18 Lessons I Learned From My Dad: A Tribute

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As I approach retirement, I’m realizing more and more the value of family.  The value of relationships.  The value of lessons taught, and lessons learned. The purpose of this blog is to “Help People Achieve A Great Retirement”, which extends far beyond finance.  It’s important to take a holistic view as we plan for our retirements, and that clearly includes relationships and lessons we learn along the way.

More importantly, I feel it’s time to let someone very special in my life know how I feel about him, and to give gratitude for the lessons he’s taught me.  Therefore, today, I offer….

A Tribute To My Dad

Time For Dad
Father and Son, Hillsdale College. October 2016 (who says old guys can’t take selfies?)

Are there any lifelong relationships more cherished than those with our parents?  One could argue that our spouse is the major relationship as we age, and I would tend to agree with that.

However,  I’d argue that throughout our entire life, there are few relationships that have a bigger impact on who we are than the relationship we have with our parents.   For better or worse, the relationships we have with our parents has a major impact on who we become.  Unfortunately, my Mother passed in 2001, and my memories of her are all I have left.  However, my Father is very much alive, and to that I owe much gratitude.

Many have told me that I've become my Father. If that's the case, I'm sincerely honored. Click To Tweet

For those of you that have lost your parents too early in life, I’m sincerely sorry.  In my case, I’ve been blessed to have my Dad play a major role in my life for 53 years, and counting.  I talk to him every week, and I consider that a true gift.  I’m pleased to know that my Father will read these very words.

He’s my biggest fan.

Always has been.

Always will be.

18 Lessons I Learned From My Dad

81st Birthday Party with my sisters – 2014

When we think of our parents, we most often think of our relationship with them during childhood.  My childhood is filled with positive memories of my time with my Dad, and the lessons he’s taught me through my life.  My Dad always had time for me,  and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.

I’ve decided to boil down two decades of childhood memories into an insufficient bullet list. I’ve added “18 lessons” in highlights that I now realize he was teaching me through the years:

Lessons Learned Through A Lifetime With Dad

Looking back, I now realize he was intentionally teaching me lessons at every stage of my life.  Below are stories told, from various ages, with a summary of the lessons he taught me as I faced life.

We’ll start at Age 5:

  • Age 5 – playing “Flying Eagle” atop my Dad’s legs as he lay on his back, with me “flying” above his head.  His feet on my hips, our hands entwined.  With his encouragement, I’d release my hands from his, and I’d spread my wings and “fly”.  Little did I know that would be symbolic of my Dad’s philosophy in raising me.  Encourage, then let me fly.
Encourage Them, Then Let Them Fly Click To Tweet
  • Age 8 – My dreams of being an NFL Kicker encouraged by my Dad, as we spent countless nights on the quiet street in front of my childhood home kicking a football back and forth.  He taught me to punt (and I was pretty darn good at it).  Perhaps, the NFL was a real possibility.  “You can be whatever you dream”, my Dad would say. He always had time for me, in spite of his heavy workload as a University Professor.  Many nights, in spite of what I now realize was a heavy schedule, he took the time to patiently improve my kicking technique.  Make time for your kids, they won’t be with you for long.
You Can Be Whatever You Dream Click To Tweet
  • Age 9 – Monday Night Football, and the joy of being able to stay up through “Half Time Highlights”, when the biggest plays of the previous day’s games were replayed in splendid slow motion at 10:00 pm on Monday nights.  Yes, I was tired on Tuesday mornings, but all I remember are those marvelous Monday nights, sitting with my Dad in his private study.  Sometimes you have to foster special moments with your children, even at the expense of sleep.
Foster Special Moments With Your Children, And Make Time For Them. They Won't Be Here Long. Click To Tweet
  • Age 10:  Watching NFL games in his study, as our hometown hero Chester Marcol became the NFC Rookie Of The Year as kicker for the Green Bay Packers. To think, only a year earlier, I had been catching punts from Chester when he practiced on the field as a Hillsdale College kicker, the very school where my Dad dedicated 35+ years of his life as a “Professor Of The Year” historian.   I still have my much treasured trading card of Chester during his time with the Packers.  More important than that card are the memories I have, with my Dad, of watching Chester on the TV, in a study that will forever be a special place in my mind.


