Friday, June 17, 2016

The Nut Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, father's day
Insanity doesn't run in our family. It gallops.
Let us turn away briefly from the awful news of the day, and instead take a moment to celebrate fathers in time for Father's Day. Specifically my father, although I've never heard a bad word said about your father.

I lost my father 10 years ago, but plenty of colorful memories survive. He was a kind and gentle man, a great husband and father, and the most creative and funniest man I've ever known or hope to know.

He was a gifted writer, an award-winning painter, prolific cartoonist, part-time inventor (with multiple patents, including the one for the yo-yo seen with the bikini babe above), successful entrepreneur, and flamboyant cross-dresser. Okay, he wasn't actually that last one, although he was certainly willing to wear whatever Easter outfit he thought would give others a laugh.

Of the many gifts he bestowed, it is likely that this desire to make others laugh (and a delightfully skewed view of the world) is what has influenced me most. In every way imaginable, I'm my father's son and glad to be so.

So here's a big Hope n' Change cheer not just for my dad, but for all dads who invest their lives and love doing so much for their families.  Best wishes to all for a very happy Father's Day!

POLITICAL PS: I really wanted to give us all a break from politics today, but an additional (and pessimistic) cartoon/commentary squeezed out of me anyway. You can find it immediately below this post - although I won't blame you a bit if you choose to instead focus on the happier topic above.

26 comments:

drjim said...

Happy Father's Day, Stilt!

Mine passed away in 1991, and I think of him every day.

REM1875 said...

A Happy Father's day to all who are mentors whether linked by precious blood or precious devotion. And esp to the fallen warriors who gave all and never returned home to their children, that we may be free to celebrate.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Hear hear. :D

bocopro said...

Never had a father. My bio-father was damaged, nice-lookin guy who couldn't hold a job and considered that everybody else's fault. Liked to steal stuff and try to get my mother to fence it for him. She put his ass in jail. Met him when I was 18 years old, at his father's funeral. First thing he said to me in my life was, "Don't you think you're too young to be smoking?" Next he introduced me to his 3rd wife, an ex-stripper.

My maternal grandparents raised me 'til I was 12. Already raised 8 kids, thru the Depression, so they pretty much had the concept down to neat tricks and aphorisms. Ate well, learned well, did chores well, and had a typical mid-American life 'til Mother decided I needed a father and married a drunk. Not an alcoholic, just a drunk. Nice enough guy, but a drunk.

So I decided the best thing I could ever do for my kids was to give 'em a good house, good food, a good role model, and treat their mother with love and respect and dignity. So far none of 'em are in jail, drug addicts, or dead, and they're all in their 50s with kids of their own who're doin O.K. One already has his MA in computer science from Florida State. Two others are in college and succeeding nicely.

Gotta play the cards you're dealt, and I got a yarbrough where fathers were concerned. Got a nice pair of 10s, though, for grandparents to raise me and an ace of diamonds for a wife. Life's funny sometimes, ain't it.

Wahoo said...

Sons and daughters, don't forget to tell a motherf***er "Happy Father's Day" this Sunday.

Jon said...

You were extremely fortunate to have been blessed with such a kind, gentle, loving, and gifted father. Your tribute to him is well-deserved.

My father passed away ten years ago, too. Unfortunately he was extremely violent and abusive. He robbed me of my self-confidence and nearly destroyed my life. It was only after he died that I was finally able to fully forgive him.

Father's Day evokes bitter memories for me - but it's reassuring to know that good fathers like yours really exist.

TrickyRicky said...

@Stilton-It seems that your Dad was quite a character and I agree that a lot of him must be in you, as witnessed by your creative and insightful commentary which your fans see here every other day. I was also blessed with a fantastic father (and mother BTW). He was a WWII veteran and an actual rocket scientist, a great role model, and very tolerant as I leaned left after university. He knew I would figure it out on my own. He passed 18 years ago and I miss him, and thank him for my upbringing and worldview every day.

t-bone said...

Thanks, Stilton, for this wonderful Father's Day piece. I miss my dad so much too. Lost him 3 years ago.

All the best to all the dads out there.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@drjim- My condolences on a loss that never fully heals.

@REM1875- You make a good point that what we're really celebrating isn't so much paternity but rather the paternal virtues which aren't always cemented with a biological link. And most certainly this is another occasion for us to reflect on those fathers who died while in service, protecting not just their own families but all of us.

@bocopro- My own dad never had his actual father in his life; a red-headed Irish piano player knocked up my grandmother and got the hell out of Dodge. My grandmother gave birth quietly out of sight and placed her infant with an orphanage who held him (by arrangement) for a number of months before he was adopted by his young mother's parents. So he was raised by his grandparents, and for many years had no idea that his sister was also his mother.

All of these things had an effect on my dad, and functioning as a father can't have been easy for him as he didn't have a traditional (can I even still say that?) family structure modeled for him. But he did a fine job anyway (with incredible help from my wonderful mother), much to the benefit of his four kids.

@Wahoo- Well, I can't say the sentiment is inaccurate...

@Jon- I'm genuinely sorry about your situation. No one can hurt us as much as those who are closest. To hear that you've found a way to fully forgive him speaks volumes about your personal strength.

@TrickyRicky- Thanks for sharing; he sounds like a very special guy.

@t-bone- While it's my goal to remain apolitical today, I can't help but think how much better off our country would be with more fathers and fewer "baby daddies."

Bruce Bleu said...

Stilton, what a wonderful story about your dad. He obviously bequeathed you an ability to address crises with humor... a quality that would create more harmony than a city full of "barbershop quartets". What a wonderful legacy loving fathers and grandfathers provide for their families. Thanks for sharing your story to encourage others to reflect on the positives their fathers gave to them.

