The Talk

Ray Burkhart


By: Ray Burkart

My stepdad, a Pearl Harbor survivor, was an imposing figure at 6’ 3” and 200 pounds, but was a gentle giant.

He became our dad when I was 6 and my sister was 4 ½. We were a lucky pair.  I always said I hoped I would be half the dad to my kids as he was to us. Although we gave him many reasons, he never laid a hand on either of us.   Instead, when we would need be reminded of a transgression, we would get “The Talk.”   We hated “The Talk” and I think just the thought of it kept us from getting into too much trouble.

“The Talk” would consist of a thorough review, with corrective measures, for the latest transgression, but also a recounting of all the past transgressions he could remember. As you can imagine, as we got older, “The Talk” grew longer.  It was the consensus of my sister and I that we would rather just get a whack on the butt so we could get back to playing with our friends.

As I got older and had a family, I realized the value of “The Talk” and imposed the same process on my two girls.  But I will admit there were times when I thought maybe a couple of smacks to the backside might have been a little  more attention-getting.

My dad did not have a degree or any training in psychology, but he was one of the smartest and loving people I ever met.  He was a patriot for our country, the best dad ever and always an inspiration to us on how we should  live our lives. My sisters and I miss him a lot.