  • Age 13:  On a special Spring Break trip to see some battlefields, just Father and Son, we traveled the Natchez Trace from Nashville to Natchez, MS.  For years we’ve laughed over recollections of the, um, “uneducated” road crew member who, when asked how far we were from Natchez, replied “Oh, Man, I ain’t never been ‘dat far before”….I started gaining an appreciation for the gift of Travel Lust my Father was instilling in me.
Traveling is a privilege. Never miss a chance to experience the world. Click To Tweet

My Dad was a Civil War expert, and has written books on the subject (click here to see them on Amazon!).  He’s passed “The Writer’s Gene” on to me, just as his Father did to him.  Yep, three generations of writers in the family.

I’m proud of that.

So is my Dad.

Find Your Passion. For 3 Generations, Ours Has Been Writing. Click To Tweet
My Dad, The Civil War Historian
Be An Example To Your Kids. Instill Good Habits, Early On. Click To Tweet
  • Age 15:  Summer nights in our Michigan cabin, a second home on a nearby lake.  Though earning a modest income, my parents had good financial discipline, and instilled the same in me.  My parents had the screen porch converted into a bedroom to accommodate the needs of our 3 child family, and I got the porch.  The side door allowed a “quick exit” escape into a summer night, and created memories of 1:00 am rendezvous at the beach with other kids from the lakeside community.  I have fond memories of pushing my 100 cc “Road Toad” motorcycle down to the beach to avoid waking my parents in the middle of those summer nights.  I suspect my Dad always knew I slipped out at night, but he never said a word.  Transition from childhood into adulthood takes risks, and smart parents know when to loosen the reins.  My father was a smart parent.  Let them learn to fly.
Transition To Adulthood Takes Risks. Loosen The Reins As Your Kids Mature. Click To Tweet
  • Age 17:  A car crash at 1:00 am, while I was out “having fun” with friends.  The car was totaled, and my parents didn’t push on what really triggered the crash (dodging a deer, really?)  Now, for the world to know, I was actually chasing a buddy’s car down a dirt road at a speed well beyond reasonable, and lost control.  Dad, now you know “The Rest of The Story”.  My parents had purchased a used 1972 Olds Cutlass for my sisters, and it had now been passed down to me.  However, the next car was 100% on me, no more financial help from my parents on the replacement car.  Take responsibility for your actions, and own the consequences of your behavior.
Take Responsibilty For Your Actions, And Own The Consequences Of Your Behavior. Click To Tweet
  • Age 18: First week of college, a panicked call home as I tried to figure out what I wanted in life.  “Call it quits, if you’d like”, said my Dad, “but you’ll be on your own from this point forward”.  A stern hand, but always with my best interest in mind.  There comes a time when the Boy must become the Man.  This was that time.  I stayed on, and graduated with Summa Cum Laude Honors 4 years later.  Did he know that would be the outcome?
There Comes A Time When The Boy Must Become The Man Click To Tweet
  • Age 20:  A summer job in Yellowstone National Park, working for a concessionaire.  In spite of the lower wages, my Dad encouraged me in my pursuit of an adventure out West, realizing the adventure was worth more than money.  My parents made the effort to come out and spend a week with me in the park, and the picture of my Mom and I on a trail near Old Faithful has always been one of my favorites.
Pursue Your Dreams. Life's About More Than Money. Click To Tweet
My Mom and I. Yellowstone, 1985 (gotta love that hair!)
  • Age 22:  First real job.  A month before I started, my parents and I drove through the town which would become my first “professional home”.  It was a depressing, Midwestern, industrial town.  Sacrifice is often required to get ahead, my Dad would remind me.  I started saving 15% from my very first paycheck, thanks to the lessons of frugality I’d received throughout my childhood years.
Sacrifice Is Sometimes Required For Success, especially early in your career. Click To Tweet
  • Age 23:  A family trip to Cedar Point, an amusement park half way between my “I’m now an adult” home in Ohio and my childhood home in Michigan.  Memories of me talking my Dad into riding on the “circling swings” (see pic below).  My Dad always encouraged my sense of adventure, even though I’d led him astray by saying the swings were tame.  He was sicker than a dog for the rest of the day.  But he trusted me, just as I trusted him.
Live A Life Of Adventure. Click To Tweet



