Dad was born in a tiny town in central Iowa to a country school teacher and a jack-of-all trades in 1925. He lived there until he graduated from high school and joined the Army in World War II.
When I was a kid and we'd drive to Iowa to visit Dad's folks, I remember walking into town and everyone saying, "Oh, you're Pinky's boy!" It was like Mayberry and I was Opie, everyone knew my father even years after he grew up and moved away. I didn't think that much of it because that's how small towns are, everybody knows everybody. But as I grew older I discovered it wasn't just Iowa where so many people knew my father. All of my life I would hear, "So you must be Al's boy" or "You're the judge's son, huh?".
But Dad was not the type you'd expect to know a lot of people. He wasn't especially outgoing and he didn't get involved in lots of civic projects or events. And professionally, while successful, he wasn't a great standout. So why does this man cast such a large shadow?
What makes Dad special and the reason people know and remember him is because he is the most honest and decent man on earth. All my life I never heard him say a negative word about anyone and I'm certain he never hurt another human being. I never heard him say anything he didn't believe in his heart to be true. He's been a great father and a wonderful role model.
Dad, I hope you had a good day today. I hope every father had a good day today.