Father’s Day takes on a whole new meaning once your kids are grown and out on their own. It’s always great to get together and share the funny stories, the happy memories and how far we’ve all come in such a short time. And it’s so true. The years zoom right on by before you even know it. Enjoy the journey!
It seems like only yesterday, I was asked to speak before a family luncheon regarding my family life and the term Fatherhood. Didn’t comedian Bill Cosby write a book with that title - Fatherhood? He’s much funnier than me, but I’ll relay a little of what I said that day.
It’s important for your children to know that you are their friend. When I opened with that statement, the strict disciplinarians in the audience gave me a groan and a frown. “Spare the switch and spoil the child” is what they really wanted to hear me say. But I think they misunderstood my true intentions and what I meant.
Your children need to have confidence that you are a shelter in the storm, that you won’t always be a critic of their actions but rather a champion in their corner who wants only the best for them. That doesn’t mean you let them get away with being little monsters. However, it does mean that you teach values (right-from-wrong) and how to function in a rather dysfunctional world.
Friends help you get through the setbacks and disappointments in life without being judgmental or overly critical. Friends remind you that your word (doing what you say you’ll do) is important to them and the rest of the world, especially later in a work environment. Friends help teach you the life skills you need to know. A good friend of mine says that includes how to box an exacta at the horse races. You have to be a horseplayer or gambler to understand that one, but he’s correct.
Other things that a good friend should tell you and offer as a friend:
1) It matters less what others think of you than what YOU think of you. The best thing anyone can teach you is self-respect. Life is too short to live in guilt and shame. You are special and you have your gifts to share with the world. You may not see them now, but you will as you get older.
2) Your opinion is just that. It’s one opinion. It’s not the only correct answer. It’s YOUR answer. Or as one mentor told me, “It’s your experience.” Other people see things a different way because of their own personal life experience. So, both you are somewhat correct in that respect.
3) When someone is hurting, offer them your help. You don’t need to understand why they are hurt, but you can change or save their life with even the smallest gesture of kindness.
4) Family is most important. It’s more important than baseball, band, soccer, your friends (who may not even be your friends next year) and certainly more important than fighting with your brothers about something really stupid.
5) When you screw up, you hurt somebody or let them down, say I’m sorry. It won’t fix everything, but it’s a good start.
6) Sometimes it’s okay to cry, even when you’re a boy.
7) Things don’t always go your way, but you make the best of it. It’s not WHAT happens to you, but how you REACT to what happens that makes the difference.
8) Never stop learning. There’s always a better way of doing things, like loading the dishwasher the correct way. Ask your mom for more details on that one.
9) You think you already know everything, but you don’t. I don’t know everything either, but I can lend you my years of experience. Don’t laugh at this, but you can teach me a few things too.
10) I will always love you. Even when you screw up, make mistakes, skin your knee or think everyone is against you. I’m not everyone else, I'm your dad.
Happy Father’s Day! My kids, their families and my wife made it a great one for me this year. May you be just as blessed to find the reason for living and loving every single day.
Many of us have great memories of our dads and previous Father's Day adventures. I wouldn't know where to begin if I had to list the Top Ten memories of great times with my dad. My father was the best, despite owning his own business and being an avid Angels baseball fan (who rarely missed a home game).
One year in particular, I decided to design and give my dad a self-made card. It was probably the first card like that since my days as a Crayola kid in elementary school. When my father passed away, my mom revealed to me that he kept that card with him for years. He said, it was one of the best gifts he ever received. Inside, I told him (in my own words) how much I appreciated all that he did for me.
Inside the card, I reminded him of the times he came home from work after a long day and still found time to play catch with me in the backyard. He rarely missed a baseball game when I played in Little League, Pony League, Colt League or high school. And, he was the proudest guy in the bleachers the night when I pitched my two-hitter against the league leaders. He was also proud when I cleared the big screen in left field with a home run. But, best of all, he was always proud of me even on the days when I struck out. Thankfully, that didn't happen too often though.
