The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Thanks, Dad!

On June 17th, 2013, posted in: Uncategorized by

Over the past week, I spent a lot of time thinking about my dad. With Father’s Day comes a hearkening back to those times spent together.

I don’t remember all of our specific time together as much as I remember general feelings of who he was and what he stood for. We didn’t always get along, but hindsight being 20/20, I recall him with great love and admiration.

He was funny and serious. He was dogged and delicate; simple and deep. He was collaborative and independent; fiercely competitive and gentle as rain. While he was a lot of things to me, he was never not available. I hope my kids think the same of me. The greatest compliment bestowed on my dad is that he could be counted on during good times, bad times and that huge bland space in between called life – doing nothing, saying nothing, staring into space, daydreaming and killing time. A dad needs to be close by in those cases; mine always was.

What did he teach me? Heck, I’m not sure he set out to teach me anything. I don’t remember specific life lessons being imparted on a front porch with a glass of lemonade, a cool breeze and a setting sun. Nope, I remember more watching him do what he did and recognizing that it worked more times than not and thinking “lesson learned.”

He drug me to work when I was still in elementary school. Saturday mornings in a butcher shop, scrubbing blood stained chopping blocks and spreading sawdust on the floor. We never talked about it – we just did it.

If leaving time for a trip to an aunt’s house was 1:00 p.m. and it hit 1:01 p.m. and you weren’t in the car, you spent the day home alone knowing that when he returned later that day, you would hear about how a lack of punctuation was disrespectful of other people.

Fishing demanded quiet. Baseball demanded practice. Church demanded reverence. Work demanded ethic. Authority demanded respect. There was a right and a wrong. The ol’ man didn’t compromise on those tenets that were the pillars of character and success. There was a way to act in every scenario. He demanded it and he got it.

It is years after his death, and an even longer period of time after the bedrock of who I am has been established. I am all that the ol’ man taught with little variance along the way. Sure, I’m my own man, but the solid footing established by a dad that was there and could be counted on has never waned.

I remember Little League, and I couldn’t hit. I had “happy feet” in the batter’s box and, as a result, spent more time dancing around than trying to stand still and hit the ball. At practice one night, he laid on his stomach in the dust of a ball diamond and held my feet still while another coach pitched to me. I never did learn to hit, but that wasn’t the lesson anyway. He risked life and limb so that I might be better at something I loved. His being there trumped hitting, and I’m the better off for it. Thanks dad, I love you.

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