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An Ode To My Father

John Crawford Collin Street Bakery
May 17, 2022

An Ode To My Father

A Son's Reflections on Father's Day

Certain holidays seem to have unique origins. Take for example Father's Day. It was created by Sonora Smart Dodd in 1909. After her mother died in childbirth, her father, a Civil War veteran, raised Sonora and her five siblings alone. As a tribute to her father, Dobb campaigned to create a day dedicated to dads. Local religious leaders supported the idea, and the first Father’s Day was celebrated in June 1910, the month of Dobb's father's birthday.

While the holiday was originally designed for religious purposes, it's now been largely commercialized. The true intention of the holiday has become lost in the frantic shuffle of gift-giving. That's why we've turned to one of our very own, Vice President of Public Relations, Hayden Crawford, to help us remember how we should really be celebrating Father's Day. Hayden's heartfelt reflections on his dad's impact on his life encourage us to view Father's Day as the holiday was intended—as an opportunity to thank our dads for all the good they've done in our lives. Keep reading, and perhaps, have a hanky ready. 

Well, hey there!

For those who might not know me, my name is Hayden Crawford and I am the Vice President of Public Relations and Partner at Collin Street Bakery. My job duties at the bakery are wide and varied. In addition to working closely with Bob and Thomas McNutt, our 2nd and 3rd generation Owners, I also head up our bakery's Public Relations Department. I'm not the first Crawford to work at Collin Street. I was proceeded by my father, John Crawford, who worked as the Director of Sales for the company for almost six decades. You know, most sons aren't lucky enough to work alongside their dad—I was lucky for fifteen years. My father and I were business partners here at the bakery, but we were much more than that too. He was my mentor and a consistent source of laughter. Here's a photo of us at the grand unveiling of downtown Corsicana's Collin Street Bakery statue. I'm on the far left and my dad is second from the right, in the tan suit—just look at that smile. 


From left to right: Hayden Crawford, Jolene Zummo Crawford, John Crawford, Jerry Grimmet 

As Father’s Day draws nearer, I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad. He was a wise man, filled with golden nuggets of sage wisdom. Some of his favorite expressions included phrases like "Always strive to be a gentleman,” "Never say an unkind word,” or “Give everything your best effort.” Pretty standard advice—some might even say clichés. But, he also was filled with more poignant sayings like “Silence can never be misquoted,” or “Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed.” In fact, Dad had a few sayings he quoted so often, that he simply reduced them to acronyms in order to expedite the potency of the lesson. Acronyms like “LIA” or “Leave it alone.” This mantra was often solicited when he saw someone about to meddle. 

I know I'm totally biased, but my dad was the best. He never spoke ill of anyone. He never lost his temper. He was generous to a fault and filled with sincere compliments. Most importantly, the positive impact he had on my life is beyond comprehension or expression. From him, I inherited a terrific sense of humor, a great head of hair, and an artistic flair for creativity. I mean, just check out this photo of my dad taking a photo—he was a hipster before his time! 


Oftentimes, a child fails to acknowledge or appreciate their parents fully till they've passed. In part, that's why I'm writing this letter. A dad not only affects the way his kids view the world, but also, shapes their perspective on relationships, work, love, spirituality, curiosity, and kindness. A dad’s influence extends to how his sons treat women, or what traits his daughter might seek in a man. Sometimes, the realization is immediate and sometimes it’s delayed, but the actions of a dad are undeniably significant—fathers help shape their children into the people we are today. I can honestly say, my dad, is the reason I am the man I am today. Not only did ai 

Since 2020, Father’s Day has taken on a whole new meaning. You see, earlier that year, my Dad passed away. God reached down and gently took him home at the tender age of 87. Thinking back, it's funny how holidays like Father’s Day can be viewed with a mix of thoughts and feelings. An opportunity to some and an obligation to others, Father’s Day is admittedly seen as sort of a lowercase "holiday" in comparison to uppercase "Holidays" like Christmas or Thanksgiving. Honestly, the true significance of Father’s Day isn’t fully felt until one becomes a dad themselves or loses regrettably, loses their own dad. 

