To say that my dad had an unconventional childhood would be the understatement of the century. When my grandparents left for work, it wasn’t to “the downtown office” unless, of course, that office was an undisclosed location in Southeast Asia.
A life in the army was staring at my dad, and he did not resist. He never really experienced traditional family life until he met my mom.
My dad went from fatigues to a t-ball coach shirt in the blink of an eye. He wasn’t a baseball expert, but saw that I loved the game. He always made sure that I had nice equipment and found a team to play on. He was always there for a game of catch.
We would make the trip to Riverfront Stadium as much as we could. In 1990, he found money for NLCS and World Series tickets.
We umpired youth baseball games around Columbus for several years. Many memories of grabbing a hot dog and pop between games of a doubleheader will stick with me forever.
Any sacrifice for me, my mom or my brother would be made without hesitation.
My dad has lived with us since my mom’s stroke. He loves my wife like the daughter he never had. At 62, he walks with a limp and uses a scooter when he takes his grandchildren to a Reds game. He is not the same man physically, but his love and devotion to all of our family has never wavered.
I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.