Dad, on your special day (no, this is not a Hallmark card ... yet), I wanted to give you thanks for all that you've done for me over the years ... I wanted to point out some specific things (indulge me!):
* Thank you so much for allowing me to watch The Three Stooges and Benny Hill when I was a young child looking for inspiration. My comedic hunger and thirst started then, and the appetite for it continues to grow (my friends probably won't thank you for this).
* Thank you for introducing me to fishing at a very young age - I remember you taking me to Crum Creek and allowing me to cast the line in for the very first time ... unfortunately, I also remember that first cast, and how my lure impacted itself into your jacket ... sure, you were mad, but you showed me how to do it correctly. I've been "hooked" on fishing ever since.
* Thanks for all those barbecues in the back yard, and allowing me to help you baste the chicken, and flip the burgers. Barbecuing is a now a staple in my life, and I'm actually pretty good at it.
* Thanks for fixing all the things I broke (and continue to break). I've never been able to figure out how you do it - it's one of those genes that never got passed on to me, but I appreciate everything. There's nothing that I broke that you couldn't fix.
* Thank you so much for taking an interest in playing sports with me. You allowed me to win just about every soccer game we played in the back yard, and ... well, sure, because of that, I wasn't able to accept losing very well (in fact, I remember crying for about 2 hours after my team lost the first tee ball game I played - I didn't think it was possible!). I have loved playing sports ever since.
* Thanks for introducing me to all the other sports, like baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. My wife probably doesn't thank you for this, because I can't get enough of this on tv. I remember watching the Professional Bowlers Association on ABC, announced by Chris Schenkel, and rooting against those "evil" bowlers like Marshall Hollman and Earl Anthony. I also remember Saturday evenings, and watching "Soccer Made in Germany" announced by Toby Charles ... I loved every minute of it.
* Most of all, thanks for being my dad. I couldn't imagine anyone who was more qualified to be my dad - and you did a great job. I love you, pop.