On this Father's Day I think it's only appropriate to pay tribute to the three men who have raised me and been about the best damn father-figures a guy could ask for...
Dave Seaton is a hell of a dad. He's the type of dad that would literally drop everything and move 3,000 across the country just to be closer to his sons.. which he did, of course, when my brother and I moved to Masssachusetts with my mom in 1994. When we moved back to California in 1998, he dropped everything yet again and followed us right back. In fact no matter how many times we moved (and we moved a lot) or how far away, it was never far enough to keep my dad from making the long treak every weekend to take Jeff and me out to lunch and a movie. He would do just about anything we asked him to, within reason of course. Last night I told him I had left my cell phone charger in Carlsbad; by 10:45am this morning it was back in my possession, thanks to Dad. My dad has always been a vital presence in my life; he wouldn't have it any other way. I've always gotten bi-(or tri-) weekly calls from him to get the latest on what I'm doing with my life (and make sure I'm doing it right!) Because, straight up, my dad cares. He's as loyal to his boys as they come. And that's pretty awesome.
Dick Rivoira wins. What does he win? ..Oh just "Coolest Stepdad Ever," of course. Far too often you hear about how much of a douchebag So-and-so's stepfather is. Well not this guy. By the time he decided to ask my mom to marry him (when I was 10), Dick had already raised and put three children through college... For Mom, Jeff and me he was happy to do it all over again. And he's done one hell of a job. Whether he's cracking one of his famous "jokes", or charming the pants off the lady-friends we bring over, or texting me after the latest Padres/Chargers win/debacle, Dick's one hip and cool guy. Don't believe me? Then obviously you don't know Dick. I mean how many stepdads are cool enough to play ice hockey, ride motorcylces, talk in a badass Boston accent, and STILL find the time to raise two stepkids as his own? Well I can think of one. He just so happens to be married to my mom. And I'm pretty lucky for that.
From the days when I was three feet tall, had blonde hair, and called him "Crappah", I've always thought of Jack Garner as more of a best friend than a grandfather. My earliest memories are of my grandpa eating plums with me from the trees at his old place on Valley Rim Rd. while rocking back and forth on his swing. Many of my fondest memories, in fact, include my grandpa. And why shouldn't they? Since I was a kid he's been "The Most Interesting Man in the World" for me, brimming with life stories that have fascinated me since as long as I can remember. That Dos Equis guy has got jack on Jack as far as I'm concerned. I've learned more from him than I can even recall... A Charger game just wouldn't be a Charger game withough talking to Grandpa after it, a birthday just wouldn't be a birthday without Grandpa telling me how proud of me he is, and my youth just wouldn't have been the same without having a man as kind and admirable as Grandpa in it.
So Dad, Dick and Grandpa: here's to you.. Happy Fathers Day!