Fifty-Five Fathers: Real Men Share Their Stories
and Life Lessons about Their Own Fathers
Paperback, 6x9 in, 280 pages
Wheatmark, November 2007
Fifty-Five Fathers: Real Men Share Their Stories and Life Lessons about Their Own Fathers by Jeff Paisley busts the biggest myth about men, men do talk. And they have a lot to say.
Men will read these stories to get clarification, validation, and maybe advice.
Women will read them to see what is going in men's minds and hearts.
Fifty-Five Fathers is your chance to share as fifty-five men from 18 to 80 and various backgrounds reveal hundreds of personal stories about growing up with their dads. Each man's chapter is 2 to 8 pages long.
After Jeff's father passed away, he started asking his male friends about their fathers. Those stories were so memorable, funny, and insightful, that he sought out and recorded the interviews of fifty-five men as they each answered ten questions about their fathers. Fifty-Five Fathers is his opportunity to bring these real men, their memories, and their fathers to you.
"Jeff Paisley has written a fascinating book. A lot of these guys were wacky, terrific, fun, really free-spirited people."
-- Pat McMahon of The Pat McMahon Show, AZTV
"This is a great book about sons and their memories/relationships with their fathers. In the short time since I have read it, it has helped me understand what my son may need from me as a father."
-- Clay Johnston
"This is quite a book. It's terrific-great dynamics between Father and Son. Please buy it. I think it's surprising how many things we learn from our Dads -- and we don't realize a lot of these lessons until our Dad is gone."
-- Dan Davis of Good Morning Arizona, KTVK
"The interesting that I love about Fifty-Five Fathers' collection of stories about guy's fathers and the impact they had, is the interviews with sets of fathers. You have a father talking about his father, and then the son, talking about his father."
-- Donna Rossi, KPHX Equity AZ Radio and CBS 5 News/KPHO TV
About the Author
A third generation Phoenix, Arizona native, Jeff recently retired
after thirty amazing years of teaching computer and English skills
mixed with life lessons to high school students. Jeff is happily
married and has a grown son and grandson. Jeff Paisley started
playing guitar in rock bands in seventh grade, and he continues to
play in his seven piece rock 'n' blues band, The
And he still misses his dad. Every day.
I am my father's son. I am impatient. I am misanthropic,
sometimes. I am anal-retentive. There are two ways you can react to
a father; one is to leave the battlefield, and the other is to
become him. I've tried to become him with pretty much
The way I fathered my children was a direct reflection of the
way my father fathered me. I didn't lay hands on my boys. I
didn't have to; I gave them the look. The look was enough,
enough said. It stopped them in their tracks and put them into
tears. They knew exactly where I was coming from and how I felt by
Please enjoy a sample chapter below:
1. What is your interview name and your real age?
2. By what name do you call your father, Dad, Papa, and how
did you arrive at that name?
Dad. I guess that was because my older brother called him Dad so
I always called him Dad.
3. How would people describe your
Well, he was very creative, but a very unpredictable type guy.
Made a lot of money, lost a lot of money, and never felt that he
couldn't make it again.
Do you agree?
Yeah, that's pretty true.
4. Tell a story of your father teaching you a skill.
He worked all the time in his drugstore. So often, teaching
skills was left to my mom; but he was interested in me learning how
to play baseball and taught me how to throw and catch the ball and
things like that.
5. Share an incident you experienced when you were proud of
My dad, he always liked people. He was the pharmacist. And on
several occasions during his life, he knew somebody was sick and
didn't have any money, and he'd give them the money or
medicine that they needed so they could get well or eat. He was a
very benevolent type of person.
6. Tell something you picked up or got from your
He did everything with a gusto. If you're going to be a
pharmacist, be the best pharmacist. He was very creative. He
didn't let rules or society bug him one way or the other.
What he thought he wanted to do was what he did. He didn't
worry about what somebody else thought.
I have a bunch of them. The favorite story, he was oldest of
eleven kids, and we were back in Arkansas. And how free he was to
express himself depended on whether he was drinking Jack Daniels at
the time or not.
But, there was a family picnic; I don't know what holiday
it was. They went out on this creek in Arkansas and there was a
pond there. It must have been more summer time, so it wasn't
Christmas, must have been Easter, and he had to run the drug store
downtown in this small Arkansas town. He came in this three-piece
brown suit and had nice shoes on.
Some of the kids had been jumping in this watering hole and they
started teasing him and stuff. And he said, "I can go in
And they said, "No, you can't. You'll get your
suit all dirty."
And he just jumped in the pond and said, "See I can do
anything I want." (Laughs.)
8. What's something you discovered later in life about
your father that surprised you?
When I was younger, he was so off the cuff, and my mother being
very conservative, he sometimes sort of spooked me.
When I got older, I thought his creativity, spontaneity, and his
love of life was needed, important, and I felt very comfortable
9. Describe a particularly clear memory of being with your
While I was getting my Masters' Degree, we were living in
a small town in Arkansas and I was going to Arkansas State
University. We were right by this huge river, so we kept our
fishing poles and a boat down by the river.
So he said, "Well, let's go fishing. I'm off
today." And I was out of school so we went down and got the
boat and we went out on what they call in the South, a cut-off.
Means the river changes course so it leaves a channel of water but
it's not as swift as the main river. And he didn't
really care too much about fishing, he just wanted to get out and
spend some time. (Laughs.)
We were fishing this day and we were catching all these perch
and we caught eight or nine fish and we had them on a hook
stringer. All of a sudden, the water started shaking beside the
boat, and he reached down and started pulling that chain up with
the fish on it and he pulled it over in the boat. And there was
about a four-foot water moccasin stuck on that thing!
And I stood up at the other end of the boat; I was ready to go.
And Dad had been sipping on some Old Yellowstone, and he usually
wore multiple bifocals; he couldn't see real well without his
glasses. But he held that chain up and took the paddle out of the
boat and swung and hit that water moccasin in the head and put a
crease in it. It rolled over dead. And I was still standing at the
other end of the boat ready to jump in case he missed the
And he reached down with paddle, flipped the snake up and said,
"I didn't want that snake to get our fish."
10. What single trait or characteristic should all fathers
We are all individual, different types of people. And we have to
relate in our way. And most fathers do. As long as you let the
child know that you love them, care about them, and allow them to
become the person they are going to be, you'll be a good
My advice to all men upon choosing a female partner:
"Always find out how the woman feels about her own father.
That will give you a good indication of how she feels about men in