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Honoring dad with a podcast
Rick Bussler, Publisher
rick bussler, editor, opinion, hot pursuit

This past Father’s Day was like none other. It was the first time in more than a half century that I was left celebrating without the man that had been an integral part of my life. My father died last October.

Readers may recall that I wrote a column back in early May about taking care of my mother’s lawn. I shared how it wasn’t the same without my dad as lawn mowing had been his job until about three weeks before his death.

After the column published, Craig Johnson of Owatonna took special interest in what I had to say and reached out to me wishing to do a podcast for Father’s Day. Johnson, who is also a Christian music DJ on KOWZ Radio, just started the “86400 Podcast” earlier this year.

The podcast ran in time for Father’s Day. What perfect timing for me to honor my late father on such a special day. While it was my first time doing a podcast, I was extremely honored that Johnson selected me for one of his programs.

On the podcast, I stressed the importance of family. I firmly believe that family is the core of our existence. We need to stick together through the good and bad times and be there for each other. Sadly, I know some young people as well as adults who don’t feel the same and seem to be terribly misguided in their lives.

In addition, I shared some history about my family and what my dad accomplished throughout his life. I’ve said before and still believe that it was only appropriate for my dad to pass away on the farm where he had lived most of his 89 years. He lived on only two other places all within a half mile of the current place in his earlier years. He was proud of the fact that he had stayed close to home all his life. As I watched the hearse roll away from the farm for the final time with my dad aboard on that fall day last October, I knew his life had been complete.

Many of the buildings on the farm were torn down several years ago. However, one thing he kept which became a source of pride for him is the cupola from the barn. It had been incorporated into a landscaping project on the front lawn.

I also referenced one of my favorite Christian song artists, Casting Crowns, which plays “Who Am I.” A portion of the song puts life into perspective: “I am a flower quickly fading. Here today and gone tomorrow. A wave tossed in the ocean. A vapor in the wind. Still you hear me when I’m calling. Lord, you catch me when I’m falling. And you’ve told me who I am. I am yours, I am yours.”

We are here for a short time so make the most out of it. In the meantime, surround yourself with family and help each other wherever you’re needed. It’s something you won’t regret. I know I haven’t.

For me, Father’s Day was difficult this year, but Johnson’s podcast allowed me to honor dad in a way that I know would have made him proud.

If you’re interested in listening to the podcast, it can be accessed at

I encourage all of you to go in hot pursuit of honoring your fathers (and mothers) all the time, not just on special days.

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