A fish fryin' Father's Day; more than just good food - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

A fish fryin' Father's Day; more than just good food

June 17, 2007

Albany -- It's all smiles this Father Day for Jimmie Goodman.

" I feel like a big wheel. When you got your family around, you don't have any problems," says Goodman.

For this Vietnam veteran and father of five, just sitting on the front porch surrounded by grand kids is a moment that few could have imagined following a life changing morning back in 1974.

" I was on my way to Ft. Benning, and I was running kind of late," explains Goodman.

It was while driving to Fort Benning that Goodman's vehicle left the roadway and crashed into the woods. His neck broken, he still managed to crawl for help.

"I asked the sheriff, what's going on? He said, ' You've been in an accident, ' I said, I gotta go home."

Thirty three years later, and partially paralyzed from the accident, Goodman is home. And despite the traumatic event over three decades ago, he does not let that take away from the family he and his wife have built.

" Life's been great. Even after the accident," adds Goodman.

So this Father's Day, just like those in years past, those closest to him have come to celebrate a man they know as a father and grandfather.

And while not to take credit away from dad, the feast prepared by his wife Ruby was also an incentive.

" To me that's earning him all the year's he's spent with family. Some of them he was here, and some of them, he wasn't," says Ruby Goodman.

A fish fry and cookout 4 months in the making, Ruby explains, " this is showing him appreciation and love and all."

But Jimmie Goodman knows that while the food is good, it's means nothing without his family there.

He states, " Well you can have your family all the time, but your food gives out. When your family is here, they are here to stay. When the crowd comes here, all the food is going to be ate up. But you still got your family."

And you can take that as fatherly advice.

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