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Thank you to all who participated in the Black Fathers Hall of Fame Father’s Day Essay Contest. We are very excited to hear the loving stories from those who have submitted essays telling us what their father means to them. Happy Father’s Day to all great dads around the world and congratulations to our winner of this year’s essay contest!
Grand Prize Winner:
Gerard Raynor Talley | Baltimore, Maryland
Father’s Name: Herbert Wesley Berkley Sr.
Essay Title: “We Didn’t Hug Much”
The man I know as father is my granddad, Herbert Wesley Berkley, Sr. (73 yrs old).
“Big Herb” is a very strong willed, outspoken man. He is not really the emotional, tender person of the family; he left that to grandma. Rather, Granddad was a wonderful breadwinner and provider for the family. As a kid, I remember the grandkids in the back of the pickup truck while dad drove around Baltimore City selling breads and desserts. City residents looked forward to hearing that ole’ honking
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horn outside their homes.

To this day, Dad still owns a car shop, Herb’s Car Care, where he arrives as early as 5 in the morning to deliver excellent car care.
Getting groceries were always a task for the grandkids, because it took hours. Not only would he shop for his house, but he would stock our fridge, and other neighbors. (Maybe that’s where I get my habit of bulk shopping.)
Dad is a Deacon at his local church, and he has no shame in giving God praise for his success. His favorite gospel song is “Your Grace and Mercy, Brought Me Through.”
Fishing is dad’s favorite pastime. Any given day, you’ll find him down on the ocean somewhere. He started teaching us grandkids how to fish when we were only 3 years old. Often dad gave and sometimes sold many bags of fish.
The greatest lesson he taught me is this:
“You give a man a fish,
You feed him for a day,
Teach a man how to fish,
You feed him for a lifetime.”
-Lao Tzu
Dad! You taught me how to fish! You’ve been a man of your word! You’ve been consistent! You’ve blessed our family, and the Baltimore Community.
We didn’t hug much, but you certainly showed me discipline, and how to care for my family.
I Love You, Man!
Gerard R. Talley
(Note: This essay has been lightly edited for clarity in reading.)
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Black Fathers Hall Of Fame Announces 2012 Essay Contest Winner  was originally published on

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