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In times of self-reflection and self-analysis, I have looked at my parents and my childhood. I can see aspects of myself that I have either inherited or absorbed from each of them.

I called my dad this morning to wish him a happy Father’s Day, and I asked him how he is similar to his father.

“That’s a good question,” he responded, “and a tough one. We were so different. He was a hard worker. When he wasn’t at his job, he was working on the house or property. I, on the other hand, am lazy. I do not like yard work. I was always more bookish.

“He had a serious injury to his ankle in a river when he was a kid, so he never went in the water with us. Instead of abalone diving, he would wait until low tide, so he could just walk over the rocks. Or, he would stand on the cliffs and point out places for us to go diving.

“He made surf fishing nets for us, and while we were fishing, he’d build a fire on the beach and cook hot dogs.

“When he worked night shifts, he couldn’t go to my basketball games. When Steve [his younger brother] had a track meet, he would sit in his truck, and give a thumbs up, or honk his horn.

“He didn’t judge anyone. He hugged everybody. I can be a little judgmental. I can’t think of how we’re similar. Can you?”

Yes, I can. It was rare to see my grandfather without a smile on his face. He had a great sense of humor and loved to tell stories. My father is like that. Fortunately, some of that trickled down to me.



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