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My dad drove me crazy at least half of my childhood, but he's the rock that's kept me sane most of my adulthood.

Born dirt-poor, Dad was one of 11 children who raced for table scraps and whatever else they could get. They had a Depression-era life that might as well have been from another world to those of my generation.

The first in his family to graduate from college, Dad worked harder than anyone I've ever known. He fought so furiously to get ahead he didn't always know when to turn it off with his young family, but he gradually found the right balance. Even then, he was teaching me how to keep learning and growing even when you're supposed to be a grown-up.

Although Dad is almost 80, retired and living near Tucson, Ariz., I still turn to him for advice and support. My love for him knows no bounds.

I'm sure you have your own story about your father. With that in mind, we began our Father's Day photo contest. If you're like me, you can't begin to come up with enough words to do justice to what your dad means to you, but perhaps a picture will start to tell the story.

You may submit your Father's Day photo under Your Photos at VictoriaAdvocate.com. While there, you also may rate your favorites. We'll publish selected photos in the newspaper and even give a couple of movie tickets to the highest-rated picture.

The real winners, though, are all of the children of these special fathers.

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Dad took our kids bay fishing during a visit to South Texas a couple of years ago. Something about the image makes me smile every time.