My dad was born in 1940 in Canton, Ohio, into a world on the brink of war.
One of his first childhood memories is listening to the declaration of the end of World War II on the family radio while sitting on his father’s lap. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and once described his childhood as golden. He is the very definition of a Southern gentleman and one of the greatest people you will ever meet.
Dad cheers for Notre Dame football, Duke basketball, and whatever baseball team my brothers or nephews are playing on in a given year. He has spent years of his life watching baseball games and practices. He loves nothing more than a cold Diet Coke and a seat in the shade. He took Michael to a Cubs game years ago. Michael remembers getting to eat as many hot dogs as he wanted.
I get my love of sports from Dad. When I was a kid, he would pick me up from my piano lesson and we would listen to Brad Sham, “The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys”, on the drive home. I still prefer listening to sports on the radio. When Greta was a baby and came down with the chicken pox, I had to cancel a trip to my cousin’s wedding. Mom went ahead to the wedding but Dad stayed back with me and Greta. We spent three days watching the British Open and eating Chinese food.
His lawn care routine is legendary. And has vastly improved since this picture.
As is his love of the movies. If you ever have the opportunity to catch a show with my Dad, don’t miss the chance. It doesn’t matter what is playing. Dad loves the movies. He spent most Saturdays of his childhood watching Westerns at the local movie house in Atlanta. You can count on the full experience – the jumbo popcorn with extra butter, the jump-in-and-drink-your-way-out Coke, boxes of movie candy snuck in from the drugstore. He goes big.
Dad devoted his professional life to the study of law, particularly tax and estate planning. Countless people have benefited from his knowledge and expertise. When Greta was born, Dad showed up at our apartment in Austin with a bouquet of flowers and a draft copy of our last will and testament. He would leave nothing to chance. Truth be told, I’ve never read our will. For all I know, the kids will join a circus if something happens to both Sam and I. But I bet Dad did a great job on it.
Dad is the most generous human being that I have ever known. His cup is always full to overflowing. I believe it is because he never holds on to anything for himself. Not time, treasure, or talent. He has a deep faith and a simple outlook on life.
Dad celebrates the small things in life. When we were kids, he would randomly bring home cookies from Aston’s English Bakery near his office. For no particular reason. The green sugar-crystal shamrocks were my favorites. I learned the importance of a splurge here and there to celebrate good times or help cope with the bad times. Hot dogs are good for all circumstances.
As Winnie-the-Pooh says, “Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something.” Dad, you are one of my favorite people to do nothing with!
Happy Father’s Day to my dear, dear Dad!