Those swings symbolize a lifelong relationship with my Dad;  thru ups and downs we rely, trust, and respect each other in spite of whatever circumstances life throws our way.

Through Life's Ups & Downs, My Dad's Always Been There For Me. And Me, For Him. Click To Tweet

Impacting A Life

I could fill pages of the memories I have with Dad, and the lessons he’s taught me over the past 5 decades.  More important than the memories is the impact my Dad has had on my life.  Today’s “keep it concise” blogging world doesn’t bode well with the lengthy tribute my Dad truly deserves, and which fills my mind as I type these inadequate words.

Suffice it to say, there are many more memories which could fill this page, all of which would demonstrate a broader understanding on behalf of my Father of the need to develop your children into the adults which you wish them to become.

He’s a master of the art, and these words fall woefully short of demonstrating his true expertise.

I’ve learned a lot from my Dad, and I’ve attempted to apply these learnings in my own role as the Father to my Daughter.  If I’ve achieved half the success my Father has had in raising me in my role as a Father to my daughter, I’ll consider myself a success as a Father.

My Dad Is The Master, I'm The Student. And Forever Will Be. Click To Tweet


Time For My Dad

My Dad has always had time for me, and I’ve made it a priority to always have time for him.  6 weeks ago, my wife and I drove back to Michigan for a week to help my Dad.  He had decided to sell his house, as it’s now time to move out of his home with too many stairs, and into a downsized, single level home.

We had a great week together, and I’ll cherish the memories forever.  We had lunch with one of his closest friends (hey, John, I’m still waiting for your Guest Post – hint hint!).  We took some nice walks around the Hillsdale College campus, where he had spent his working years.  He sat on the beach and watched as I took a cold water swim in the lake of my childhood.

Your Parents Made Time For You. Now, Make Time For Them. Click To Tweet

The highlight to me was the chance finding of a baseball while walking across the college baseball field. Recognizing an opportunity to capture a memory for eternity, I flipped on my iPhone’s video while we re-lived our earlier years, and had an impromptu game of catch on the field.

This video is one of my all-time favorite “electronic images” I have of my Dad, and I’m honored to share it with you today (click picture to launch short video):

Pretty good arm for an 83-year old man!


Heirlooms From My Father

As we were wrapping up our visit, my Dad took me into his study.  He told me he would be honored if I’d take a few of his cherished momentos home with me, as heirlooms. Words cannot express the significance of the items chosen.

Find A Special Way To Remember Those You Love Click To Tweet

The first is a bronzed Eagle Head sculpture, given to my Dad as a gift for a speech he made at the unveiling of a massive eagle statue on the campus of Hillsdale College, “his” college. For me, it brings back childhood memories of the “Flying Eagle” trick my Dad and I enjoyed, and symbolizes the respect he had earned from the college where he taught for so many years.


