offspring, he never, ever left us. Not overnight, not for a day.

I am very much like him – he stayed on the journey until the day he died.

‘My daddy loves me and my little brother’

Marcus J. Ford

Father’s name: Mario Ford

My daddy always takes time for me. He takes me to ball games with his friends and to the animal farm. He goes with me to the church trips. We went to the Body museum when the exhibit was in Atlanta. I always wait up for him when he comes home from work so I can tell him how my day was. We went to S.C. last year for my great--aunt’s home-going services. Since it was Memorial Day weekend, he took time to take me to Myrtle Beach and we had a lot of fun.