Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father’s Day

Rather than blog about the considerable advertising surrounding this “also-ran” day – will Xbox sales get a bump out of the Father’s Day event?, e.g. – I wanted something more personal.

On a day like today, I can be as old-fashioned as I like – say, quoting the Earl of Chesterfield’s continual advice to his son. There’s a marvelous Father’s Day column about Chesterfield by Eric Ormsby, in which Ormsby observes: Inattention, for Chesterfield, was a profound flaw and the one from which all others proceeded. “Want of thought,” as he put it, “is either folly or madness.” Why? Because success in the world depends upon quick and meticulous observation.

Or I can take you modern. Contemporary cartoonist Dan Piraro has said, You kids today have it easy. When I was a kid everything was HUGE. My dad was nearly four times bigger than me. You couldn’t even see the tops of counters...Then gradually everything became smaller until it was the manageable size it is today.

Dads don’t get a lot of credit, except when they do – and that’s when we appreciate it the most. (I’m speaking for all the dads ever now.)

There’s a photo that accompanies this post, of Brian Sabel helping son Matthew prepare for his bar mitzvah – by tying his tie. Maybe not the most profound picture ever taken…but utterly and completely true in the moment. There is no inattention here. And even though Brian is “nearly four times bigger” than Matthew now, Matt’ll will discover that things become more manageable as he grows up.

I had time to enjoy my daddy but not enough. I miss him to this day.

(BTW, it was Brian and Joel Sabel’s father, Sherman Sabel, who came to tell me of my father’s sudden and early death. It was Joel who took the father-son photo you see here, last month in Denver. I hope he won’t mind me using it here.)

To dads: Remember if you can that your futurity is in your hands. There’s often more than one kind of tie involved. Happy Father’s Day to you all.


Richard Laurence Baron said...

Odd-News-After-Posting Department: The AP's Adam Geller reported in a story this morning that the Men's Dress Furnishings Association (see has decided to cease operations. Most men don't use "neckwear" much anymore.

This is breaking news, apparently. There isn't even an announcement on the association's website yet.

Lee Terrill, a member of the association's Board, was asked about the decision to shut down the tie group. He's quoted as saying, "We didn't think anybody would notice."

Joel Sabel said...

Very nice remembrance of Dad. Thanks. Hope you're having a grand Father's Day.

We expect Brian and Alaine on Thursday night/Friday. They'll be picking up a car that we bought at auction to replace his lease unit.

It's Houston hot here, without the gulf breeze. Basically 100F / 100% humidity. No, it doesn't always rain at 100% humidity. We're still in a drought with no immediate relief in sight. More later...

BondBaron said...

A wonderful post.
Love you much.


p.s. You are a GREAT dad!