My father, whom I lost many years ago, would have turned 75 last Thursday. He wasn't around for the start of my professional newspaper career as a teenager, but it was from him that I got my love of papers.
Almost as far back as I can remember, I would go to the end of our driveway in my pajamas, no matter the weather, and retrieve the Tribune for him. He lay on the family-room couch and read in those early hours. As he finished each section, he would toss it to me. Too big for me to hold, I would spread each out on our shag rug like a road map, studying the pictures, reading as best as I could.
My 5-year-old son sometimes does the same with me, that apparently rare child of the 21st Century who not only is aware of the newspaper but takes satisfaction in its confirmation that his White Sox or Blackhawks did indeed win the day before. My 3-year-old daughter sometimes will point out the picture of the man in the Trib who looks like her dad.
I hope my children can find a pursuit as rewarding as the one I've followed. I also hope I can give them a little wisdom, including the understanding that not everything in life has to be taken seriously.
And so on this Father's Day, some thoughts:
People who can afford to wait for an advice columnist to get around to answering their letter in the paper have more time than problems.
Anyone who says "There's more than one way to skin a cat" is not someone you want taking care of your pets. Or preparing your meals.
A House divided against itself cannot stand, but it could make the Senate look good by comparison.
If you stumble upon "A River Runs Through It" while channel surfing, you really ought to stop and watch as much of it as possible. Seriously. It's a good movie.
When an ad says a product is not available in stores, it's often either because people would be embarrassed to be seen in public buying it or because one is apt to have second thoughts in the checkout line.
Keys to comedy include the rule of threes and, um, two other things.
You know the guy on TV touting the ShamWow who says it's called that because we're going to say "Wow"? Doesn't that imply somebody might say "Sham"?
Slow and steady wins the race unless it's a short race.
Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he won't shut up about it.
Never get into a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel. Wait until they're broke and wearing the barrel.
Mark Twain is said to have quipped that a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still getting on its shoes, so maybe we need to get the truth some loafers or something.
If that kid on "Two and a Half Men" gets any bigger they're going to have to start calling it "Three Men." Unless there's something we don't know about Jon Cryer.
If you listen to "soft rock" on the radio for any time at all, you will quickly understand why man cannot live on Bread alone.
As of 4:37 p.m. Friday, jokes about "Jon & Kate Plus 8" involving "division" or "divided by" had officially been declared cliches.
I don't know if it's true that no one ever went broke underestimating other people's intelligence, but I am fairly certain it's next to impossible to make any friends that way.
The early bird catches the worm, unless the late bird snags it on the way home after last call.
Those who appear on "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" are neither celebrities nor are they eager to give up national TV exposure.
What goes up must go down. If it doesn't, consult a physician.
It's said a stopped clock is still right twice a day; but if it's digital, it just stares blankly at you.
Let the buyer beware, but the seller may be looking at litigation if we get really hosed.
Those who live in glass houses are either exhibitionists or fish.
And finally, there's an old saying in Chicago journalism: If your mother says she loves you, check it out. But kids, you can check with anyone: Your dad loves you.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times