[A DAD’S POINT-OF-VIEW] Father’s Day 2010

Father’s Day for me is now a melancholy experience.  I certainly appreciate the attention that I get from my two boys and my wife.  My younger son tends to make an artistic gift for me, since he’s the artist of the family, while my older one will scribble some sweet sentiments on a piece of scrap or notebook paper, and my wife will usually make me a glorious meal of my choosing.

While I appreciate all this love showered my way, I also get melancholy over the memory of my late father, who was a wonderful man.  I’ve written about him before, but I want to always keep his memory present in my mind and the minds of my boys.

Writing about my dad for his eulogy was not as difficult as some might think. My sentiments and praises came easy, just as being such a loving, good man seemed to come easy for him.  He was from that “Greatest Generation” though he didn’t serve in the armed forces during World War II, due to the military deferments because he had just had a son and his particular occupation was much needed on the home front.

The following statements are some highlights about my father, who died at 90 years of age, four years ago:

  • He never graduated from high school, but was maybe the wisest man I ever knew.
  • He met my mother at a lake in Michigan when he was 17 and she was 14 and loved her at first sight.  They were married 66 years and he adored everything about her, all the time, all their lives.
  • Dave Sallan was tough–he didn’t take Novocain at the dentist’s office since he didn’t like being numb for the hour or two afterward.
  • He worked 60+ hour weeks just to make a basic living, working with his hands, and coming home often with bleeding sores that my mother would hastily bandage before he took his before-dinner nap.
  • My father and mother had lunch together, EVERY day.
  • My father and mother did not spend a single evening apart in their 66 years together unless one of them was in the hospital (which happened over a dozen times in their latter years).
  • He never complained.

I could go on for several columns, but the picture of a quiet, strong, simple man is evident.

There are so many wonderful quotations about fathers and I’d like to offer a few of my favorites:

  • “I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in one week.” ~Mario Cuomo
  • “A king, realizing his incompetence, can either delegate or abdicate his duties. A father can do neither. If only sons could see the paradox, they would understand the dilemma.” ~Marlene Dietrich
  • “A father is a guy who has snapshots in his wallet where his money used to be.” ~Unknown
  • “Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a Dad.” ~Anne Geddes
  • “My father told me that all businessmen were sons-of-bitches, but I never believed him until now.” ~John F. Kennedy
  • “My father said, ‘Politics asks the question: Is it expedient? Vanity asks: Is it popular? But conscience asks: Is it right?'” ~Dexter Scott King
  • “When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, ‘Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?’ He answered, ‘If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.'” ~Jerry Lewis
  • “I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” ~Abraham Lincoln
  • “Life was a lot simpler when what we honored was father and mother rather than all major credit cards.” ~Robert Orben
  • “A man’s children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season.” ~Unknown
  • “A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” ~Unknown
  • “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.” ~Charles Wadsworth
  • My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.  Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.”  “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply.  “We’re raising boys.” ~Harmon Killebrew
  • When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.  ~Mark Twain

Happy Father’s Day everyone, and thanks for reading “A Dad’s Point-of-View.”

There is going to be a Father’s Day “Special” on my “A Dad’s Point-of-View radio show on Thursday, June 17 on KZSB AM1290 at 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., PST.  The topic will be “Your Dad (and Mine).”  Please send in short tributes to your dad to: bruce@brucesallan.com and I will read as many as time allows.  If you cannot listen to the show “live” on terrestrial radio or via the “live stream” on brucesallan.com or newspress.com, it will be repeated Thursday evening at 9:00 p.m., again Saturday at noon, and will be available to download or listen to on my web-site (brucesallan.com) in the “Radio Show” tab.

Image credit: Pop Catalin

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