Monthly Archives: March 2013

Are You Happy with Who You Are?

Are You Happy with Who You Are?

“People focus on role models; it is more effective to find anti-models — people you don’t want to resemble when you grow up.”

by Greg Hague

This morning a Savvy Dad friend and story contributor (and really smart guy), Michael LeBoeuf, reminded me of that quote from a great book, The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb.

Greg Hague, Savvy Dad

Me, Greg, a few years back.

It made me reflect back to a Saturday breakfast with Dad at Perkins Pancake House in Montgomery, Ohio. I was 12, maybe 13. It was our father-son tradition — the highlight of my week for years. We were sitting across from each other in a dark-red shiny booth next to the window, looking out at the road. It was a cold, icy morning. I can still picture the massive platter before me, stacked high with five syrup-laden pancakes, hash-browns and a double order of crispy bacon.   READ MORE 

Dad’s Respect for All Living Creatures

Dad’s Respect for All Living Creatures…

Playin’ Possum

Today’s story is from Val Padar.

Has it happened to you?
A moving blur darts out in front of the car.

A sickening thud…your heart jumps to your throat. Your stomach tightens, sours and churns.

dad's respect for all living creatures

Val’s dad, Sandor, when he was growing up.

It happened to Sandor. He was my dad.

He screeched to a halt and jumped out of the car. He hoped he was wrong, but learned he was right. A possum lie stretched on the side of the road. My father hated to see a creature of nature die this way. He thought, “Was it dead or could it be stunned?”

Dad knew these cagey critters are known to feign death in times of great stress. It’s how they outfox their prey. He lifted the possum into a cardboard box he kept in the trunk. He looked at it closely and guessed it was just stunned.   READ MORE 

My Tough Biker Dad

Big, burly and bearded, Rocky was a biker; tough as a nail. He was my dad…and a pretty good “housewife,” too.

Today’s story is from Lora Jarocki.

big-hearted tough biker dad

Rocky, Lora’s big-hearted
tough biker dad.

We lived in Mountain Home, Idaho, a very small town. Mom, a Civil Engineer with the Air Force, traveled for work. With her away so much, Dad raised my sister and me.

When I was 9, Mom was assigned to South Korea. She would be gone a whole year.

Dad said, “You and I are the grownups now.” Together, we would take care of my little sis, the house and ourselves.

All was so good. Then lice came to town. “Epidemic,” they said.


The Miracle Was My Dad

“Grab your coat,” Dad said. It was late. Something was wrong at the Keeners’– our neighbors, our friends.

Today’s story is from Gordie Zeigler.

The Miracle was Dad

1974, “Piloting the boat with a cigar in my mouth. From the beginning, I wanted to be just like Dad.”

We climbed into our pick-up and raced to their farm. I was 10, excited, nervous and scared.

Dad was an intense guy—about people, work, whatever was part of his immediate sphere. He dove in when needed. He gave it all that he had.

Dad, Please Help Me!

At the Hyde household, love was abundant; resources were few.

Today’s story is from Justin Hyde.

“What we ate for dinner had often roamed the forest that day. Neighbors were miles apart,” Justin explained. As a boy, Justin longed to hunt with his dad. He pleaded, but was told,

“Justin, you’re too young.”

Justin Hyde

Justin Hyde (right) and dad, Kevin Hyde (3rd from right) with family and friends

The day finally came. Justin was 6. Justin’s dad carried his gun. The sling was too big for Justin’s tiny shoulder. They started the trek up the mountain. Justin remembered, “It seemed like we walked forever.” Father and son moved quietly through the brush, “We didn’t want to frighten the prey.” Shadows grew long. Darkness began to fall.   READ MORE 

Fathers Grow Better with Time

Fathers Grow Better with Time…

Dad became my mentor, the best a son could have. But I had paid a price.

Today’s story is from Diane Prince Johnston.

In 1974, I had just graduated from law school. I was determined to take on the world and forge my own way.

By that time, Chubby, my dad had decades of business experience. He had built successful real estate, lending and land development firms. Dad became my mentor, the best a son could have. But I had paid a price. When I was young, Dad left home early and worked late. I sometimes went days without seeing him.

Diane and her dad

Diane Prince Johnson and her dad Alan Prince

Our Savvy Dad guest today is Diane Prince Johnston. I identify with her story of Alan Prince, her remarkable dad. Like me, Diane paid a similar price early in life.


The Father of Aerobics – Dr. Kenneth Cooper

The next time you’re sweating your way to a healthier life, gasp a “thanks” to Dr. Kenneth Cooper.

Dr. Cooper is our special Savvy Dad guest today. Dr. Cooper is a famous father — the father of aerobics. As you will see, his dad … and mom inspired him to help others live a longer, healthier life.

Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the father of aerobics

Dr. Kenneth Cooper,
The Father of Aerobics

Dr. Cooper is known worldwide for inventing the term “aerobics.” He authored the 1968 book by the same name, and launched a health movement that swept the land and endures to this day. Dr. Cooper advocates keeping your body fit and strong to prevent disease—true primary care.

As Dr. Cooper puts it, “…Health insurance is really disease insurance…Primary care is a misnomer and, in reality it is secondary care; taking care of people when they are sick.”   READ MORE