Soundbites From My Father

17 Nov

November 17, 2018

With the Holiday Season™ upon us, I’d like to share a pair of quick tales of my father, whose wisdom never fails to guide me. It may occasionally guide me into a snowbank like a bad GPS, but it guides me nonetheless.


During this time of year, with Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas around the corner, many of us are in a giving mood and want to help the less fortunate. My Dad felt no less charitable himself, and he often enlisted my brother and I to deliver food to needy families as part of his lodge’s outreach. We carried many, many boxes and bags of canned goods, meat and vegetables, and all kinds of staples to up and down stairs to needy families who truly appreciated our efforts. It was touching.

One day, after one of these deliveries, my father and I were approached by a homeless man asking for change. My father refused. You’d think that after doing a day of charity work and seeing the needy up close, Dad would have been a little more forthcoming. I asked him why not and he said to me “Son, never give money to someone who is wearing better sneakers than you are.”


Holidays are a time for sharing the love of friends and family. One year my father took my brother and I out to dinner. My brother, bless his heart, asked who was paying. Dad said the meal was on him. We went out and enjoyed dinner and at the end of the night, I turned to my brother and said that we should leave the tip. “No,” my brother replied. This is a free meal. I’m not leaving the tip. “Free is free.” While my brother was the one who coined the phrase, It was Dad who turned it into a family mantra.

There you have it. Holiday wisdom, from Mr. Blog’s family to yours.






7 Responses to “Soundbites From My Father”

  1. Matt Cowan November 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm #

    He has a good point on the shoe wisdom!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. T E Stazyk November 18, 2018 at 4:35 am #

    My father’s variation on “Free is free,” was “Free means you don’t pay.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • bmj2k November 18, 2018 at 11:04 am #

      Textbook definition. Unlike free, but pay $19.99 shipping and handling. Or “free with a purchase of… “


      • T E Stazyk November 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

        That was exactly the context!

        “Look, Dad, if we buy that cereal we get a free toy!”
        “Free means you don’t pay.”

        Virtually universal applicability!

        Liked by 1 person

        • bmj2k November 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm #

          It’s a completely Dad thing to say.


          • T E Stazyk November 18, 2018 at 8:34 pm #

            Yes, totally in character. Like the time we got “free” tickets to an Indians game. They were general admission or something and the conversation was something like:

            “Look, Dad, we got free tickets to an Indian’s game.”
            “Don’t call those things tickets.”


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