Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

OK, this blog is supposed to be bike-centric. But not today.

Today it's about my Dad. The guy who, when I wrote him from Boston that I had stumbled into a volunteer gig writing radio news and decided this is what I wanted to do, fired off a letter to me saying "Some seek jobs in broadcast news; some follow a calling. I'm vain enough (and parent enough) to feel you and I are in the latter group...Welcome to the club!"

Somewhere I have the cassette of my 'coverage' of a Boston mayoral primary--and the live shot he did with me from the station where he was working at the time, WMCA-AM in NYC. I'm pretty sure I was awful. He was nothing but encouraging.

I got a chance to work alongside him and on my first day came home and said "Mom, he's so much easier to work with then he is to live with!" She just looked at me and said "I've been telling people that for years!"

My father gave me a lot of things. Among the things I treasure the most are a love of good stories, respect and compassion people who work hard, and an abiding love of animals.

My father could be remote, but he was also a sucker for critters. He was the one who kept bringing animals into the house; from a tiny tabby kitten found in a supermarket parking lot to the big galoot of a dog he brought home from an Elmsford, NY animal shelter. He got that last one on an assignment for WNBC-TV in New York. I would pull a similar stunt when I went to the Washington Humane Society on a story 19 years ago and came home with the most finicky, silly little cat I ever had.

I lost my Dad over a decade ago now. But I was lucky. Lucky to be able to get to know another side of my very complicated father and learn from him. Lucky enough to see all that I got from him--positive and negative---and come to terms with it. For that I am grateful.

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