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A Cautionary Father's Day Tale

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Uploaded on Jun 20, 2009

How NOT to influence your child's choice of a career. And yes, every word here are things my Dad actually said while I was growing up. And I chose to leave out some of his more inflammatory statements on pet peeves of his such as Afros, blue jeans, and Archie Bunker.

Imagine hearing that very last comment about the MD degree at the age of 9. Ward Cleaver he was not.

Long story short: I became an artist anyway. Frequently broke (like now), alway happy, no ulcers, no high blood pressure.

By the way, he COULD have gone back to college after WWII on the GI Bill. He was 33 and single; no kids to support. But he chose to go back to the same job he had before the war. (He admitted as much after I was grown.) Hypocrisy begins at home;-)

In answer to people who have asked: Yes, he wore crisp, starched dress shirts even to mow the lawn. He put his WORK shoes on with a shoehorn. He never owned a pair of jeans or "dungarees" as he derisively called them; as I said, he hated them.

Epilogue: When I was growing up in the 60's and 70's, a doctor's feet never touched the ground where Dad was concerned. Twelve years ago, when he suffered congestive heart failure and his doctors at Loyola wouldn't let him out of the hospital, they were suddenly all "lunkheads, morons and idiots", and he'd forgotten more about medicine than they'd ever know. I pointed out this little inconstistency to him. His response: "So. You're on THEIR side." Yes, he always was a bother, but he never was a bore;-)

So, fathers, celebrate your children. Don't force your dreams on them. Celebrate their strengths, their talents, their needs and desires, and especially, their eccentricities. History is not made by the well-behaved.

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