It’s hard to put into words what my father means to me. He’s old school. So writing some emotional, eloquent, diatribe to his greatness would likely embarrass him more than it would pay tribute. There is an art form to the minimalist compliment among men that I’m still trying to master. My favorite scene in “It’s A Wonderful Life” is when George Bailey sits at the table with his father and can’t put into words how he feels about his old man, “You want a shock, Pop? I think you’re a great guy.”
Part of what I love about my father is how he is a vessel that carries the good things from the past into the future. His generation may have brought some bad things along with them too, but we don’t mourn or fear the passing of bad things. It’s the good things that I fear are leaving us, and our society no longer produces men like Lincoln, Johnny Cash or even my dad. That’s what a father is, a vessel that ushers greatness into the next generation. Dads bring great things from the old school to the new school.
The only DVD my dad owns is “The Magnificent Seven.” The only video tape he owned before that was… “The Magnificent Seven.” There will come a time when Dad’s voice will be silenced by mortality and I’ll watch “The Magnificent Seven” with even greater meaning.
So here goes: Dad, when I was a teen I thought you were the worst son of a bitch to walk the planet. You want a shock, Pop? Now I think you’re the greatest man I’ve ever known.