When I made the decision NOT to follow in his footsteps with the family business, he supported me totally. Radio caught my fascination in junior high school. And by high school, I had my own spot on the local radio station. I think he would have preferred that I become the Angels baseball announcer, but he listened to my music show even in the days back when I played Aerosmith, Boston, Styx and Foreigner.
My dad gave me my first car and my second car. Both were hand-me-downs from other family members and had seen many years of use, but I couldn't have been happier. I paid for the gasoline and helped with the insurance, which came in handy when someone hit the family car during my first year of driving. Dad came to pick me up as they towed the car away. He didn't say a word, knowing it was the other driver's fault. He was just happy to see that I wasn't injured.
Many other stories are too personal to share here, but I remember him every day and especially on Father's Day. Thanks for being the best, Dad. I'll see if I can get the Angels in the playoffs again this year. I know you would enjoy that.
We were talking today about out-of-the-blue surprises. What's the luckiest thing that ever happened to you? Okay, I know your first thought is to mention your marriage partner, fiancé or new flame. That's a given. And you may be correct. But, let's stretch a bit here.
Have you ever won more than $100 in Lotto or other games? That would be lucky, don't you think?
For me, it's a tough question. However, I spent one summer near Lake Powell, Arizona and I was within inches of being struck by lightning during a heavy storm. I felt the energy and the hair on my arms stood up. It was no laughing matter. Although, those of us in the tent had to laugh instead of scream. Okay, I guess we did scream too. We were very lucky.
Now, it's your turn. When were you lucky?
Have you ever watched a movie and wondered how it ever made it to the big screen? That's happened a few times in my experience. Sunday afternoon, one of the local TV stations aired The Romantics (2010). It was loaded with well-known stars and recognizable faces. The story wasn't horrible, either. However, the movie totally bombed at the box office. The budget was four and a half million and it made just over $100,000 total. Ouch!
Meanwhile, the entertainment world is full of successful people that were rejected by almost everyone. Maroon 5 is a great example. The group originally formed in the 1990's under a different name. When they resurfaced as Maroon 5 years later, most record labels passed. I guess you could say the rest is history. Now, they're at the top of their game and they've sold tens of millions.
Last, but not least, the story of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen believed in themselves, despite over 100 rejection letters. Today, they have the biggest selling book series on the planet.
As you go through life, remember one thing. Nobody has the prefect formula or the one right answer. In most cases, from a business standpoint, breaking even is a win. So, don't listen to the experts. Listen to your heart.
Events in the news from the last few days leave us with a lot of questions. How difficult is it being in the limelight?
Paris Jackson (reportedly) has just closed a huge deal that will have her starring in a big budget Hollywood movie. So, why is she having the problems that sent her by ambulance to the hospital this week?
Many critics object that young people have a tough enough time dealing with everyday life WITHOUT being subjected to unnecessary outside pressures. But, is that the whole story?
The veil between Reality TV and real life has been blurred for several years. I guess you could say it all began with PEOPLE MAGAZINE and our obsession with celebrities. Whatever the cause, some people are constantly under the microscope. Is that a fate that they deserve, simple by being a celebrity?
And what do we say to the critics who proclaim that Paris didn't ask for this life? They're right, you know. Her childhood is being stolen from her. Does that scenario sound just a bit too familiar?
Children should be protected and loved. And they should have the opportunity to be kids. You never get a second chance.
To say I love music would be an understatement. Once, a friend asked my why I got into the radio business. There were many reasons, but topping the list was my love of music - all kinds.
Barry Manilow came along in the late 1970's and rocked the music world. Well, maybe the term "romanced" the world would be a better description. In those days, nobody could write a more emotional love song that Barry Manilow. And his record sales proved it, time after time.
Barry continues to tour today and puts on a remarkable show. He has reinvented himself with pop standards, concept albums and continues to be one of the top drawing artists in the music world. However, there was a point where his record label worried about their future and his.
