Sunday, June 17, 2012


I've written about my Dad before.  Today, I guess because it's Father's Day, I found myself thinking about him again, and feeling like I should blog about him.

I was sitting in church this morning when I first thought about him.  Church has gotten a bad name in recent years.  There's been scandals over mistreatment of youth and stealing of money.  There's also abuse in the name of God.  One only needs to look  at how we justified things like slavery.

But the true message, of all major religions and philosophies, is as true now as it ever was, and it can never be soiled by controversy, because the message is pure.

That message was given to me by my Dad.

I remember he had very little on the top of his bureau in his bedroom, but he did have one wooden plaque.  It read, "Never judge a man until you walk a mile in his moccasins". 
I often wondered if his friend Duke, a Native American from the Midwest, had given it to him.  Duke was one of the guys who pulled my Dad to safety on a South Pacific beach in WWII.

Anyway, my Dad never preached about how to live, but he led by example.
His philosophy was simple.  Treat others with respect and as equals.  If you have the ability, help your fellow man out.
So at a time when tolerance of others was not popular, my Dad was a friend to people of all religions, races, colors and economic status.  He didn't have to say this was the right way to live, he lived it.

He dragged my bother and myself along one day to help empty a chicken coup of dead hens.  The farmer was a customer of his, but he was also a friend.  They had lost power and the birds had all suffocated.  Dad didn't have to do it. But, then again, he did. Because it was the right thing to do.
He admired with wonder his brother Matt's skill at fixing cars, realizing that although Dad had the college education, Matt was as intelligent, if not more.
Our Jewish neighbors had one difference from us, they went to temple, we went to church, nothing more.
When Cesar Chavez led the grape boycott in California for a better life for his people, grapes disappeared from our table in Connecticut.
There are so many other examples.

John the Baptist said that the man who has two coats should share with the man who has none and Jesus said that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. 
I heard these things in church.
I SAW them at home.
Thanks Dad.

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