So I'm Turning Into My Father? Well, There are Worse Things I Could Be...

We take a break from our regularly scheduled blogging to honor the man that largely made me what I am today...well, he was there at the very beginning anyway.

Today my Dad, Jimmy Everette, turns 60. And I have to say it's been an eventful six decades. In 1947 President Truman announced the "Truman Doctrine" designed to stop the spread of Communism, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues, the United States Air Force was formed using branches of the Army and Navy and Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier. People born in 1947 include: David Bowie, Jack Hanna, Laura Schlessinger, Nolan Ryan, Farrah Fawcett, Edward James Olmos, Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Ry Cooder, Emmy Lou Harris, David Letterman, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Dave Barry, Arlo Guthrie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Mamet and Stephen King. Not a bad group to be in.

These people were old enough to be awestruck when the first man walked on the moon. They've seen not only the birth of the Internet, but the explosion of the computer itself. They've watched television go from black and white to color to high definition, not to mention from 13 inches to over 50. They lived through the red scare (started in 1947), the race wars, the Vietnam War, Watergate, a Presidential assassination (and several more attempts), an impeachment, Republican majorities, Democratic majorities, recessions, bubbles, gas shortages and literally everything in between. They've got stories to tell, and it's an awful shame that we don't listen more often. They are the most successful, most diverse, longest living generation in American history (if not World history). They're a hard act to follow, and they expect a lot out of us. But they've provided a pretty good road map to follow.

On his sixtieth birthday, I want to say thanks to my Dad. Thanks for working hard. Thanks for the free room and board those first eighteen years, I probably wouldn't have made it without them. Thanks for the gas money, and groceries while I was in college. Thanks for standing and taking it (without getting your feelings hurt) when I got a little education and decided that you were backward and simpleminded. Thanks for not rubbing it in when I realized I was wrong. Thanks for setting a good example of a life well lived, with friends and family ahead of success and possessions. Thanks for loving Mom, and showing me that being a good husband is hard work but delivers one of the biggest rewards life has to offer.

Thanks for pushing me to achieve, even when I thought you were pushing in the wrong direction. Thanks for reminding me of the direction when I lost my way. Thanks for instilling a love and reverence for the written word, and those that lay it out. Without it, I'd probably be an accountant, and while my bank account may be a little more full, my reader's inboxes would be empty. Hmmm, on second thought maybe I won't thank you for that one.

Thanks for coming to see me in plays, even though you had little interest in Theatre. Thanks for taking me hunting, even though I had little interest in the outdoors. Thanks for your persistence, though some call it stubbornness. It wore off, and it's won me a lot of fights over the years. Thanks for occasionally losing an argument, and thanks for admitting it when you were wrong. It means so much more coming from someone like you or me.

Mostly, thanks for being around. I know now, that not every one's Dad is. At every stage of my life it's been helpful to know, no matter how badly I fail at something, I've always got a safe place to land. Thanks for providing the safe place.

Happy birthday, Dad. I hope you don't feel any older today than you did yesterday, and no older next year than you do right now. If you liked this birthday wish, just wait 'till you see the one I'm working on for your seventieth.