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Father knows best
Wasdon Fathers day story
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This Sunday, fathers across the country will receive a hard-earned day off. No honey-dos. No changing the channel from a sporting event to a silly cartoon. No lawn mowing or edging.

Just a luxurious day spent lounging with family – the people who really matter.

This Sunday is Father’s Day, a celebration of power tools, grilling and hands grimy from auto maintenance. Or, perhaps more precisely, a celebration of the men forever linked with these tasks, who showed their sons and daughters the best life they knew how.

Sunday is the 100th anniversary of the Father’s Day tradition, first celebrated June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Wash. Officially made a holiday by President Richard Nixon in 1972 and today celebrated by more than 100 countries worldwide – from Belize to Zimbabwe – Father’s Day has become a day to sit back, relax and honor good old dad.


Rufus Keaton, a campus supervisor at Turlock High School, will travel to the University of the Pacific to root for his son Ryan, 16, a junior at Pitman High School, in a basketball tournament at the campus.

Keaton will be joined by his wife, Mary, and other son Austin, 20, a Modesto Junior College student and baseball player, in the grandstands.

“I'm very proud of my boys, they've got good attitudes and I love watching them play,” Keaton said. “It's a great present right off the bat.”

Sports are a big part of Keaton’s life, and he’s always tried to share his love for the game with Ryan and Austin. But win or lose it’s just a game, Keaton said.

Keaton said his best piece of advice was a simple one.

“To believe in themselves in the fullest at work, at home, and at life and to have fun,” Keaton said.

It’s only by believing in yourself that you can accomplish your best, Keaton said. And why not have fun along the way?

Keaton will spend this Father’s Day, in part, remembering his own father, Rufus Keaton Jr., who died when Keaton was just 10.

Keaton said he has nothing but positive memories of his dad, but the best lesson learned from his father isn’t one that went spoken.

“You never know when they're going to be gone,” Keaton said.

It’s in part because of his father’s early death that Keaton makes it a point to see his boys play whenever he can.


Frank Lima, a Turlock-based lawyer and president of the Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees, plans to spend Sunday at home with his three children, Natalya, 15, Alexander, 11, and Anna, 8.

“It’s really a day to appreciate your kids,” Lima said.

Lima said he may squeeze in a family game of tennis, but hoped to just sit back and relax with his family for most of the day.

Appreciating others is a big theme for Lima. He said the best piece of advice he’s ever given his children is a simple one.

“The golden rule is always the best one: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Lima said.

But the best advice Lima received from his father, Manuel, was a sound piece of financial wisdom.

“Don’t spend what you don’t have,” Lima said.



Turlock City Manager Roy Wasden won’t have the chance to see his seven grown children – Kathy, 35, Shantel, 33, Justin, 32, Shane, 30, Sherrie, 24, Ashley, 21, and Tyler, 19 – this Father’s Day. His offspring and his 11 grandchildren are flung across the country now, one in medical residency in New York, one on a mission in Texas, and the rest living in the Salt Lake City area.

But he’ll take the day to talk to all of his children on the phone, open the stack of cards he’s received over the past week and saved for Sunday, and even give his own dad, Bruce, a ring.

“I just want to make sure he knows how much he means to me,” Wasden said.

Bruce Wasden was a school principal, who also did contract work for the forest service in the summer. Roy Wasden recalled many a summer spent running through the forests alongside his dad, fishing the day away.

Wasden recalled the best advice his father ever gave him: “Walk straight.” He said this line was inspired by the song, “Make America Proud of You” — basically his dad’s theme song.

As for the best advice he gave his children?

“You’re responsible for yourself,” Wasden said.

Wasden believes his children have flourished with the advice, taking responsibility to help pay their way through college and going on to become successful adults. Wasden also credits his wife, Linda, of 37 years, a stay-at-home mom who helped cultivate a home that puts family first.

“Family is everything,” Wasden said.