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Start the Presses: Happy Father's Day to my Padre

June 17, 2011|By Dan Evans

Today, I want to acknowledge one of the kindest and wisest men I know: my dad.

My original plan was to take him to a baseball game in San Diego, my hometown. Some of my best childhood memories involve wandering around what was then Jack Murphy Stadium, half-listening to my dad explain the infield fly rule, and fully concentrating on trying to get him to buy me something sticky or sweet.

This was the late 1980s, and there just wasn't that much to pay attention to on the field anyhow. The Padres were, well, awful. Sort of like, you know, now.


I had it all figured out. Seats would be easy to find (see above), and the area around the newish Petco Park is filled with good food and drink. Baseball and beer. What could go wrong? Alas, the Padres are playing the nearly-as-awful Dodgers in Los Angeles this weekend. So it goes.

I honestly don't know what we're going to do, but it really doesn't matter. The whole point is to take the time, though the 120 miles from Burbank to San Diego can sometimes feel like a cross-country trip. But my dad has braved far more than the Golden State Freeway for me, and I have been very much looking forward to the trip.

Father's Day, I know, doesn't have the same impact as Mother's Day. There are a ton of reasons for this — some good, some bad and others just plain chauvinistic. But for me, Father's Day just means more.

My mom, sadly, passed away more than a decade ago. Though I can raise a toast to her in May, my dad is the only one left to hug me back in June.

And I realize how very, very lucky I am. Many of my friends, most, really, have complicated relationships with their fathers. As we have grown past our 20s, into our 30s and (gasp) nearly our 40s, the scars they shared have mostly healed. But I never had wounds that had to heal. My dad has remained, throughout my life, a caring, gentle and wise man.

Here's an example: Though I badly wanted to be a writer, I could barely string a sentence together as a teenager. At nearly every turn, well-meaning teachers, instructors and mentors suggested that I try something, anything, else for a living.

My dad, though, quietly encouraged me to follow my dream, giving me the room and time to develop. It seems deceptively simple. But the decision to hold your tongue — especially regarding the occupational choices of your 18-year-old son — must have been agonizing.

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