I had strong father figures when I was a kid.
And not just one or two.
Three different men made an impact on me.
My Father, my Uncle Stan, and my friend’s Dad…
My Dad is a Mexican immigrant. He grew up in California and graduated from the University of San Francisco. He’s Liberal, intelligent, and speaks three languages. He worked in corporate America for most of his adult life. He’s a good, kind, and respectable man.
Dad was always there for my sister and me. He enjoyed spending time with us and was a big part of our lives. We played games, he read us books, and he took us on camping trips. He taught me how to fish, how to ride a bike, and how to throw a baseball & football. Later he taught me how to drive a car.
Dad exposed me to the outside world through books, magazines, and newspapers. He taught me to love reading, and that’s a habit I still have today.
Dad was a solid husband, he never cheated on my Mom. They’re still married after 50+ years. My Dad was never a womanizer. But he is a ladies man. Women still love his youthful good looks and flirty ways.
But Dad wasn’t the only positive male influence…
Uncle Stan is my Mom’s brother, a Canadian immigrant. He’s a tall, blue-eyed, pale-skinned white man. He moved to California as a baby and grew up in Los Angeles. A Conservative-Libertarian who never graduated from college, he started a successful commercial refrigeration business instead. He’s dependable, respectable, and competent. If something’s broken, Uncle Stan can fix it. But he could be crazy and unpredictable sometimes – usually after he’d been drinking.
I spent a lot of time with Stan (and my Aunt) at their rural wine country property. My Uncle taught me about Conservatism, hard work, shooting guns, and entrepreneurship. He showed me how to keep an open mind and think logically.
Stan introduced me to the darker side of life. At his house I discovered alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and drunk-driving. He helped teach me about sex – I’d study his Penthouse & Hustler magazines while he slept.
Uncle Stan was a womanizer. He had his first kid when he was just 17. Multiple children with multiple women. He divorced once. Stan eventually settled down and married a much younger woman. They’re still together 30+ years later.
Dad and Uncle Stan were important.
But a third man also affected me…
Big Mike was my friend’s father. He was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed all-American white man. Despite his nickname, he was actually a small guy. But he was charismatic, tough, and spoke with a loud booming voice. He was a landlord, entrepreneur, and amateur surfer. Later he worked as a police officer in San Francisco. Big Mike could be abrasive; but he was a good man with a big heart.
I was at his house almost every summer, visiting his son. They lived far from me, so I’d stay for weeks at a time. Big Mike was extremely high-energy. He couldn’t sit still for long. Exploring the world was normal for him. And he always dragged us kids along – whether we wanted to go or not! Camping, hiking, road-trips, visiting National Parks and beaches. Big Mike taught me to love adventure and exploration and rough play. He was a devout Christian, so I experienced my first Church service with their family.
Big Mike was a womanizer. Multiple children with multiple women. Divorced once. He lost his first wife because he was banging their young German nanny (who he married, eventually).
Some men don’t have strong father figures.
Luckily, I’ve been blessed with three.
All of them taught me about life, and all three showed me different ways of being a Man.
Together they’ve helped mold me into who I am today.
So thank you Dad, Uncle Stan, and Big Mike.
I’m grateful for your influence!
How have strong father figures affected your life?
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