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My Father My Hero Mikes Musing

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I wrote this a year ago
but wanted share it again.
Heck I might share this
column over and over for
years to come. The man
meant so much to me)
This week I give pause
to reflect on my hero, my
father. Although he was
buried eight years ago,
there isn’t a day I don’t
think about him, and this
week I have conjured up
dozens of great moments
he and I have shared.
I only hope I have been
half the man and three
quarters of the father, my
dad was. He was the most
unselfish, even-tempered
person I have ever known.
Everyone who encoun-
tered him, came away
impressed with his knowl-
edge and thoughtfulness.
As an elected official,
and he was for 30 years,
enduring and never losing
14 elections, my father
was very different from
the current breed of politi-
cians. Heck he probably
would have not survived
this day and age of divi

sive politics.
He was by nature an
introvert. He rarely spoke
but when he did people
actually listened. And his
well thought out sugges

tions and opinions were
welcomed by all. His
political was conciliatory
rather than combative. He
for the most part disre-
garded political affiliation
and broke bread and made
legislation with members
of both sides of the aisle.
After politics, after
newspaper publish-
I invited my son, Tim,
to join me in the creation
of my Father’s Day col-
umn. Tim is a father and a
professional counselor with
editorial experience so it’s
not surprising that, in my
opinion, the strongest line
in the column came from
his pen; though which line
will remain a family secret.
In his article “Our
Fathers Who Are on Earth,”
appearing in an issue of
Christianity Today,” Roland
Warren (president of the
National Fatherhood Initia-
tive) says the relationship
people have with their
fathers may directly affect
their ability to relate to God
the Father.
One out of three children
in America grows up with

out a father. Add to this
scary statistic the fact that
some fathers are abusive or
simply self centered and it’s
easy to see how important
it is to develop fathers
who are not only there but
care. Here are some role
models for men who long
to become the fathers they
ought to be.
Joshua was a military
dad who came to power
after the death of Moses.
His responsibilities were
mind boggling. Imagine
taking over the tasks of the
great law giver who had led
his people out of slavery
and through the Red Sea to
the border of the Promised
Land.
The pressures of Joshua’s
position (military captain
ing, after a few years
of daily golf, it was his
role of caregiver that I
most admire him for. My
mother was suffering
from dementia and slowly
but surely, year after year,
it became worse to the
point he had to give up
golf, give up socializing,
to essentially take care of
her 24-7.
Not I or my four sib-
lings realized my mother
was failing so quickly.
None of us lived near
their Florida home, and
when we made the trip to
visit once or twice a year,
she seemed okay. Not
until after his death and
my sister tried to take her
in, did we realize the pro-
gression of her dementia.
My father never let on nor
did he ever complain.
But that was him. No
complaints, no temper
tantrums and always
happy despite how dire
the situation. It just
occurred to me I never
heard the man use a swear
word. Never ever. Of
course it was rare to hear
his voice. I remember as
a 15-year-old going to my
first deer camp. It was a
200 mile drive. That drive
seemed like it was 2000
miles because my father
never said a word. Not
one word on that 200 mile
journey.
But that was just him.
He would rather let his
actions do the talking.
And as a newspaperman
and a politician he accom-
plished more than most
people. Way back when
he purchased a newspa-
per that was printed on
a mimeograph machine
and turned it in to a full-
fledged weekly must read
product. In politics he
enjoyed the company of
presidents as he rose to
become chairperson of the
National Association of
Counties.
What he lacked in ora

torical skills he more than
made up in sheer will,
determination and hard
work. No one worked
harder. I can remember as
a little kid never seeing
my dad on Wednesday
nights. That was the night
he printed his newspaper
and it was an all-night
process. He worked it
alone, running his little
press, week after week,
hour after hour.
I marvel at those
memories now. I too am a
hard worker, and com-
plain very little. I don’t
like to swear, and people
are nervous around me
because I don’t talk much.
There is no question I
am my father’s son. I
couldn’t be more proud.
He was a hero to me and
others. I hope I can be the
same for my son.