He took the Paoli local everyday, and got home around 6:00 PM after spending the day at the office in Philadelphia. Mom would have dinner ready and we would spend the next hour talking about the day. He kept his suit on, because Dad’s day was not over. Around 7:15 he would leave again for an evening appointment with a client or prospect. He modeled the lesson, and we learned early that our success in life would be directly linked to our work ethic. I remember him encouraging me to take that first job at the Farmer’s Market helping a one-armed Amishman unload his vegetables at 5:30 AM on Saturdays. I made $3.00 for my two-hour stint and was elated (Mom was not happy, as I was 12). In later years it would be the paper route and the grass cutting business; the lesson was simple, the nature of the work didn’t matter, what was important is that you did it to the best of your ability.
That philosophy established a basis from which my brothers and I approached our respective lives. In our own way, we applied the lessons learned from Dad to our studies, our chosen professions, and our relationships, Hopefully, we have also modeled them for our children. Some would call these, “the lessons of the father”, and such was the case for us. But in today’s world they could just as easily be, “lessons from the mother”.
It’s been almost sixty years since that first job and nine years since my Dad’s’ passing. I still feel his presence, especially today, as we vacation and spend Father’s Day with my son and his family. Earlier I listened intently to Dan Fogelburg’s, “Leader of the Band”. Hopefully, I’ve modeled the lessons my father taught me for both my son and the Wolfpups. After all, “I’m just the living legacy to the leader of the band.”