Dad let me find my own way

Published 8:40 am Monday, June 20, 2016

This Sunday is Father’s Day, and although I won’t be able to actually see my dad on the holiday, I know I’ll be thinking about him. I was lucky enough to visit with him in Biloxi a few weekends ago, and will see him again on the July 4 weekend and later in August when we visit Las Vegas. So I think he’ll forgive me.

I continue to believe that one of the reasons I have been able to lead such a blessed and happy life, is because of the loving support that I got from both of my parents. I know it’s a cliché thing to say, but it truly means something special when you grow up and have a father who is there for you.

One of the things I remember the most about my dad was that he was never one to push his interests on his children. Yes, he loved sports and he loved music, but he allowed for us to each discover whether we loved (or despised) them on our own. In fact, even though I spent many a Saturday as a kid joining my dad and watching Iowa Hawkeyes football, I never really became a serious sports fan until the fifth grade or so. When I tried out baseball, or football, or basketball, it was because I wanted to … and not because my dad wanted to live his life vicariously through me. And that’s a good thing, too. We’d be waiting a long time for that MLB signing bonus if he had.

I remember my dad spending nights quizzing me on spelling bee words, or showing me how to use this new gadget called a “modem” to communicate with computers all around the world. I remember our tradition to always go to an Atlanta Braves game each year, a tradition we later mirrored with the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team before their migration to Canada. I remember joining him and my brother outside of the Walmart in Gadsden, Alabama, helping the Knights of Columbus with their Tootsie Roll drive for charity. I’m sure the Knights saw us as extra labor, but for me it was just another chance to spend time together.

I’ve always been impressed by my dad, as well. He grew up on a farm in Iowa, and I’m sure it would have been easy to just come back home and take over the farm after college. No offense to farmers; I respect them and know they play an important role in our nation’s success. But I also know that my dad would have never been happy if he’d have taken that route. He wanted to be a newspaperman, and he achieved his goal. And yes, you can say that I followed in his footsteps. Although, again, he never once tried to push me into the same career. I was drawn to it on my own, and I love it. And I love him.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I can’t wait until the first time we get to watch the new NHL hockey team in Las Vegas together.

Justin Schuver is the publisher and editor of the Daily News. You can contact him at 985-732-2565 or email him at