I'm two-thirds of the way through Clive Davis' autobiography about the music business. It's beyond fascinating! Clive has the stories of his interaction and observations of artists like Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Santana and a few names I barely recognized. But the stories are mesmerizing. If you're a music lover and a reader, you'll love it. If you hate reading, buy the audio book. The narration is superb and nothing is lost in translation.
So, what happened to Barry Manilow? At one point, he took the steering wheel and began driving the sports car called CAREER. Did he know best? Time already has the answer to that one. His name is known worldwide and his place in musical history is paved with gold. It probably didn't hurt that he's a nice guy, too.
However, things could have ended in disaster. I'll leave it that, so I don't spoil the book for any of you. If you're also a Whitney Houston fan, you'll find plenty of stories and even letters that Clive wrote to Whitney over the years. For me, it's an A+ read.
Now, let's all sing a chorus of "Can't Smile Without You" and hope Barry invites us on stage for his next appearance. If you're lucky, he might even let you play a few chords on the piano.
I can't tell you the last time that I went to a holiday sale at the mall. For me, holidays are best spent remembering whatever the holiday represents and spending quality time with family and friends. That's what I plan to do this weekend. How about you?
Just remember, when you're old and sitting in that rocking chair, you won't be saying "I wish I had spent more time shopping at the mall."
Isn't it fun, sharing good conversation and smiles with the ones that you love? And, on this weekend, we salute those who have paid dearly for our freedom. Thank you, military friends and others in uniforms of duty. We appreciate you and miss those who have gone before us. Have a safe and happy weekend.
Are you great at remembering random things throughout your day? Some people are, others aren't. I believe my memory is excellent. But others aren't quite as lucky.
The other day, I was reading how a new study says vitamins may be a great hedge against poor health later on in life. That's great if you can remember to take them everyday.
I had a friend once who purchased gasoline and paid inside at the cashier. Then, she proceeded to drive away without ever pumping the gas. That's a bad one!
Others I know (even teenagers) have trouble remembering to brush their teeth, clean their room or do the laundry. That may be a result of too much homework. What do you think?
When I was a kid, the lady next door told her kids she was training them for adulthood. She would frequently give them a list of thirty things to do before the end of the day. Here's where their troubles began. They couldn't write anything down! They had to do it all from memory, in the order that she asked. That sounds strange to me.
Do you have to trick yourself to remember things like taking your vitamins? If you do, are you willing to share your secret to a long memory? We might save each other from a future embarrassment. Did you hear about the famous recording artist who sang the national anthem at a major league baseball game but forgot the words of the song? Luckily, he wrote the words on the palm of his hand.
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend. And, don't forget that grocery list you made for the picnic goodies. What was on that list again? I know I have it right here somewhere.
Nowadays, we've invented a holiday for almost everything. This afternoon, I noticed that a friend of mine was calling it Throwback Thursday and posted a picture of himself from several decades ago. Hey, I'm up for the adventure.
Above is a picture of me doing the Love Songs show on KOST back in the 1980's. It's been a real journey and it often feels like it went by in the blink of an eye.
When you're younger, it often seems like school will never end. First, there's elementary school. Then, junior high and high school with all the meaningful events like the football games, the prom and graduation. KOST is a little bit like that. I have a locker (with the combination that I rarely remember), a desk that I share with other students (um, I meant co-workers) and we have a lunch room with fast foods, soft drinks and candy bars. See what I mean, just like school days.
And, a little bit like high school, the most fun are the people that you get to see every day. Here, we don't get detention for passing notes are talking in the halls. Although, if someone else is in front of the classroom, we're supposed to pay close attention. And, when the red light comes on, everyone in the room must be silent. It's like the times when your teacher blew her whistle on the playground. The world stood still, as we pondered who was in big trouble.
Well, recess is over. It's time to get back to work. I'm in for Kari Steele through this weekend. So, meet me by the lockers and we'll catch up on the gossip. Of course, today we call it pop culture. Less guilt and more glitz.