Respect Isn't Given Freely, It Must Be Earned Click To Tweet
The second is a set of Gettysburg paintings which have special meaning to both my Dad and me.  Gettysburg has always been my Dad’s favorite battlefield.  It is truly sacred ground. In 2009, I took my family there for a full week.  I studied the battle in detail prior to our visit, spent hours on the battlefield (many of those hours alone, in respectful solitude), and can appreciate every detail of that incredible battle.  Gettysburg is now, also, my favorite battlefield.
Below is a picture I took at Gettysburg which captures, in small part, the special nature of the place:
Atop Little Roundtop – Gettysburg
The First painting, “Saving The Flag”, by Don Troiani shows the 4th Michigan Infantry Regiment in the maelstorm that was the Wheatfield, site of some of the most gruesome fighting of the entire Civil War.  The fighting was brutal, hand to hand combat, and marks the only time a Colonel (Jeffords) was killed by a bayonet during the war. Jeffords is the main “character” in the painting, which depicts the moment just before he was killed by the Confederate soldier (seen preparing to plunge his bayonet in the right center of the painting).
Saving The Flag – Donald Troiani
My Dad wrote an entire book  about the role that Hillsdale College students had in The Civil War (Hillsdale Honor: The Civil War Experience), which sent a higher percentage of students into the war than any other college. Many of the students from Hillsdale College fought in The Wheatfield, and the print has special meaning for my Dad and me.  A Hillsdale College student, Lt. R. Watson Sage, can be seen behind Jeffords in the print, and it makes it particularly poignant to me. (Click here if you’d like to get a sense of the role Hillsdale students played in the Battle Of Gettysburg).
The Wheatfield At Gettysburg
A note from my Dad, “The Wheatfield”.

Both my Dad and I have spent hours in The Wheatfield, imaging the horrors that happened on that sacred ground on the afternoon of July 2, 1863. My sisters and I bought the same painting for a conference room they named in my Dad’s honor at the college, which now includes the following engraving below the pring:


The second print, Men of Iron, by Dale Gallon, represents fighting on Day 1 in Gettysburg by the “Iron Brigade’s” 24th Michigan Infantry unit.  In the print, the 24th MI is attempting to hold off a massive charge by the Confederates on Seminary Ridge, which the Union eventually lost by the end of the day.

The 24th Michigan suffered massive casualties at Gettysburg, many of them during the battle depicted in this print. Of 496 men from the 24th MI who went into battle at Gettysburg, 363 suffered casualties (74% of the entire regiment!).  Brutal losses, and yet the North came back to win Gettysburg by Day 3, a likely turning point that led to the Union Victory of the Civil War.

The print depicts the moment when, with all of his color guards killed, Colonel Morrow took the flag to rally his men (he’s holding the flag in this print, and was wounded in the head shortly after the moment depicted in the print) .

Colonel Morrow demonstrated bravery and leadership on that battlefield in Gettysburg.

My Dad Has Demonstrated Bravery And Leadership For 53 Years, And Counting Click To Tweet
Gettysburg Men Of Iron by Dale Gallon
Men Of Iron – by Dale Gallon

Both my dad and I have stood in the area where this painting occurred, and looked up at the cupola on the Seminary building, which can be seen through the smoke in this print. A portion of the flag depicted in this scene still exists in the North Carolina Museum of History (Why NC? The flag was captured by the 26th NC at Gettysburg).

Some day, I’m going to view that flag in North Carolina, and think of my Dad.  Until then, I’ll have these prints in my office.  Every time I look at them, I think of my Dad.  Here’s my home office, with treasured heirlooms prominently featured:


My Dad has had a lifelong love of The Civil War, and has now passed that interest down to his son.  These prints will forever reflect our mutual respect of that brutal war.

More importantly, they reflect the mutual respect my Dad and I have of each other.

They will be treasured by me until the day I die.


A long one today, at 2,847 words.  My Dad deserves it.  Heck, he deserves an entire book.

Dad,  thank you for a lifetime of lessons. I hope you realize how much you mean to me.

Your Son Loves You.

He Always Has.

And He Always Will.


  1. Fritz,

    This is a wonderful tribute to your dad.

    I definitely think that sometimes I take my parents for granted. Particularly my dad since I get to talk to him every day at the office. I know that in the past when I’ve done extended travel, I could go a few weeks in between contact with them and I really need to make an effort not to do that on the upcoming adventure. One reason I started a blog is to (eventually) keep extended family and friend in the loop with what i’m doing, but certainly some personal individualized communication will be necessary as well.

