As parents we all make the same comment, usually when our kids are moving out of the house to head out on their own. "Where did the years ago," is the question that's a common denominator for everybody, especially as we get older.
It's sort of ironic for me, as somebody who always writes about not wasting time and time being our most valuable commodity. As I look back I feel like I've squandered it too much. But I do know it accomplishes nothing to look back, but my Dad has simply always been there for me.
Today, as Dad comes up on 93, I look back on so many outrageous moments - outrageous because of so many adventures, even when they were right at home. Dad was the one who drove us around on July 4th throwing firecrackers out the window. He was the guy who drove the car in the winter time with a trail of 4-6 sleds on the back. He taught me how to drive at 14 when he used to help me deliver the Sunday Plain Dealer.
He gave me my first real camera, a hand-me-down 35mm Agfa Rangefinder. Even helped me turn the laundry room into a darkroom, even though the only thing we could make were contact prints.
In later years, many of you met him at WPPI or IUSA. In fact, at one point, he and Don Blair would get together and talk about WWII. They were both in the Asia/Pacific and after hearing some of their stories, I'm convinced the war might have ended a week or two earlier had it not been for these two knuckleheads! LOL
In fact, Don Blair took this portrait of me and Dad in the Hasselblad booth at IUSA probably twenty years ago.
For three or four years, Dad came to IUSA each year and what a kick. I remember waking up in the middle of the night, hearing him laughing in the bathroom. There's something outrageously uncomfortable about hearing your father behind closed doors in the bathroom laughing. As he came back to his bed, I asked him what was so funny.
"I just realized your mother isn't here and I'm leaving the seat up all week!"
And there you have, my Dad's idea of a great time! We must have laughed for an hour. That's been my life with Pop, and while there have been a few rough spots, nothing changes the overwhelming number of good times. I feel pretty lucky to be my age and still have my Dad around. You have to love your parents, but it's a bonus when you like them too.
So, Happy Father's Day Pop...and the same to all you Dads out there. It's a hat most of us love wearing, but if you're like me, you're asking yourself the same question I started this with, "Where did the years go?"
Make it a great Sunday everybody. Hug somebody special and if you're a Dad give out the hugs even more than you get them. Remember to keep the hugs to at least eleven seconds and cherish every minute.
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