Father & Son

Father’s Day

I have a hard time with Father’s day as it serves as a reminder that my Dad never got to meet my kids.  So instead I will just share a short story about my Dad shaping a future without knowing it.  I’ve always had a fascination with lights.  Ever since I could walk I helped my dad put out the Christmas lights.  They were always the same, every year.  Boughs were placed on top of this odd little decorative fence we had, and then the old school C7’s were wrapped around it.  The mail box for whatever reason received the same treatment.  The result was a strange looking want to be Christmas tree with a mail slot.  As I grew older my decorating desire grew.  I inquired about trimming the windows.  Nope, only the fence and the mail box.  I should preface this with saying at the time my dad was a major player in the construction safety world, to say he wrote the book on it would be pretty accurate.  Growing up, the most egregious offense you could commit was leaving toys within a 42” radius of the stairs.  Safety was always paramount.  The next year, I suggested trimming the roofline, nope only the fence and the mail box, because ladders are dangerous.  This continues on until one unfortunate Saturday night.  Maybe the mailbox just lost its will to live, or the combination of old C9s and the dried dismembered Christmas tree was more than it could handle, but the mailbox burst into flames.  Of course safety director Dad had that situation quickly remedied, but that just left that silly little fence.  Surely now young Paul could talk the family into doing something different.  Nope.  Instead he got a little lecture about how when he grows older, he can do whatever he wants to his house, until then…we decorate the fence.  We moved to a new house, where we had no fence, so instead we got mini lights in a garland on the porch because well, ladders, you know.  Admittedly I lost a little interest in lighting as I gained interests in other High School aged pursuits.  I graduated high school, then college, got married, and bought a house.  By the time our first Christmas in my very own home had rolled around I had all but forgotten my former battles with the Christmas fence.  My Mom and Dad stopped by for dinner one evening during the Christmas season.  He took one look at the dark house, which didn’t even have a silly lit fence and laughed.  He reminded me of all the grief I had given him over the Christmas lights growing up, and this was the best I could do?  This was followed by one of his favorite catch phrases…”get in the car”.  Off to K-mart we went, returning with enough blue mini lights to trim the entire roofline.  No way was he helping, because you know, ladders, but it meant the world to me just the same.  From there lights were added a little bit every year until I made the leap to music and animation in 2006.  So that’s the brief story about how an awesome Dad, a stupid fence, and a flaming mailbox are responsible for my now full time job.  Until the next exciting adventure….have a Happy Father’s day.  

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