Happy Birthday, Dad.

Today my dad turned 60.

Later this 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's awesome.

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 reward.

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.

My pursuit 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 "good enough."

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.

But something happened about that time.

I discovered 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.

I 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.

Since that time, in addition to being a loving Dad, he has been an incredibly supportive advisor and friend.

Happy Birthday, Pop.

I love you.