Yesterday I was telling a few co-workers a story about my grandfather throwing biscuits at the breakfast table. Reminiscing about this and realizing that Father’s Day is approaching, I decided to write about fathers. And not just my own father but other men who also played a role in my life worthy of thanks and praise.

My father, Kenneth L. Miller (we called him Pop), grew up on a farm near Owensboro, Kentucky. He was the ninth of 10 children. From what little I know about his childhood, it was hard. His family was poor and everyone had to pull their own weight. There was little time for play. Toys at Christmas for the youngest children were carved by an older brother, Ray.

I never met my father’s parents. Pop rarely talked about them. My mother described my grandfather as quiet. She described my grandmother as distant and unaffectionate. She showed very little love for her children and was never excited or happy to see her grandchildren. Six of her sons served in either World War II or the Korean War. She never wrote to any of them while they were in the service.

When my father was 11 years old he ran away from home. He took a calf to a local stockyard, sold it and disappeared. Weeks later, police in Dallas, Texas, called the general store near my father’s family farm. The owner relayed the message from Dallas police. They had my father in custody.

He had purchased a bus ticket and traveled from Owensboro to Dallas. He had been sleeping on park benches until the police picked him up. He spent a couple of weeks in custody before he would tell the police his name and where he was from. His mother and Ray drove a Model A Ford to Dallas to bring him home.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that alcoholism was a common problem among Pop’s siblings. Pop and one older brother avoided this destruction. They served their country, left the service, found good jobs, married and had families.

Pop was not an affectionate man. He had a hard time saying “I love you” or “I’m sorry.” He loved country music, knew nothing about sports and could not tell a joke to save his life.

He was a hard worker and great provider. It was through these traits that he showed his love. The most important things are how he was there for us and instilled his work ethic in me and my sister. I miss Pop every day.

I never knew either of my grandfathers, but I did have a step-grandfather on my mother’s side, John Jeter. A World War I veteran, John was a big man. He had been a carpenter and he was missing the ring finger on one hand. I don’t remember which hand. He blew the finger off using dynamite to remove tree stumps from a field. He chewed tobacco and smoked a pipe or cigar almost constantly.

My grandmother was ill and frequently in and out of the hospital. I went along when my mother would go to help care for her mother. I stayed with John.

John kept a basket of biscuits near him at breakfast. He called them “catheads” and if you asked for one he threw it at you. Eating with John was always unpredictable. I never knew what he would feed me. I had chocolate donuts for all three meals once. Kool-Aid was a staple and I am still trying to forgive him for a raw Spam sandwich he once fed me.

He fascinated me and I copied his every mannerism. He would not let me chew tobacco but he did give me cigars with plastic tips so I could pretend to smoke. Once my mother called and asked him to bring me to the hospital so I could meet some of her old nursing friends. When we arrived, I had a Kool-Aid stained mouth and shirt and had a big cigar hanging out of my mouth. My mother was mortified.

John was the worst driver I have ever ridden with. He could not turn a corner without hitting the curb and could not stop without the brakes screeching. He drove so fast the car felt like it left the ground when we went over small hills. He drove like that with me standing beside him in the front seat.

I loved him dearly and he loved me. One of the greatest regrets of my life is centered on John. When I was 14 years old John asked me to stay with him. I wanted to stay with my cool older cousins instead and left him. He died a few days later from a stroke.

There have been other men who made a difference in my life. For example, Roscoe Scott, the father of one of my best friends in high school. He hauled me to and from band and softball practice countless times. Those are just two of the many things he did for me.

My father-in-law, Clyde Simmerman. He raised a wonderful daughter, helped us start our life together and was a loving grandfather to our four children. He was one of the finest men I’ve ever known.

And, there is Dr. Jim Anderson. Jim has been my biggest fan during my career. A fine doctor and person, a few years ago Jim asked if he could call me son. I was honored.

I hope this causes you to think about the men who have made a difference in your life. Contact them if you can and let them know what they mean to you. And, if you are a dad or father figure, be a good one. Have a happy Father’s Day.

Dr. K. Jeffrey Miller is a chiropractor at Missouri Orthopedic Institute and the author of “The Road to Happiness Is Always Under Construction: 50 Activities for Creating a Positive Outlook.” His column publishes the first Friday of each month.