    I know your dad is very proud of you, but you should also be proud of him! What a great bond the two of you have.

    1. Well, Fritz, I guess you could say that I have learned many of the same things from him, but above all, the humility of a Christian gentleman. His retirement speech to our faculty was about twenty minutes long, during which he never once used the word “I.”

  2. There’s so much to take in from this post, Fritz. Thanks for sharing all these stories and lessons. It’s now easier to see where you got your love of writing, travel, history, and where you got your tenacity and leadership skills from. And how fortunate for both of you to do a hand-off of some heirlooms – you get the joy of having them and he gets joy from knowing they’re well taken care of. That eagle head is something! What does the inscription say?

    Thank you Mr. Gilbert for being such an excellent role model and inspiring human being!

    1. Mrs G!! Thanks so much for your comments, he is indeed my role model! As for the eagle, the inscription reads: “The Hillsdale Eagle – By Sandy Scott. Presented to Arlan Gilbert” It then has the following quote from Goethe: “To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thoughts.” Nice quote.

  3. Amazing tribute to your father, Fritz! Love it. He sounds like an amazing dad.

    It’s funny, I can really relate to your 15, 17 and 18 year old messages right now, having a 16 year old son myself. As a parent, it can b very difficult to teach those lessons (and difficult to know the right thing to do). It seems like your father found the right balance of letting you become independent, while teaching you responsibility.

    1. “He sounds like an amazing dad.”…..words can’t even describe him! Good luck with the 16 year old, as a father of a 22 year old who survived (well) her teenage years, you’re correct in saying it’s difficult, and all about balance. Trust your instinct, and some day he may be writing a tribute to you!

  4. Well worth the wait for this one…Your dad looks amazing at 83!! 🙂

    I love to see people’s old photos and the pure joy of capturing such moments in time…By the way, LOVE the hair! Your question on the forum (and my answer) comelled me to call my mom and tell her in actual words how proud I am of her and how far she has come since the divorce….but she didn’t answer! Ha! Apparently the first snowfall of the season is the best time to go to the movies to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, one of her favorites. 🙂 I will definitely take a page from your playbook and be sure to let her know…publicly or not.

    Your dad and you are lucky to have each other. Keep up the Good Son work! 🙂

    1. Miss Mazuma! Thanks for writing in from Wichita! Love your quote: “Your dad and you are lucky to have each other”. I count my blessings every day! Glad the discussion led to you reaching out to your Mom. Foster that relationship, she’ll love to hear those words from you when you’re able to pull her out of the movie theater!

    2. I second Miss Mazuma. Quite the handsome man! He could pass as your brother!
      What a lovely tribute to your father. It made me tear up! He seems like a great human being.
      I remember playing flying eagle with my dad as well! Thank you for this

      1. Jessica!! First time on my blog, thanks so much for your comment! So funny that you remember “Flying Eagle”. I actually thought as I wrote that story, “I wonder how many other folks played Flying Eagle with their Dad?”!!

  5. Dear Fritz’s Dad,

    You have done a most excellent job as a father. Your son clearly adores you, and based on everything he has written here, he has good reason to. I am a parent now myself and can appreciate how hard it is to be a good parent, let alone a fantastic one. Fritz is lucky to have you and I wish the both of you many more happy years together.

    Fritz, thank you for sharing your memories and the pictures. You are a lucky man.

  6. Super duper cool! Your dad sounds like both an amazing person and a wonderful father. Not many of us take the time to recognize how much of an influence our parents have had in our lives. Wonderful tribute, my friend. 🙂

    1. “Wonderful tribute, my friend.” That means a lot coming from you, Steve. Thanks for stopping by. Excited for your “Airstream Adventures” in the New Year. When I’m able to do that, you can trust my wife and I will be parking our RV near my Dad for some extended visits (at least in the summer!!).

