What it Means to be a Father

June 5, 2012; Randal Liles sits on a bench at Buford Dam. Photo by Kevin LilesI am a lucky man. I have an outstanding father who has been there for all of my 33 years. These days, Father’s Day mean more to me than they used to, but not in just the I’m-getting-older-so-holidays-mean-more kind of way. Father’s Day mean more now because it has been revealed to me over the past couple of years that holding the title of Father means stepping up to the plate when it matters most.When it means sacrificing yourself so that your child can have a better life, so that they can come to appreciate what this means and the do the same for their children.

There are simply too many fathers out there who put themselves first, leaving broken children who spend the rest of their lives trying to fill that void. There are too many fathers who work and work and work, and when they turn around, their children are too old to reach.
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Mrs. Christopher

20120606_betty_christopherThis Mrs. Betty Christopher, whom I lived across the street from growing up. She is definitely one of the sweetest women I have ever known. I had a chance to catch up with her when I went home for Mother’s Day a few weeks ago. She was busy knitting, but took a few minutes off to spend a little with me (but not before I could take a few photographs!).

She is known as much for her girlish grin as she is for her homemade blankets and other knitted goodies. She’s an outstanding cook and just one heck of woman. As you can tell, I’m quite fond of her. As a high school graduation gift (ahem … 15 years ago), she made me a throw blanket. However, this is no ordinary blanket. It has a square pouch on end so that you can fold it into a pillow, which DOUBLES as a pocket for your feet! Genius, I know! I still have and use that blanket.

Coca-Cola 600

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Coca-Cola 600This past weekend, I photographed the 52nd annual Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. For the win, I was really hoping it would either be Dale Earnhardt Jr. (cause he’s way past due) or Danica Patrick (because nothing except Tiger winning another major would be bigger news). Alas, that didn’t happen. Instead, it was Hendrick Motorsports newbie Kasey Kahne. I will say that it was nice to photograph someone who shows a little enthusiasm in Victory Lane. Not all do (Matt Kenseth).

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