Today my dad
year I'll turn 30. See, we have this 30 year separation thing going
on. It's been that way as long as I can remember.
When we hang
out, I call him "Pop."
He was raised
in San Diego, only son of Russian Jew immigrants. Not a lot of cash
or education in his family, but he was a motivated little guy.
He went to college
at University of Redlands, then Stanford Law School. He worked as
a Law professor, for the Food and Drug administration, then went
into private practice.
He was good
at it. I remember being a kid and having other lawyers pull me aside
and praise my Dad.
Now he's a judge.
If you have
bad feelings about lawyers, you should meet my Dad. I've never met
someone more motivated by the pursuit of honesty. He is a man of
his word. And one who believes doing the right thing is its own
He would never
dream of cheating on his taxes.
Or cheating at anything.
The most severe
punishments I ever got were for lying.
He has said
that his major regret from our youth was the time he bought my brother
an under 12 lift ticket when he was 13 years old.
of internal truth are rooted in the values of my ol' Man. (Although
the nakedness and free love stuff came from my Mom.)
He pushed me
hard. Upon seeing an A- he would ask "What would it take to make
that an A?" I'm grateful. He inspired me to be my best…not just
When I graduated
from college, I prepared to go to graduate school. He'd instilled
the lessons that hard work and education were important. Dad had
a graduate degree, of course I would get one.
happened about that time.
my thing. I discovered that I loved to tell stories.
I was publishing
a Xeroxed zine called "Prehensile Tales" and it brought me so much
Joy. Telling stories, sharing stories. It was what I wanted to do.
As crazy as
it sounded, I wanted to quit my counseling job and take some design
classes in Junior College. This would be my first step backwards
(from a traditional life plan perspective) of my life.
was terrified of telling my Dad.
Dad would be
disappointed, I knew it.
But then he
gave me the most valued gift of my life: He totally supported
my pursuit of passion.
I wasn't going
to get a PhD. I wasn't going to be rich. I didn't know *what* I
was going to do. But he trusted that my values were strong and I
would make good decisions.
time, in addition to being a loving Dad, he has been an incredibly
supportive advisor and friend.
I love you.