The obvious things about my father:
- He has a mustache. Still. In 2008. And he totally would not look as awesome without it, so I am glad it is still there.
- He is brilliant. Every other day, he is quoted in a newspaper article, interviewed on tv or radio or flown somewhere around the world to give a speech. He has been published countless times, writes screenplays and historical nonfiction in his spare time, has his PhD, and can build a house if you ask him.
- You can take the boy out of Philadelphia, but you can’t take the Philadelphia out of the boy. He still says “wooter” for “water” and when his car heads due north over the Mason-Dixon line, he craves a hoagie.
- He still drives a mini-van (his last child left home in 1998 ) and loves bumper stickers.
- He is a teacher. Not the paid kind for a school system, but there is nothing my father doesn’t know about history or politics, so if you’re around him for more than ten minutes, you are bound to learn something. Whether you want to or not.
Things I know about my father as his daughter:
- He has the best laugh. It starts as a snort because he’s so excited. And the thing is, when you can make a brilliant clever know-it-all laugh, well isn’t that a coup.
- He’s a great writer. He thinks George Will is the best, but he shouldn’t be so deferential.
- I think maybe I love swimming because of him. He decided we should get an in-ground pool and a beach house when we were very young. Being hurled off his great big sunburned shoulders made me fearless.
- My dad has a lot of pride in our lineage. He keeps my brothers and I up to date on the family crest, books about our family line and potential famous and infamous ancestral connections. I think this is why, aside from the serious gender equity considerations, it has never occurred to me to change my last name.
- He taught his kids to love camping, and the National Parks. I would say this has changed my life, but I don’t know life the other way. And I don’t want to.
- I have seen my dad cry twice: once at my wedding (I think, I can’t be sure) and once when our dog Buster died (that I am sure of). And this makes total sense if you ever met Buster.
- I am 32 and capable of walking, but my dad will still get me things from the kitchen when I make him.
- My dad has good taste in women.
- His handwriting is so bad that once he got a piece of mail addressed to “Kon Ugg,” instead of “Ron Utt,” because that’s probably what his script looked like.
- He is goofy and so am I. We like puppets and funny hats and silly sounds. And I feel bad for people that don’t.
- My dad is generous- now with his time. He is a Big Brother to a preteen in Fredericksburg whose father passed away. Nick is crazy about my dad. As he should be.
- It breaks his heart that his kids live so far away. But he taught us to be travelers, weekend warriors, adventurers and explorers.
- He makes the best spaghetti carbonara in the whole world. I am sure of it. I am positive. I know it is true.
- My dad loves his family. More than anything.
Happy Father’s Day, Kon Ugg.