ANTIOCH, Ark. (KTHV) - All week we're sharing stories of fathers across the state who've made a difference in the lives of those around them.
Like any young adult getting their start in the real world, the idea of owning a home is a dream. But actually getting there is harder than you might think. Unless you have a dad that makes a difference.
Tina Bibbs grew up off state highway 267 in Antioch.
"I used to play on this land. There used to be an old barn here," says Tina.
That same land, on the very same street, where her mother was raised. So it's only fitting that she start her adult life so close to home.
"And I had driven past this and I saw someone out here and I said 'is this for sale?' and it was. So I bought the land. Then I thought someday maybe I'll be able to build a house on it," Tina says.
But as a recent college graduate, Tina didn't have the money to hire someone to build the home. So her dream would have to wait. Or so she thought.
"My wife said it the other day that I'm not happy unless I'm building something. And I think she hit it right on the head. I just decided to start building," explains Gene Bibbs, Tina's father.
Gene offered to build his daughter's home, across the street from the house she grew up in.
"It's only 600 feet across there to our house and that's too far for me. It's just really fantastic that I still have my daughter. There's so many people that their children move away, go off in another state or something. And you get to see them once a year," Gene says.
Tina says having her parents so close, especially her dad, is a comfort.
"He helps me take care of the place. If there's something broken, he's Mr. fix it. So he can come over and take care of it. I feel safer really with them. If at night if I feel scared or something I'll look out the window and I can see their house and I'll know they're there," says Tina.
As a father, Gene always wants to be there for his only daughter.
"I can't be the protector really with her over here that I would like to be. But it's a comfort just having her this close. Not only that I'm here whenever she needs me, but she's a fantastic cook! And we get to come over here and eat dinner every once and while," Gene says.
Together, the two worked on her home. After a full work day as a postal carrier.
"He'd just come over and just start laying bricks after work every day," Tina adds.
Debating size and design.
"She would draw up plans and try and tell me what she wanted. And I would look at a picture that she'd drawn and say 'it's way too big'," adds Gene.
Until finally, Tina got the home she wanted built right from her father's hands.
"It is satisfaction knowing with all the help I had that it is done and she lives here and it's a real nice place," explains Gene.
Gene slipped and fell during construction and broke his arm. But he says the hardest part of that fall was not getting to work on his daughter's home for about six weeks while he recovered.