Soon, we’ll be celebrating the love we have for our fathers and the important role that they play in our lives. For those of us whose dads are still around, it’s a great time to think about all the fun times you’ve had together. For those of us with children, it’s a reminder of how important we are to them and that we need to spend as much time with them as we can while we can. My dad is the best guy I’ve ever known.
This week we’re going to have another great experience together. We’re flying to Washington, D. C. with a group of World War II veterans to see the World War II memorial as well as some other historic sight in Washington. My dad enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 when he turned eighteen. He was selected for pilot training and went from a Piper Cub all the way to a B-24. By the time he was ready to be sent to England, the war had ended and he left Texas and went back home to Iowa. His time flying in the military was a highlight of his life and he reconnected with some of his old Air Corps buddies much later and would get together with them from time to time. It was fun to imagine what these old codgers were like when they were nineteen and twenty.
Dad went back to college after the war, won a lot of butterfly races for the Grinnell College team. He was pleased to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, having been a self-described screw off until his senior year in high school. He started flying again when I was about nine and got me to start learning to fly when I was thirteen. We really had a lot of great flying adventures together over the years. Growing up with him was really a treat. He was (and still is) kind and supportive, accomplished, very funny, smart, honest, ethical and loyal. We never had a thing to worry about, knowing that my dad was taking care of us. My mom is the same, so I don’t want to leave her out, but it is Father’s Day we’re talking about. His friends were all fun good guys who I loved being around. I’m so lucky to still have him around. I can’t wait to see my Dad in a couple of days and to take this trip with him.
I have my own kids now, Amanda and Charlie who are nine and eight. We have endless fun together. I hope that someday they’ll think about me the way I think of my dad, but I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much in comparison to him. My wife insists that I’m Charlie’s hero, but I think his Grandpa Barber is really his hero. Being a clothing designer doesn’t quite stand up to being a military pilot, in my book.
I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day and are able to spend it with your Dad or your children or both. It’s a great blessing to have a good dad and to try hard to be one. Have a very happy Father’s Day.