My Dad


dad's stuff

Dad's Stuff

I am thankful for the life of my dad, Fredrick Thompson Tulley (1919-1983), his influences on me, and the mentoring, coaching, and love he showed to me over the years he was alive. Today would have been his 94th birthday. Unfortunately, lung cancer took him when he was only 64 years old – 30 years ago. As I am approaching the age he was when he died, I realize how young he actually was when he passed away. But time and tide do not diminish the memories that he left with me. Thanks, Dad! Dad was my golf coach and always showed care and compassion as he would often put my deteriorating golf game back together with my broken ego and heart. Even now, I remember the tips he would give me and I try to emulate them when trying to improve my game.


The photo above shows a collection of things that belonged to my dad. Although they are in no way representative of the man he was, they do rekindle some fond memories, a few smiles, and a misty eye or two. The old faded  photo below is one of the first photos I took and developed in our basement darkroom when I was something like ten years old. It is of my dad holding a Kodak rangefinder, exactly like the one with which I took the photo, and our family dog Cindy. -rt


Dad and Cindy

Dad and Cindy



years ago

we stood on the first tee

he wore a brightly colored striped

orange, green, and white jacket

with pride

and  i had made fun of him for it

but i knew it was dad

and we shared a laugh


what can I say about dad

that would do him justice

from the early memories of him

to the later ones

he’ll always be inside my heart

his lessons a part of me

his trust

his love

his laughter

as he entertained all of us

with the stories he told

his mentoring

his compassion

the father-son tourneys

that we never did well in

but playing together were highlights

times when i caddied for him

more times when he caddied for me

it gave me confidence

to do better than i knew


that old jacket

not nearly as brightly colored now 

as it once was

still hangs in my closet today

that jacket

remains as one of my most precious mementoes

of the times we shared.

© rt tulley

rt wearing dad's jacket

rt Wearing Dad's Jacket

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