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Dad is ‘King of the Hill’ Sunday

Leila Case

My father Gustave Beauregard Sisson of Atlanta was the kindest, most courteous, generous and handsome man I’ve ever known.

Sunday is Father’s Day when we pay tribute to the man who loved and disciplined us when we misbehaved growing up. He is “king” of the day everyday but on this extra special Sunday he can sleep later than usual, enjoy his favorite home cooked meal and if he plays golf or tennis, and many dads do, send him off to the golf course or the tennis court.

Everyone called by father Gus or Mr. Sisson, but I, like my two older sisters and younger brother, called him “Daddy.”  He owned an optometry business in downtown Atlanta and worked hard five days a week. He was also a golfer so on Saturday and Sunday afternoons he was at East Lake Country Club where he was a charter member playing 18 holes of golf with long time friends, walking the beautiful course with a caddy carrying their clubs. Sometimes they played an additional nine, depending on many things. They even played in the rain. My mother always said it doesn’t rain at East Lake!

Another hobby Daddy enjoyed was photography and his favorite subjects was our family, and flowers during all seasons. He drove me to school every morning but when the azaleas were at their peak he went out the way on around about detours to photograph their beautiful blooms. I always worried I would be late to class but Daddy managed to get me there just seconds before the tardy bell.

I have many of his beautiful color slides as well as black and white photos that are dear to me and, of course, bring back memories of those days riding around Druid Hills in our trusty Chevrolet on a photo shoot with Daddy.  He used a Zeiss camera that I own but is not useable – you can’t buy the film much less get it developed. Today, he would be amazed by modern technology of digital cameras and the photo app on iPhones.

Daddy was about to walk out of our back door on the way to play golf when he had a sudden heart attack and fell to the floor. Unfortunately, he could not be revived.

I was married at the time, living in Athens with my first husband and two young toddlers – both girls and now quite grown with homes of their own – when the phone rang. I answered and was told the sad news. I’ve missed him since and think of him almost every day.

He left a legacy of love to us all to be kind and to always to put others before self. He’s my star in heaven watching over me and protecting me.

If you’re fortunate to still have your father, go visit him Sunday or give him a call. I wish I could.

Meanwhile, good luck to Mary-Margaret Waddell, Presidential Pathways’ Miss Outstanding Teen 2020 who competes this week in the Miss Georgia Pageant in Columbus. Areas of competition include an interview with the judges’ panel; she will perform a classical piano solo for the talent competition; evening gown and answer an onstage question; physical fitness and the finale and Georgia’s winner will compete for the title of Miss Americas’ Outstanding Teen in July in Orlando.

Mary-Margaret, 13, is a rising eighth grader at Southland Academy and has been involved in the Miss Georgia organization her whole life. Her parents, Crystal and Mark Waddell, were local pageant directors, and Mary-Margaret was a Miss Georgia Princess for seven years. She was also the National Princess at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in 2013.

 

She has been competing in pageants her whole life and has been the Tiny Miss Georgia Forestry Queen, Junior Miss Georgia Peanut, Albany’s Young Miss, Flint River’s Junior Miss, Albany’s Most Talented, and Tiny, Little, and Young Miss Melon to name a few pageant titles.  Miss Presidential Pathways’ Outstanding Teen is her first teen title in the Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen system.