Linda McWilliams said...

Stilton, Your father sounds like a wonderful man, and I definitely see his imprint on you. So I am grateful for your dad and thank you for posting the pictures. I can't believe he invented the yo-yo!

I'm so thankful for my father as well. He was an old school Italian (first generation American). Strict with us 5 kids, but devoted and involved, hilariously funny, adventurous, enthusiastic, inspiring, a bit eccentric in spite of his military career, with a love of learning and of life, and just all around wonderful. He died January 15, 1990. I should say I miss him, but I feel like he's still with us. His image has never faded for me; it's like I have video playing in my brain. I do wish he'd been here for the birth of our 4th child and to see all his grandkids grow up.

Lee The Voice said...

Thank you my friend. My Dad, whom I lost several years ago was also my hero. Happy Fathers Day to you.

Sortahwitte said...

My father died from injuries received in a car crash in 1955. I was 6. I've always missed him but, some dates and places; it really still hurts. However, it makes my day when I see my 12 year old grandson. The portrait type photos of my dad in 1950 and my grandson's present photos leaves no doubt that they're related.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Bruce Bleu- An hour or so ago I was speaking to some friends who are facing serious life challenges right now, and I was asked to visit soon "so we can laugh." I largely got that ability from my father. And it can be an emotional weight, but is undeniably and more importantly a gift to be able to reduce others' pain for a bit.

My dad did a lot of that - cheering everyone he came into contact with.

@Linda McWilliams- Let me clarify that my father neither invented the yo-yo, nor sired cellist YoYo Ma. What he DID invent was a yo-yo with two strings, so you could play with two fingers, two hands, or a random girl in a bikini. The invention didn't make him rich or famous, but it provides a lovely bit of family history.

And thank you for the description of your father. He sounds great - and it's obvious that his influence is alive and well in you.

@Lee The Voice- I'm sorry about your loss, but hope this will be the occasion to relive some happy memories.

John the Econ said...

Who knew Yo-Yos attracted babes? Whadda life!

But seriously, he looks like he was a seriously interesting guy, and it clearly rubbed off on you.

Unfortunately, both my and Mrs. Econ's fathers passed way too early in life. But they lived their lives well up until the diseases they suffered wouldn't allow it anymore.

@bocopro, an unexpectedly uplifting story. Just a reminder that one's past only suggests how one gets to a point in life, but people still get to define where they go and end up. Too bad so many other people just use their (or other's) past as an excuse to continue on a path of mediocrity and slavery. You demonstrated that it is, in fact, a choice.

Judi King said...

What a great face your father had. We lost ours in 1989 and I miss him very much. The greatest thing I learned from him was to think for myself and I wish I could thank him for that.

Walter1694cir said...

Stilt, I noticed my comments about Father's Day is not shown. Was it too hot to handle or are we just being PC?

Still, my father was a great inspiration and model for me as was your father

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Judi King- Very sorry about your dad. And although I'm not a religious kind of guy, I sometimes feel like there's still a connection with our departed loved ones. So go ahead and thank your father for such an important lesson.

@Walter1694cir- Beats me! I didn't censor anything, I didn't find any earlier comment nor is there anything in the spam folder. Maybe you honked off someone at the NSA (joking, I hope). And good to hear about your father!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Sortahwitte- Oh, ouch. My heart aches for such a loss at such a young age. I'm sorry. But how nice to see the resemblance in his great-grandson. Part of your father lives on.

@John the Econ- My dad was definitely an interesting guy and I could tell a LOT of stories. And I'm more and more his doppelganger every day (physically and mentally - whether I'm "interesting" is for others to say).

And my condolences on the too-early loss of the fathers in your lives. I have no doubt they were fine folks.

Joseph ET said...

My Dad thought that fear equaled respect. He made sure that I respected him daily. I forgave him 50 years ago so I could have a normal and successful life. Forgiveness is always a correct decision, as it allows one to move on and not to hold negativity within which will eat you alive like a cancer and make one a bitter old person.

Rod said...

I'm just now back at the PC from observing Fathers Days weekend with both my parent; a bit early because I have to travel soon. I like how you mention your Dad here and BTW: the Yo-Yo <> Babe capture is HILARIOUS.

Bruce Bleu said...

Just thinking about my dad... he would continuously play the "pull my finger" ploy, and I wouldn't know what orifice was going to be involved until AFTER the fact. Yes, he was crude, yes, he was vulgar, but he was my DAD, and he did the best with what he had!

To all you with horses to feed, "Happy Fodders Day!"

Popular Front said...

Your Dad looked like a happy guy, so was mine despite his serious profession. Is your Dad looking for targets for those pies?

Jim Hlavac said...

Happy Fathers Day everyone ...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Joseph ET- Sorry for the hard times you experienced, and I salute your strength when it comes to forgiveness. As a general principle in life, that's not one I've mastered.

@Rod- Truth be told, the yoyo with two strings never worked tremendously well, but he got it made and sold quite a few of them. And he was savvy enough to realize that his press releases would go a lot farther if he added a girl in a bikini to the photos.

@Bruce Bleu- A little vulgarity is a healthy thing. And "he did the best with what he had" is fine praise.

@Jim Hlavac- Thanks for the Fathers Day wishes. Hope you had a good one, too!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Popular Front- My Dad was a happy guy (albeit not without the same stresses and challenges the rest of us have). And yes, he absolutely looked like he was about to make a sneak attack with those pies. The temptation would have been great for him...