Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads, Stepdads and Moms who fill the roles as father to their children!

I want to wish my Dad, Charles Popper a very Happy Father’s Day! Talk about a great role model! He’s everything that I hope to be, and everything that I have been it’s because of his great example. Consider these things, in no particular order

He and my mother, Christine Popper just celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary on June 13th. That is something to celebrate for sure. My wife, Bonnie and I, will be celebrating our 29th on June 25th this year.

My Dad has taught me the value of hard work. No one worked harder than my Dad in managing the resort hotels. It’s probably a lesson that I learned too well, but I work hard, treat clients fairly, under promise and over deliver, and those are lessons I learned from my Dad. And thanks too to my Mom, for when my Dad worked late at night, she would wake us up, and we would have toast with strawberry jelly and tea in bed at night when my Dad came home, so we could see him. (If felt like the middle of the night, but it was probably 10 or 11 PM)

Because of my Dad, I have been able to live all over the world, and experience things that have made me who I am. I spent all of high school in Bermuda. I lived in Florida prior to that for a couple of years, and learned to speak Spanish. When we lived in Key Biscayne it was during the heyday of the Nixon administration, and we greeted the President when he returned from China in the middle of the night. I remember the Presidential limo stopping to watch us play All-Star Little League. I was able to see Hubert Humphrey speak, meet NFL players when they stayed at the hotel. In Bermuda, I experienced a totally different culture, played the saxophone as part of the school band for the Queen, played on the junior international rugby team and so much more.

I also have learned from my Dad a dry sense of humor. When I broke my ankle my Dad asked me if I wanted to play kickball. Dad I finally forgive you for popping my raft when I had stitches in my ankle and we were visiting Florida and it was the only way I could cool off in the pool.

My Dad has experienced illness, and the grace and dignity he showed when he had cancer was how I tried to cope with my two bouts of cancer. When I had nasal cancer, my Dad and Mom came up to Bangor to help our family, and my Dad froze that winter, but did so gladly to be with me, and us, and help. Right now, if I said that I needed my Dad and Mom, they would be up here as soon as possible, and that’s a great thing to know!

My father came to the United States when he was a young boy from Hungary. He has taught me to respect all cultures, and all people. Living in Bermuda, I experienced what it was like to be a minority. Living abroad I learned to appreciate everything that the United States has to offer and what a great country it is. I have learned to be generous and to attend Church.

More importantly I still talk to my Mother and Father every day. Although I don’t see them nearly as often as they or I wish, we share stories and talk on the phone a couple of times a day. It’s the next best thing to being there in person.

There’s much more, and words can’t express everything you have taught me. Thanks for being my Dad. I love you.

Happy Father’s Day

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