Some Bittersweet Memories of Life With Father : 'Stay Calm,' He Said

Father. Fathers loved and fathers feared, close fathers and distant fathers, famous fathers and "ordinary" fathers. No matter what the relationship, he's special. In the remembrances that follow, Times writers tell something of what that relationship has meant.

We crouch behind a bale of hay holding off wild Indians. Arrows can't pierce hay bales, he assures me. "Don't worry, stay calm," as his father told him.

Things happen. Sometimes life seems downright hostile. A lot of years go by.

On a beach, I build thick walls of sand around my daughter. A wave sloshes up, smoothing the rough fortification. The castle crumbles a bit.

"Don't run. You'll be OK," her grandfather says gently.

That night she sings: "I love Grandpa." Her words, like his, hold the savages at bay.

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