  7. What a gorgeous tribute. Sounds like you are blessed with a wonderful father and one who has really done his duty as far as teaching you life’s most important lessons. I so wish I had listened to my dad about money sooner. But I do now!

    1. “I so wish I had listened to my dad about money sooner.” Linda, that’s a very valuable lesson. My Dad was GREAT at “money lessons”, tho I focused this article on character issues, as I think they’re the most important. I could write an entirely new blog on “the money lessons” (perhaps a thought for a future post (?), it’d probably be longer than this one!).

  8. What a beautiful tribute to an amazing father! I enjoyed reading all the stories intertwined with lessons, and I can definitely feel the love. It’s great that you share your interests in writing and history, and that it has been passed among generations. I majored in American history back in college, so I can especially appreciate the Civil War paintings and details.

    My own parents have been gone for a long time now, and so I would just like to emphasize to everyone that the most important lesson here is to make time for your parents and let them know how you feel.

    1. “I enjoyed reading all the stories intertwined with lessons”….thanks for saying that, Gary. I really like the way it flowed out of my head like that.

      Also, awesome about history major in college!! You’d LOVE my Dad! Glad to know someone truly appreciates the significance of those Gettysburg Prints.

  9. My father passed away two years ago and I wish I could have written such a well articulated tribute to him. Your father is lucky to have had you, as you are to have him. What a wonderful family you have!

  10. Amazing tribute! And to Fritz’s dad – great work on creating so many teachable moments! I hope one day my kids will look back on their memories of me with the same fondness, and be just as grateful for all the things I taught them.

  11. You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? I don’t know how many words exactly were in this article, but they come together to paint an amazing picture of a father’s love. Good fathers are truly irreplaceable in a person’s life, and Fritz, it sounds like you got yourself a shining example of what a “good father” is. Thank you for sharing this, and in doing so, making us all feel just a little warmer inside!

    1. ‘…they come together to paint an amazing picture of a father’s love.” Thanks for your kind words, Kyle. It was a long one (2,847 words, to answer your question), but I felt it was right for my Dad. I’m pleased the picture from my mind was, in small part, transferred to yours.

  12. Wow, Fritz (and Fritz’s dad!). These are incredible memories of a lifetime; to be able to articulate and then live the lessons learned is a tribute in itself. I too have learned so much from my dad, yet have never taken the time to put it into words. Thank you for sharing.

  13. I am a sister to Fritz, blessed to have such an incredible brother and astonishing Dad.

    I am speechless beyond what I could ever imagine. (You all obviously know how much Fritz likes to talk, write, use words to embellish life-I can only say, it runs in the family, so, for me to be speechless, well, that “says” a lot.)

    To you readers of this blog – I am honestly humbled, overwhelmed, and touched to the deepest core and heart string of my being, with all of your comments and thoughts on Fritz’s blog / tribute to Dad. I thank you for being so honest with your feelings and your heart felt thoughts on his tribute. You “get it.” Family matters. Friends matter. Loved ones matter. Let them know.

    To you dear Fritz – your words so eloquently captured the essence of Dad. THANK YOU for this tribute to Dad. Thank you for bringing to attention what so many people take for granted, for giving a wake up call to all of us, to take the time to let those we love, KNOW that we love them. Take time to THANK GOD for this life He has given us, and for those people, He has given us to share and cherish life with.

    To you Dad – I cannot even come close to saying what Fritz has already said. He said it all. You are all that he has said, and so very much more. I cherish you, the love you have given us, the Father that you are, and the part you play in my life. – Your Daughter Loves You. She Always Has. And She Always Will.

    1. Hey Sis!! A Family affair! Great to see you out here. I can see I have to teach you about plagiarism, though. Tee Hee. Glad to have your words on this Tribute, makes it that much more meaningful for Dad! Have a nice lunch with Dad on Wednesday, tell him that his son and daughters loves him.

      We Always Have. And We Always Will.

