An Ode To My Father

John Crawford Collin Street Bakery
Posted in: Holidays, Community

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. 


May 17, 2022
Mr Thomas Check
June 4, 2021 at 11:48 AM
Well said Hayden . Heartfelt thanks for sharing this , he would be proud of you. Remember..... all the love . Kindest and Best Regards
Collin Street Bakery
June 7, 2021 at 3:37 PM
Thank you so much for these kind words.
June 4, 2021 at 12:04 PM
So true & so beautifully said. I lost my Dad the end of the week of 9/11. A truly sad week even before that Saturday but I know I’ll see him again 1 day. I also had a great father in law. Called him Dad also. Knew that he didn’t always see my viewpoint but he was always there to support me when needed.
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:37 PM
Thank you. We are so sorry for your loss.
June 4, 2021 at 12:14 PM
Wonderful account and tribute to our dads and our children's dads.
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:37 PM
Thank you!
Patricia Lewis
June 4, 2021 at 1:37 PM
Now I know why your fruitcakes are the best in the world...they are made with love and tradition! Your fathers greatest gift was the memories and love he left you!
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:36 PM
Thank you SO much!
June 4, 2021 at 5:52 PM
Very well written tribute.
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:18 PM
Thank you!
June 5, 2021 at 4:42 AM
My eyes & heart are filled with tears & the sympathy of understanding after reading your loving memorial to your dad. I lost my Dad on Valentine's Day 2008 at the spry age of 90. I can truthfully say not a day goes by that I don't miss him & think of him or want to tell or ask him something. The price of great love is the vastness of the grief after loss. An entire lifetime of memories of the little things become the important cherished things once your memories become your only hugs. I send my deepest sympathy!
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:36 PM
Thank you so much for your kind words. We appreciate them so much and are so sorry for your loss.
Joseph C. Hicks
June 5, 2021 at 8:49 AM
Greetings Fathers And Everyone, The Fruit Cakes Are Excellent! Question, Are Getting A Special Discount To Buy Fruit Cake Products For Father’s Day? Please Respond. Happy Father’s Day. Thank You. Sincerely, Joseph C. Hicks
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:18 PM
Thank you! You can see all our specials deals here,
June 5, 2021 at 12:11 PM
Enjoyed your comments and pictures BUT I’d enjoy comments with the photos rather than ‘just’ a phot which the viewer ‘thinks’ was your dad. So many pictures that have limited meaning since most viewers don’t know what camera was being used, etc. Opportunities to interest a broader group when you list a German camera from the 50s. Best wishes, T
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:17 PM
Thank you for your tip, we appreciate you for sharing this with us.
Suzanne Fluker
June 5, 2021 at 12:12 PM
Beautifully written Hayden...such a nice tribute to your Dad!
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:16 PM
Thank you so much!
Kathy C Wooten
June 5, 2021 at 1:41 PM
Beautiful! Happy Father's Day!
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:16 PM
Thank you!
Sonia G
June 5, 2021 at 4:00 PM
Thanks for sharing your heartwarming tribute. A reader will surely think back to their own father and remember so many good things.
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:15 PM
Thank you so much for your kind words.
June 5, 2021 at 4:32 PM
I just lost my dad in April and have been dreading this first Father’s Day without him. I agree with everything you said about dads. I was blessed with a good one, too, and miss him more than words can tell.
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:14 PM
We are so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Liz Russell
June 5, 2021 at 4:34 PM
What a loving and beautiful commentary on your father. My Dad passed away not long after my 13th birthday, but what he taught me in those 13 years sounds so much like what your father passed on to you. It is never easy to lose a loved one and my thoughts are with you. May you carry on all of the attributes of your Father.
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:10 PM
Thank you for your kind words.
Lawrence Cumley
June 6, 2021 at 9:53 AM
Well said. Thanks for sharing.
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:09 PM
Thank you!
Cynthia Rodriguez
June 6, 2021 at 6:44 PM
Thank you for sharing those heartfelt words about your father. He obviously did a great job building his business while being a 24/7 father. God bless all the dads, here and gone, who nurture and provide strength for their families.
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:09 PM
Thank you, Cynthia! We sure do appreciate all the dads.
Teresa King
June 6, 2021 at 8:03 PM
That was a beautiful tribute to John. He was all those things, and many more, to all of us who had the distinct pleasure of knowing him. The delight of my visits to the bakery, was the audience that John bestowed on me in his office. He always looked you directly in the eyes, while making you feel like the most important person in the world. He listened and offered sage advise when needed. He was a kind, generous, witty, delightful being. I can’t phantom how much you miss him daily. His departure was a great loss to his family, colleagues his friends. God Bless you Hayden for sharing these thoughts and memories❤️
Collin Street Bakery
June 8, 2021 at 1:08 PM
He was an amazing man, we thank you so much for your kind words!
Debbie Watson
June 6, 2021 at 9:44 PM
Hayden this is priceless. Every single word about him is so true. I loved John as we all did. He was such a special man. I still miss him too. I feel very blessed to have known him in my life. And Hayden you really are very much like your Dad. Love Debbie
Collin Street Bakery
June 7, 2021 at 4:06 PM
Thank you for your kind words, Debbie!
Leasa Cagle Armstrong
June 7, 2021 at 1:05 AM
So touching and correct! I just lost my dad on May 21, 2021 at the age of 95. People say,, you were so fortunate to have him for 95 years. True, but there is never a time you were ready for them to go! He worked for Oil City years ago, and delighted telling the story that he went in to the bakery to get cookies for he and my sister and mentioning that while at Oil City he helped make some of the machines used there. Someone then took him on a tour and he saw that some of the machines were still in use at that time! Definitely a sense of pride! Whoever gave him that tour will never know how much that meant to him! I am so thankful. Hayden, We are so fortunate to have had two of the good ones!
Collin Street Bakery
June 7, 2021 at 4:05 PM
Thank you so much for sharing this with us! We are so sorry for your loss and appreciate all of your kind words.
Faye Karshner
June 7, 2021 at 6:39 AM
What a wonderful tribute to a Father and Special Man. Thank you for sharing.
Collin Street Bakery
June 7, 2021 at 4:02 PM
We agree, thank you so much!
Rhonda Martin
June 10, 2021 at 11:31 AM
You were blessed to have such a wonderful father. I too was blessed to have had a father with that same demeanor. I miss him every day.
Collin Street Bakery
June 16, 2021 at 11:14 AM
We are sorry for your loss and appreciate your kind words.
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