From left to right: Norman "Buddy" Shaw, Maurice "Mighty Mo" Pollock, Lee William "Bill" McNutt, John Crawford, Bob McNutt

As I traveled through life, I came to see my dad as more than just my father. He was my dad for almost 65 years, but he was more than that. He was my advisor for the forty years, my business partner at Collin Street Bakery for the past fifteen, and my friend my whole life through. I miss his wisdom, his viewpoints, and his voice. Sometimes, I reach for the phone or drive instinctively into his neighborhood—then I remember. I still often glance into his now-vacant office before stepping into my own. When I catch myself doing these things, I think about him with a smile. He’s forever gone from this life and he will be sorely missed. But, in his wake, he left behind a wonderful legacy. He was loved by many and respected by all here at Collin Street Bakery, our community, and our town.

I miss my dad more than words can say. So, bearing this in mind, I leave you with these parting words of advice. This Father’s Day, let’s honor our dads with our admiration and deepest appreciation. Heed their wisdom, laugh at their jokes, and enjoy their company. If you can, give them a huge bear hug. If you can’t, cherish their memory and give thanks for all they did. Also, pray for the fathers in your life and wish them grace, patience, and comradery.


With love, 

Hayden Crawford | Partner, Collin Street Bakery

The Best Gifts You Could Possibly Give Dad

Not all Father's Day gifts come in boxes. Sometimes, the best Father's Day gifts are simple, small acts of kindness that mean the most to the men in your life. Here are some simple gift ideas you can give to dad that cost next to nothing:  

  1. Pay him a "dad-compliment": Fawn over his green grass. Tell him he's a grill master. Applaud his parallel parking skills. He'll be so tickled at the compliment, he won't be able to stop smiling. 
  2. Ask him to teach you something: Dads love passing on their knowledge, especially to their kiddos. From how to change a tire to where to buy the best mulch, dads are basically beacons of practical tips and tricks. Indulge his desire to show off his skills. He'll really appreciate it—we promise. 
  3. Tell HIM a dad Joke: There is nothing dads adore more than a good dad joke. You know, those horribly, cheese one-liners that make everyone's eyes roll. This year, show him you get his sense of humor by dishing him a couple of prime dad jokes—check out these 10 Knee-Slapping Dad Jokes for Father’s Day
  4. Give him a sweet treat: Give him something sweet he can snack on while doing dad things, like mowing the lawn or surfing the TV for sports. We recommend our DeLuxe® Fruitcake Petites. Not only will these satisfy his secret sweet tooth, but they also can be enjoyed with just one hand—a plus for dads doing stuff.


Give Dad a Gift He'll Appreciate

Treat dad to his favorite sweet treat. It might be a small gesture, but it's one he'll seriously appreciate. Browse our collection of bakes and cakes perfect for a dad's sweet tooth. 

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Shani Housewright
May 23, 2022
What a great tribute to your father and all fathers! Thank you for sharing and Happy Father's Day to you sir.
May 23, 2022
I think most women ‘love’ their Mom’s — and ‘adore’ their fathers. Or maybe I am only reflecting my ‘take’ on it...just lucky I guess...
May 23, 2022
They always leave us far far too soon...alas. I loved my mother — but I ‘adored’ my father (maybe that’s the ‘Father/Daughter’ norm)?! RIP both Beloveds ...
Homer Andrews
May 24, 2022
John Crawford was a perfect example of a "gentleman"! Always, a smile on his face and a big "how are you and how is your family"! and what a sharp dresser! He always had a kind word and sent little "thank you" and "great job" notes and sometimes delicious bakery cookies, for things he saw or heard someone had done. So thankful for our dads who taught us all the things we needed to know and be. Great sentiments for your dad Hayden!!
Debora Roach Berryman
June 24, 2022
I remember him well! Always a gentlemen and always a smile. I feel blessed to have met him through Lone Star Container and think of him often, oh and the wonderful Rum Cakes he would share with us during the Christmas holidays. I'm sure with his mentoring you are just as awesome of an influence as he.
Stefanie Sellers
August 10, 2022
Love this article! JC was the best! A model father figure and an all around GREAT guy!!
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