Living the Dash

Hollis Donald “Doc” Adams

08/09/27 – 02/25/12

The dates above are important – they are the bookends of my father’s life. They mark a beginning and an end of his physical existence.

But it’s the dash that really tells the stories of his life.

Today and tomorrow will be filled with dozens of these stories. Family and friends are gathering from near and far to celebrate his life. 

Stories like… 

  • Born in rural Middle Tennessee on the eve of the Great Depression – becoming a part of the Greatest Generation
  • Raised on the grounds of the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home outside of Nashville, where his father kept the livestock – and learning to love and care for animals early on
  • Educated in Mt. Juliet, TN – where I later attended the same schools (and had one of the same teachers)
  • Entered the Army Air Corps in the last months of WW II – and began a life-long love of military history, which he passed on to me, and I passed on to my son, who is carrying it to a new level – Airman First Class Jason Adams
  • After his Army service, he started a business with his brother – a Gulf gasoline station, which for the next 44 years was the major part of his life of service to others
  • Enjoyed a vacation in Florida in 1953, impressing a certain young school teacher from Missouri by saying he “dabbled in oil”
  • After marrying that young teacher and bringing her back to TN, they began a family of two boys
  • Educating those boys in some of his background – hunting, fishing, working with animals, helping others; but also encouraging and challenging them to find their own paths
  • Along with his wife, raising those two boys with a love for God and His Church
  • Launching those boys “out of the nest” to begin lives and families of their own

And that’s just a hint of the dash my father lived.

My father never regretted any of the dash he lived – and I hope I will be able to say the same one day.



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