Mike Griffin honored as

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 20, 2000

2001 ‘Father of the Year’


Features Editor

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Father’s Day 2001 will be forever special in the heart of Mike Griffin.

Of course, nothing can touch the joy he felt on his first Father’s Day 29 years ago, but this one comes in a very close second.

On Saturday night, Griffin was recognized by the Pike County Cattlewomen as their Father of the Year. On Sunday, he celebrated Father’s Day in waiting – waiting for the birth of his first grandchild.

On Monday, a daughter was born to his son Chris and his wife Tiffany, making Father’s Day 2001 a triple treat of joy, pride and blessings.

Honored, proud

and overjoyed

were the words Griffin chose to describe his feelings over the three-day period.

"I was very honored that the Pike County Cattlewomen selected me as their Father of the Year," Griffin said. "Most of us approach fatherhood as a novice and go through life wondering if we did things right. Maybe they thought I did some things right."

If there had been any doubt that Mike Griffin did fatherhood right, those doubts were put to rest by his son.

Betty Hixon, president of the Cattlewomen, read a tribute that Chris had written for his father. Chris would have read the tribute himself, except he was at home awaiting the arrival of his on first baby.

Chris Griffin’s tribute was one that would make any dad proud.

"I could sit down and write a biography about my dad and the influence that he has had in my life," the younger Griffin wrote. "Someone asked me the other day, ‘How did you turn out the way you did?’ My answer to them was ‘I had a good father.’ The older I get the more I realize the importance of his influence in my life and how he shaped me into the person I am today. With God’s help, I hope that I will be as good an earthly father to my children as my dad has been to me. I am very proud to say that I am Mike Griffin’s son."

Those words brought a lump to the father’s throat.

"I’ve never been more honored or as proud," Griffin said of the tribute. "Chris has never done anything but make me proud. I could not have asked for a better son. Maybe he turned out that way in spite of me, but he always makes me proud."

Griffin said he has no formula for being a good father.

"If I did I would be in family counseling instead of working for the Department of Transportation," he said, laughing. "I do know that patience and understanding go a long way and spending quality time together and enjoying each other’s company are most important. And having a good wife and mother – that’s just essential."

And a good father/son relationship starts early, Griffin said.

"When Chris was in school, I took him almost every morning and we had breakfast together," he said. "We did a lot of talking and getting to know each other that way. Chris had me on the farm and I followed him to ball games. We hunted together and just spent a lot of time enjoying each other’s company. I tried to guide him, but I also tried to give him enough freedom to let him make his own mistakes."

Griffin called his relationship with is son a blessing and now he looks forward to another blessed relationship – with his granddaughter, Kayla Margaret Griffin.

"I was there at the hospital when she was born and it was exciting to be there for the birth of my first grandchild," he said. "In a way, it was a similar experience to when Chris was born. Of course, the birth of your own child is more intimate, but having a grand baby is – well, I’m just overjoyed. And, Chris was on cloud nine – just the way I was the day he was born. It just made my heart swell to see his pride and joy in his baby. I’m so proud of them – all three of them."

Griffin has joined an elite group of fathers who have been honored by the Pike County Cattlewomen for the past 19 years. The first award was presented in 1983 to J.D. Grimes. Other previous recipients of the award are: Bill Hixon, Frank Oscar Bryan, Harold Lee, Jim McLean, Arlie Barr, Robert Price, James O. Johnson, Marvin Dillard, Dale Davis, David Carpenter, Don Renfroe, Toby Griffin, Joey Strother, Wayne Davis, Billy Hixon, B.B. Palmer and Eddie Powell.