My Dad

Dennis Hart and Kent Yeager during the fall harvest of 2004.

Trying to describe my father is no easy task.

Those who know Kent Yeager will tell you he has many layers.

There is the farmer, on his own since 1963, and helping others since he was a small boy.

There is the fisherman, who was putting a line in the water before he started farming.

The Yeager clan.

Then there’s the father of 4 children and now 6 grandchildren.

I’m not really sure where to start, but I will with this line.

When asked what my dad does, I say he’s a part-time farmer, full-time fisherman.

Case in point, I called the house today to check in, of course he was on his way back home from a fishing trip with one of his hunting and fishing buddies Dennis Hart. Dennis also helped Kent do some farming following his retirement from teaching.

My father can a tell a great story. His laugh is distinct. He’s not going to tell you the latest joke as a one-liner, but he’ll keep you on the edge of your seat until he finishes his story. Which usually includes loud volume, motions and giant hand gestures.

He also showed us kids the joys of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

Kent Yeager has served his school, his church, his community and his vocation.

Kent and Jo with Yeager boys
My parents with my boys.

I’m not going to say every day was wonderful and sunny. But really, who has that relationship with their parents?

My father lead by example. He rose late, worked late and didn’t really complain. Ok, when fishing was involved, he would get up before the sun if it meant getting the fish to bite.

I could do a whole post on fishing. Fishing is his escape. Farming is a stressful occupation. Many parts of farming are out of your control. Fishing allows him to escape all that. He’ll go anywhere and with anyone. His list of fishing partners is long and if you want to go sometime, just let him know, he’ll add you to the list.

He was supportive of my activities. He’d make a run into town when we were playing a game that he could make. Anytime he made a baseball game, that was a big deal because he was in the middle of farming whether it was spraying, picking up rocks or replanting.

Noah Kent planting
Noah tells Kent a story/

Kent wrestled growing up, but I never went down that path. Or went to Iowa State, two things he tried to get all of us to do.

Dad made me appreciate the rain, especially when it wouldn’t come, or stop about 1/2 mile short of our fields that desperately needed the summer drink.

Earlier this spring I was mowing the lawn in nearly dark conditions. I could still see where I was going, but no one believed me. It was just like the many times Dad would drive a tractor back to the home place in the dark, somehow being able to see the road to make it home safely.

Kent Allie
My niece Allison gets a lesson on tractor driving from grandpa.

I’ve had to tell him about planted tractors (that’s when you really get it stuck), broken equipment or even blown up car engines.

Those are just a few memories, but there’s the talking thing that really stands out among the many.

Young Noah and Kent
Noah wears grandpa Fish's hat.

I remember as a kid when we would go visit Dew and Louise’s. Kris and I were wrapped up in winter coats, standing in the doorway as Dew and Kent continued to talk and talk and talk. You wonder where I picked up that skill?

He’s german in many ways. There’s a passion to his beliefs that may grow into an argument with others, but it is civil.

He’s been the glue of this family since his father died at such a young age. I’ve considered every day with him a blessing. No matter how ornery he got.

Noah plants a kiss on Grandpa Fish.

Last year we had the carotid artery scare, but he’s back to teasing the grandkids and doing his own thing. That’s what Farmer Papa or Papa Fish does.

And my mother is the saint for putting up with him for so many years. Grandma Honey is the rock the family is built around.

I can’t tell you how blessed I am to have such great parents. I hope to be half the man my father is.

No excuse me, it is time to get back to showing Noah more Bugs Bunny cartoons.


4 thoughts on “My Dad

  1. Paul,

    Knowing both you and your father all my life, I know he’s proud of you and the rest of the “Yeager clan”, too. You are a special family and you have every reason to celebrate your parents; they are like parents to me, too. This blog is a wonderful testament to his influence on you – well written, passionate and most deserving. Kent is truly a great man and you are a chip off the proverbial block. Happy Father’s Day.

  2. I missed this last year, but what wonderful words and pictures, Paul. Our family has such great memories of good times together. I do remember your mother saying after your school conferences, something about “he talks a lot.” It comes naturally!

  3. Friday the 13th. How perfect. Hope he is fishing and he would be the only one catching anything on what is supposed to be an unlucky day! 45 and raining here, sounds like a perfect fishing day for farmer Kent!!!

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