Dads are stereotypically modest when it comes to Father’s Day, but we couldn’t let ours off the hook that easy! Here’s a tribute to the dads of PR/PR!
My dad turned 75 this year, less than a month before Father’s Day. I’m so grateful he is healthy and happy. Since his retirement, nearly 15 years ago, he is particularly happy when he and my mother are at their winter home in the Palm Springs, CA area. This is a great retirement community, with all kinds of activities and friends his age. Being there keeps him physically and mentally active. He was very active as a father; for example, he was the leader of my Boy Scout troop while I was earning my Eagle Scout award. One of my favorite memories around that time was when dad announced he was stepping down as Scout Master just prior to my Eagle Court of Honor. He wanted to be just my dad for the event. All my life he’s been much more than ‘just my dad,’ he’s been a friend, a mentor and the best joke teller I know. I pray he continues to be so for many more years.
When I think about my favorite memories of my father, I think of our family road trips. Whether our family of seven was driving the hour to my grandparent’s house or making the long trek from Florida to Massachusetts, he always did his best to keep everyone happy. He started a family rituatl we call “The Candy Game” where when we stopped for gas, he would buy a random selection of candy and surprise us with it. My four siblings and I would pass the bag around and choose one and once everyone had something, we would all rave about what we picked. As silly as it may sound, the anticipation of seeing my dad walk out of the store with a bag was always so exciting to us. Even though my siblings and I are all adults now, he still surprises us with “The Candy Game” every now and then and we get just as excited now as we did back then.
My father taught me one of the most important lessons…that family comes first and that we should always be there for each other no matter what. From simple things like “The Candy Game” or big things like guiding us through important decisions in life, he’s been there for us and set such an example for how we need to be with each other and our future families. I’m so thankful for that.
“Most people think that my mom and I are very much alike, and while they are not wrong, I am also SO much like my dad. My parents decided to only have one kid, so I grew up learning how to shoot, going hunting and fishing, and occasionally playing a random sport with my dad – which has become a legendary story in my family.”
“My dad taught (cough, forced, cough) me to play badminton. He was a tennis superstar in his youth and can pretty much pick up any sport and excel. I, however, cannot. But, every afternoon for a year or so, he dragged me outside to play in our backyard. It was a love/hate experience: there were always things I would rather do instead, and he can have a tough-love approach to teaching (a.k.a. hitting the shuttlecock so high I couldn’t see it anymore, and then I had to try to field the shot back!), but I always had fun. And, I have to say, when my high school P.E. class got around to badminton, it was the only time I was ever picked first! So, I must thank my Dad for my stubbornness, my drive to succeed (or, at least to be right!), and my perfectionism. Also for teaching me to be pretty good at a sport almost no one plays!
My Dad and I have always shared a passionate affinity for Atlanta sports. Many times it’s to our detriment, as our diehard allegiance to the Atlanta Braves and their seemingly inevitable collapses have ruined many a summer (but that’s another tale.) Every year, Dad and I take a mini-vacation to a ballpark that we’ve never attended before and catch a weekend Braves series. This tradition of ours began three years ago, where Dad surprised me with weekend tickets to check out Atlanta play in St. Louis for my birthday. Our goal is to eventually make it to every National League park, but the games are often just the backdrop to my Dad and me spending quality time together and enjoying each other’s company. I cherish these weekends because life has a tendency to get in the way, and often it’s the only time my Father and I can kick back and enjoy some one-on-one time.
The above photo is from my first Falcons game two years ago, where we spent an afternoon throwing a football around and heckling Tampa Bay fans. Even nearing 60, Dad can still talk trash with the best of them. It was definitely one of my fondest memories with Dad!