My dad’s been gone for over 30 years now but I still think about him. Not just on Father’s Day, but every day. He was quite a guy and I’d love to be able sit down and talk to him again.
He was part of the Greatest Generation who helped to push the Japanese out of the South Pacific and end World War II. Sometimes he’d sit up alone late at night with a beer and his memories. I didn’t understand that then, but I do now.
He was proud of his country and loved his flag, but there were sure a lot of politicians he didn’t like and didn’t trust.
He was a hard-working man who loved his family, loved telling jokes and making people laugh, loved telling stories, and loved playing music. Even though he never had a lesson in his life and could not read music, he could play anything with keys or strings, and if he listened to a song once or twice he could sit down and play it for you. He wrote at least one book that was never published, and poetry about the things he had seen in his life.
If you were doing something stupid, he wouldn’t hesitate to tell you so. He also never hesitated to compliment you on a job well done, or to encourage people to follow their dreams. When I first got out of the Army I thought about becoming a policeman, and since one of the many schools I attended while I was in the military was the MP school, I didn’t have to attend the police academy, but was required to work as a part time reserve officer for a year before I could be hired. That year was about up and my dad sat down with me and said, “Ever since you were a kid you have always talked about wanting to be a writer. I’ve read some of the stuff you wrote, and I think you could do a pretty good job of it. And to be honest, I also think you will be a piss poor cop. Go be a writer.” It was probably the best piece of advice I ever got. I like to think that if my dad could see me now, he’d be proud.
No matter what else you’ve got going on in your life, if you’re dad is still alive, take some time to visit him or call him and tell him how much he means to you. It will mean much more to him than a tie or a bottle of after shave. And trust me, there will come a time when you wish you had him around to talk to.
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Dog’s Run, my mystery set in a small Ohio town in 1951. I have 20 mystery novels out, as well as 10 nonfiction books, and I have to say that Dog’s Run is my favorite. It’s a gritty tale that is loosely based upon a real crime that took place in that part of the country when my father was a young police officer there. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – I have the ability to annoy you and make you laugh at the same time. I’m delightfully difficult.