Sons share the inspiration of their Dads for this Father's Day, June 18
Dad has this whistle. It's like something out of a children's cartoon. It can be heard five blocks away and he blows it without the aid of his fingers or a blade of grass. He just produces it. Don't ask him to do if for you unless you're outside. It's very loud. Glassware will break.
When we were children that whistle meant come here or stop and it meant do it now.
He has all the quirks you'd want in a fathervast overstatements about the best ice cream he's ever had and puns and jokes bad enough to peel the wallpaper, a trait which has infected all of his progeny. (The family patter deriving from the paterfamilias. See?) It's very hard for any man to have made it through the '60s and '70s in Washington and not have at least a few goofy pictures in the back of the drawer. But he has an impeccable sense of style. There are no shots of clockstopping ties or lapels wide enough for repeated daily. It's hard to find some corner where I won't be set upon by someone who remarks on his easy charm. The story is familiar: they tell me that in a room full of luminaries he made them feel like the most important person. These are the happy weightless words of praise you'd expect to read next to a glossy picture of two blond men with good teeth. Life hasn't always been so lovely. When Dad was a little younger than I am now, his wife, his high school sweetheart died after a long bout with When I was growing up, Dad was full of lots of ysterious knowledge that young boys consider the only things worth knowing. He'd boxed and shot marbles in the dirt patch across from his home in Roanoke, Virginia, and he'd played football in college. He'd acted in Hollywood. He was an Eagle Scout and when I was 13 he gave me the .22 rifle his father had given him at the same age. In a third grade composition I summed him up the way you might expect: "My Dad was in the Navy. He has no trouble doing anything. He snores a lot. Hey Dad, you have arms like rocks."
He has all the quirks you'd want in a fathervast overstatements about the best ice cream he's ever had and puns and jokes bad enough to peel the wallpaper, a trait which has infected all of his progeny. (The family patter deriving from the paterfamilias. See?
It's very hard for any man to have made it through the '60s and '70s in Washington and not have at least a few goofy pictures in the back of the drawer. But he has an impeccable sense of style. There are no shots of clockstopping ties or lapels wide enough for snowboarding. This sense of taste didn't quite translate to his son. As an adolescent, I stole his pocket squares and wore them in my blue blazer. I look at those pictures now and wonder why there weren't lines of my contemporaries forming to beat me up repeatedly
A man's style of course goes well beyond clothing. It's usually my wife who sets expectations so high. Anyone who meets her first is inevitably disappointed when they get to me. Living in Washington, where Dad has spent the last 50 years, this phenomenon is repeated daily. It's hard to find some corner where I won't be set upon by someone who remarks on his easy charm. The story is familiar: they tell me that in a room full of luminaries he made them feel like the most important person.
These are the happy weightless words of praise you'd expect to read next to a glossy picture of two blond men with good teeth. Life hasn't always been so lovely. When Dad was a little younger than I am now, his wife, his high school sweetheart died after a long bout with breast cancer. He was left to raise three young girls. It was not the last roundhouse he would go through in life. He has never complained. Ever. He gets up and starts walking again. This is what a son can see that others can't: the steady resilience that makes his charm so much sturdier than simple good manners. It's a lot more powerful than even his whistle.
BY SEAN TUOHEY
My father, Mark Tuohey, III, chairman of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commssion, is the most optimistic man you will ever meet. Growing up, he taught my brothers and me how to dream, how to think outside the box and how to win. Come to think of it….he taught YOU hese same traits. You might have lost hope somewhere along the way. Maybe prior to the Nationals arriving or possibly over this past winter when the ball club almost slipped away.
Each day you read the newspaper or listened to the radio you doubted or disbelieved what was transpiring. Every time my father was quoted, he repeatedly reassured you that baseball is here to stay.
My father raised us in a predominately African American neighborhood called Shepherd Park in Northwest D.C. He understood the importance of appreciating differences, making friendships with people of all races and religions. He sent us to the Jesuits at Gonzaga where we learned leadership and the importance of serving others. When my brothers and I founded Playing for Peace, (www.playingforpeace.org) my father assured us that this program would grow bigger than we ever could imagine. It has. Playing for Peace has succeeded thanks to the ongoing support of many of you who are reading this.
My father works too hard. He is selfless and too accessible. I see him growing older and I want him to chill, yet I know he cannot. His days last for 36 hours at a time and he breaks only to play golf with my mother or to cheer the Nats. He loves Ireland, a good red wine, and White Hots from Rochester, N.Y., where he grew up. White Hots, by the way, will be soon available at RFK.
Many who have met my father understand the optimistic tone of this essay. He does not seek pats on the back and will be the first to pass on credit to someone else. Dad, from me to you, and I will speak on behalf of Devin and Brendan and this entire city, thank you for believing in us and for your endless devotion to the people of the District! We love you very much.
BY CARLOS M. GUTIERREZ, JR.
Throughout my life my father has been one of my greatest influences. In observing and admiring his hard work, dedication and passion, he has shown me that there is no limit to both professional and personal achievement. In his and my mother's commitment to our family, he has instilled in my sisters and me those values, morals and ideals that will help ensure our success in life.
My father is many things to me. He continues to serve as my greatest role model and hero. As a trusted advisor and close confidant it would be unthinkable for me to undertake any major decision without his advice. As a father, he has shown my sisters and me the importance of caring, compassion, and love.
One day I would like to start a family. It is my great hope that I will be as highly regarded by them as my father is by us. ThisFather's Day, I would like to thank him for everything he has done for me. One day I would like to repay him— I know this won't be easy. I love you very much, Daddy.
BY KENDRICK MEEK, JR. (AGE 8)
My dad is very cool. We spend a lot of time together. He gets me ice cream at the mall. He takes me to important meetings. We go to the movies. The best part is we go on trips. He also teaches me how to be polite. He teaches me what to do like being a good boy and what not to do– like stealing. He loves me so much that if I got lost he would risk his life for me. Why? Because he loves me. I am his son and he treats me well. He also takes me to places that kids never get to go. I actually got to see the Black Eyed Peas! My father is great. When I was ten minutes old he was standing next to me, helping me. Deep in his heart he loves me very much and he will take care of me forever.