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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.

CHARITY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

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.”

FAMILY GATHERINGS

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.

 

 

 

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A Tale of My Father: The (Almost) Burning Man

26 Mar

March 26, 2018

My father was a man who had quite a lot of stories, and I can vouch that they were true. Stuck in a rioting hoard of women on Black Friday, calling Macy’s to complain about their Santa at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, or refusing to take off in a small plane from the shortest runway of an airport high on cliff, he had some interesting things to talk about. 

This one is short, and though it happened long before I was born, it could have had a dramatic impact on my life.

When he was younger, my Dad-to-be and some of his friends took a road trip. The details of when and where aren’t important and I’ve long forgotten them if I even ever knew them. I want to say they were teenagers but knowing Dad and some of his friends, they were probably in their twenties but acting like teenagers. 

So they were driving and it was getting late and they stopped for gas. One guy got out and was pumping while Dad and the others took the opportunity to stretch their legs. Well, they guy pumping the gas thought it would be a hysterically funny joke to turn the nozzle on Dad and soak him with gasoline. And another friend thought it would be even more hysterically funny to chase Dad around the car with a lit cigarette lighter. 

You can see where this is going.

Almost, almost!

Natural selection nearly took a hard left turn that night but either Dad was a faster runner back then, or his cries of “what the FUCK are you doing?” got through this friend’s thick skull and Dad escaped immolation and lived to laugh about it later.

It’s a wonder I’m here to write about this.

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