Dad is a part of who I am

Published 11:59 pm Friday, June 19, 2009

I love both of my parents very much and am very thankful for every opportunity they gave me in life. However, it has definitely been my father who has had the biggest influence on who I am as a person.

My dad is also in the newspaper business, and so I grew up with “ink in my veins,” so to speak (as well as on my skin and clothes). I have vivid memories of him having to work late at night, but allowing me to come to the office and mess around playing games on his old black-and-white Macintosh. I remember that his desk was often a mess, but he always managed to find a special place for the hand-written notes and cards that my siblings and I drew for him.

As a little boy, I can remember little snippets of my dad’s conversations — like “going to the Rotary Club” and “attending a groundbreaking.” As a kid, I had no idea what any of these phrases meant, and yet now I experience them in my everyday life. Even though I have always loved to write, I doubt that I would be in the newspaper business now if it wasn’t from that influence of growing up around my dad.

My dad has also imbued me with his unique sense of humor, which consists almost entirely of bad puns and jokes. To this day, I still find myself quipping to someone, “You’re thirsty? I thought your name was John.” When he was driving the family around and we passed a cemetery, he would always say — without fail — “people are dying to get in there” and “that’s the deadest place in town.” My favorite quote of his, though, is his response when somebody says they’re going to take a shower — “Careful you don’t get too wet.”

It was my dad who got me to first enjoy sports, and helped me learn how to properly play video poker. My dad was the one who read out my spelling bee words when I was studying for the state finals. He was the one who not only helped me practice my soccer at home, but also took over as coach when nobody else was willing to do it (we went undefeated that year, by the way!).

Of course, I know that my memories of dad are not unique. So many people in this county and country have similar thoughts, and I’m sure enjoy every minute they spend on the phone reminiscing about those moments with their fathers.

After all, I know that one day, I may no longer have the chance to call up my dad and talk to him. At that point, after he has joined “the deadest place in town,” all I’ll have left are memories.

Take advantage of the chance to make Sunday a special Father’s Day. And if you take a shower before church, be careful you don’t get too wet.