  14. Incredible tribute and you have an incredible relationship, mine isn’t the same but enjoyed seeing yours as it is. As for the list I think anyone can learn from it, you really hit the important ones and I liked every one of them. Terrific article and worthy of sharing , hopefully others can benefit from it.

  15. Such beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing.
    My brother-in-law performs Civil War reinactments- you and your dad might enjoy watching some of them together next summer.

  16. What a lovely tribute to such a lovely person, father, teacher, role model…well you know what he is!

    I don’t have my father in my life any more and I miss him terribly every day. It’s so nice to see you honor him with your clear memories while he is around to relish in your appreciation. As a parent, I hope my own kids see some value in what we teach them over the years.

  17. I think we had the same dad! Actually I think many dads from that generation had similarities that led them to being great parents. And there is no way to overstate how important an advantage in life having had a great parent is. There are stories of people raised in neglect or abuse that still succeed but they are a small minority. You and I were truly blessed and you gave him a wonderful tribute. I lost my dad two years ago but had the privilege of caring for him as he struggled through Parkinson’s disease. He kept teaching me to the end as he approached every day with an attitude of true gratitude even though he was stricken with a terrible disease. I’m so proud to be his son and owe my stable family, my financial independence and my secure early retirement to the lessons he taught me.

  18. I love this story thanks for sharing and now I have to ask was your Michigan lake swim at Lake Baw Beese? I live in Jonesville Michigan so recognized the pic of you and your Dad in front of Hillsdale College right away!! Small world is all I have to say. Of course you don’t have to answer the lake ? as there are a lot of lakes in Michigan just wonder if this is one reason why I’ve been so drawn to your blogs!!

  19. Great tribute to your dad!

    I second Mss Need2Save. It is great you get to write this post when your dad is still alive. It will make your connection even greater.

  20. Fritz,
    Interesting coincidence today. I was out at a coffee shop this morning and outside was a group of guys working on installing a telephone system in-ground in 12 degree temps. My thoughts went to my dad who spend 20 years as a lineman for Ma Bell. He had the green truck and spend hours on poles in really cold temps in upstate NY. So, here I am sitting in a nice warm shop, retired drinking a cup of my favorite coffee and thinking he gave me all you mentioned. (read your article later in the day by chance).
    Yes, he and I spent hours throwing the baseball even though I was the youngest and probably throwing harder than he wanted at his age. But, we did it every night. Great memories!
    Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas.

  21. Fritz, Great post. Our parents are the “greatest generation” who sacrificed and paved the way for the prosperity of our generation. Your father and you are role models for all of us in the roles of father and son. Thank you for sharing.

  22. When we hear the word “priceless”, we don’t always think about the deeper meaning of the word. After reading this beautiful, thoughtful, loving tribute to your dad, the word that came to mind for me is “priceless”. It makes your heart ache a little for those loved ones that are gone, that I didn’t pay such a tribute too. You have inspired me to be sure I don’t let anymore time slip away without letting the people I love know how special they are too me. Well done, Fritz. My admiration for you continues to expand. Give Jackie a hug.

    1. Brenda, great to hear from you. Your words mean a lot to me, I’ve always admired you and the love you show to your family. I know you’ve suffered some tough losses, and your words are meaningful. I’ll be forever grateful that I wrote this post, while I still had time to make sure my Dad knew how special he really is. Thanks for your comments.

  23. This is a wonderful tribute to your dad. You have put so much time and thought into it. I’m sure that he must have had tears in his eyes when he read it.

  24. Excellent lessons and I suspect with a lot in common if you compared notes with other high performing off-spring of high performers. I shouldn’t be surprised by the Hillsdale College connection. It’s a rarity among academic institutions in celebrating the cultural foundations of liberty and individual responsibility. My own scared historical experiences with Civil War battlefields are from Antietam and Shiloh. U.S. Grant is my hero. And my passion for history is fueled by a family legacy of military service and a family tradition of honoring the sacrifice of others. Here’s to fathers who shared their passions and taught responsibility.

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