My Father’s Apple Trees


(See video below)

My dad (lower right hand corner) was a compact kid whose four big sisters called him “Wee Willy.” But he was a scrapper. Bigger and tougher inside than out.

At 15, he forged his parent’s signature and joined the Marines, never finishing 10th grade, so he could whoop Hitler’s ass. Or Tojo’s. Or whoever’s ass needed whooping.  Instead, fresh out of boot camp, he explained carefully to a bluto of a sailor why the Marines were superior to the Navy. And the sailor respectfully disagreed. With a beer bottle. On Dad’s jawbone.

Dad spent the next three months in a military hospital. With his jaw wired shut, sucking chocolate malts through a straw. During which time both Germany and Japan surrendered. So, no, Dad never saw action. But he never lost his love for chocolate malts.

Or my mom.

And then I came along.

Dad loved us with a fierceness that would’ve made Hitler and Tojo tremble. And he would’ve whooped their asses if they’d tried to hurt us.

By the time I was 5, I realized this. And so I wanted to give him a gift. Just from me.

I’ve told this story again and again over the years because I think it makes a terrific metaphor for the “What can you give a God who has everything?” question. But before it was a metaphor it was simply a true story. About my dad. So some years back, while on staff at a church in Cincinnati, Ohio, I made this little video as a belated gift to my father, because, well…

I love you, Dad.

Here’s the video:


P.S. Churches and Drama groups, My Father’s Apple Trees is also a available as both a Father’s Day and a non-Father’s Day monologue.

Click here to download the script!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to My Father’s Apple Trees

  1. Garfield Hug says:

    A lovely tribute to your dad and fitting for father’s day. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bill Sweeney says:

    Great story and video, Mitch. Happy Father’s day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a GREAT video and story. Enjoyed it so much. But what’s a “bluto”? Thanks for sharing this moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. schoen55 says:

    Beautiful Story. Thank you for sharing it so creatively. Timely for Father’s Day

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wonderful! And in it, I see the strong connection that you suggest to our relationship with God! This was just perfect all the way around, Mitch! And was that you narrating the video? You have a fantastic speaking voice! I loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. smzang says:

    I think I must be having a senior moment here.
    I don’t see the video or the link to it. Is it….
    ok, It was I.E. I tried Opera and of course I’m grabbing
    for more tissues. It is wonderful…a gift to everyone
    who experiences it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. nancyehead says:

    My dad was a Navy corpsman who worked with Marine Seabees in the South Pacific during WWII. They were a construction unit, also never seeing combat. Still, I wonder how much of Dad’s work involved such disputes as your father’s. God bless, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. WOW!!! Thank you Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Delightful, heartwarming, and a natural prelude to a prayer of thanks for ALL our Heavenly Father’s gifts. Superbly well done, Mitch! And Happy Father’s Day!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. revruss1220 says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing that amazing tribute.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Ann Coleman says:

    What a terrific Father’s Day video. And it works on so many levels!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. gpavants says:

    Dad loves us even when our apples aren’t perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. totally Late to the party, but i Loved this.
    You brought tears to my eyes, Mitch…..and thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Pingback: I Turned Out Like You After All, Dad | Mitch Teemley

  15. Pingback: The Longest Day of the Year | Mitch Teemley

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