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Happy Father’s Day

By Robin Dearing
We're all going to take a turn paying tribute to the men in our lives for Father's Day: Lynn My dad is a quiet man. So quiet, in fact, that the standing joke in the family is to ask, “Where’s Dad?�? and answer, “In the basement!�? whenever we’re all in the midst of some get-together, and Dad is clearly present, yet silent, in the room. We joke that he spent a lot of time at his basement workbench when all six of his kids were growing up. Can you blame the guy? The din in that house had to be unbearable at times, and it was his only sanctuary. My dad thought, and hopefully still thinks, that his children walk on water. Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, we watched a lot of those corn-ball variety shows like Carol Burnett, Tony Orlando and Dawn and The Osmonds. My dad was very puzzled about all the fuss over The Osmonds. “You kids are WAY more talented than any of those kids. I don’t understand why they’re such a big hit.�? While it really wasn’t a goal of any of ours to emulate the Osmonds, we thought it was pretty cool that our dad believed we would get better ratings. My dad is a serious patriot. He was in the Army during the Korean War and spent his honeymoon on a ship bound for Germany. I’ll tell you one thing — do not mess with this man and his United States flag. Some young punk tried that once and my then-70-year-old dad took out after that punk like nobody’s business. He flies his flag every Flag Day, Fourth of July, Pearl Harbor Day, September 11, Veteran’s Day and for no particular reason other than he believes it’s the right thing to do. Right on, Dad! He’s also a Native American. For Show and Tell we got to take in really cool stuff like genuine arrowheads and corn-husk medicine man dolls. He occasionally took us to visit relatives that lived on the reservation in Ontario. It was kind of scary because his great aunt had a bull that I swear tried to break out of its pen and stampede us. Dad assured us that no bull was any kind of match for the six of us kids. Those six kids went on to give him 14 grandchildren. On the rare occasion that the whole famn damily is together, the din really is unbearable at times. Dad doesn’t have his basement workbench to retreat to anymore, so now he takes on the task of cleaning up the kitchen in solitude after the family feast. grandpa and alex.jpg My dad and Alex, one of his favorite grandchildren My dad is like a lot of other dads when it comes to having deep, meaningful conversations about very emotional issues. Like, “How’s the car running?�? and “Did you put new batteries in the smoke detector?�? or “How’s the stock market treating you?�? Of course we realize that this is how our dad expresses his love and concern for us. “Be safe, be careful, be happy and prosperous.�? My dad is a quiet man, but his love for us has always been loud and clear. Happy Father’s Day Pops! Robin Ride a bike, hit a baseball, tie my shoes, work hard, laugh out loud, help a stranger — these are just a few of the things that I learned from my dad. Mar, Grampa 1.jpg My dad worked hard during the week to provide for our family. Then he would play hard with my brother and I on the weekend. I don't ever remember needing anything as a child (now, there was a whole lot of "wanting" going on — I'm still holding out for that pony — but that's a different story.) Mar, Grampa 2.jpg Growing up, we spent most of our summer vacations in the same place, a heavily wooded campground on Highway 49 nestled in the Sierra Nevadas. It is a glorious place with a creek and lots of rocks to throw into the creek. We would spend our days Jeeping around the Sierra Nevadas exploring abandoned mines and generally enjoying the California wilderness. My favorite part of camping was after the dinner dishes were done and the sun had gone down, the four of us would sit quietly around the campfire, expertly built by my dad, and listen to the pops and sizzles of the fire and the rush of the creek nearby. Now my daughter is lucky enough to have a dad who loves camping and the out of doors.Bill, Mar.jpg To honor my dad (who we'll be visiting in a couple of weeks — yea!), we're packing up our sleeping bags and marshmellows and are heading up to do some camping. This has the makings of a great weekend — it could've been perfect if I was spending it with my dad. Happy Father's Day