My Father - the Hero

Cover Story: Lessons From Dad

Tammi Veno overflows with enthusiasm and praise for her father.

The infant teacher at Kindercare Center 0671 in Woburn, Mass. says her dad is a major role model in her daily work.

And it brings results.

At the end of many workdays, several older preschoolers tow their parents into the infant room, wanting a goodbye hug from "Miss Tammi." Success.

Her dad, Ron, attracts the same kind of response. "When he walks down the street, everyone stops to say hello," she says.

"The best thing he taught by example is always to treat people the way you'd like to be treated."

In Ron's career as a fireman in Everett, Mass., he's saved a lot of lives - human and otherwise.

"I know a lot of times he went back into a building because he thought: 'My daughter will kill me if I don't go back and get that cat!' " Tammi laughs.

He also exemplifies the concept of hard work.

Ron worked four jobs to raise his four kids, rising early to scrub floors at a local ice-cream parlor. Then he'd go to work at the fire department. Nights and weekends he walked the aisles as a salesman at Sears. On the side, he ran his own painting and wallpapering business.

Besides her full-time job at Kindercare Inc., Tammi works as a hairdresser three nights a week plus weekends.

And of course she still hears from Daddy.

The other night, while she was working at the hair salon, he let himself into her apartment, cleaned the bathroom, fixed her dinner, and left a note saying the meal was in the fridge.

"I don't know what I'd do without him," she says.

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