The month before he turned 13, my dad became the man of the house. In February of 1951, his father died during gallbladder surgery.
Dad’s shrimp tempura
As the oldest of three boys, he assumed a lot of responsibility. He worked after school at the family jewelry store. He often made dinner while his mother worked late doing bookkeeping for the store. He joined the military to pay for college.
Because of the way he grew up, Dad learned to be self-reliant. To do things for himself. To be responsible for his own well being, happiness and success in life.
This example by Dad formed the foundation for how I now live. It’s the best lesson I learned from him. READ MORE
Today’s story is about Phil, the fifty-dollar dad.
Jack is an enterprising young lad. The youngest of four boys. Definitely driven.
He’s been working extra chores for two weeks. Saving up. Just a few bucks more. Rationing his snack money. Selling old baseball cards. Whatever he can.
50 dollars. A dream to most 8 year olds, but not to this little man. Jack saves while his brothers spend. He works while they watch TV. $4. $9. $17. $29. $44. $49. And then, he is there. Fifty bucks in his hand. Jack has a plan.READ MORE
During the Great Depression of the middle 1930s, my dad and his brother, Roy, decided to trade a bushel of my Uncle Roy’s potatoes for a bushel of Dad’s apples when they ripened.
After visiting Uncle Roy and Aunt Edith one Sunday, as we started to leave for home, Uncle Roy said “Oh, by the way, I have your bushel of potatoes ready.”
Our car had no trunk so Uncle Roy placed them next to me on the back seat. I observed how clean and large were those potatoes. But, upon removing them from that bushel basket, we found smaller ones in the middle. When we got to the bottom, there was several inches of dirty, dinky little misshapen potatoes.READ MORE
Every kid should have the good fortune of throwing an awesome high school party his friends will talk about for years. In Kansas, where I grew up among a group of fervent teenage metalheads, it was a God-given right.
Andrew and his dad Doug circa 1992
So naturally when Guns N’ Roses and Metallica announced they would be making a stop in my hometown on their world tour, I seized the opportunity to plan such a shindig before we all departed for the concert. Like so many tragically missed opportunities in our young lives, this concert-of-a-lifetime happened to be taking place on a school day. But we weren’t going to let that stop us.
Mom was out of town with my brother at tennis camp and Dad, out of town on business. In hindsight, it almost seemed too perfect. So at 9:30 a.m. that day, we gathered at my empty house to get the festivities started. READ MORE