It's Never Too Late to Appreciate Fathers in America
A day late and a
dollar short - consistency is important too
Jim Untershine, GZS of LB, 06-21-04
Father's Day is the holiday that allows us to congratulate our father for having unprotected sex with our mother. My situation allows further celebration for my father's decision to not enter the priesthood. These are the life saving decisions that a family man makes prior to becoming a father. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but it sure means a lot to me.
Although everyone on the planet has a biological father, some are not lucky enough to know them. Still others know their father and want to be with them, but are somehow unable to do so. I was lucky enough to always be with my father, which allowed me to reap the benefits of his wisdom, guidance, and unconditional support.
My father served in the United States Air Force and then received a degree in psychology. He was enterprising enough to use his college education to convince Aerojet General to hire him as a Human Factors engineer. Getting his foot in the door of the aerospace industry allowed him to evolve and adapt into a Reliability engineer, which moved our family from Sacramento, CA (Aerojet) and then Long Beach, CA (Douglas) and then Biloxi, MS (Litton). After my father's retirement he contributed to the efforts of Robert Truax in developing a commercial spacecraft to win the ANSARI X Prize competition that has recently caught the public's eye.
But children usually never admire their father in terms of their academic or professional achievements, or their financial successes or failures. We usually take for granted the food and clothing and the house they maintained and the health care and educational expenses. When we attempt to recount our life experience with our father it is more along the lines of his selfless endeavors.
My dad taught me how to "keep my skirt down" when fielding grounders and how to hit a line drive without "putting my foot in the bucket". He never hesitated to take the time to emphasize the importance of staying completely motionless and out of his peripheral vision when he was driving the golf ball off the tee and how to keep my head down when it was my turn.
My dad spared no expense in traveling across America to show me the classics like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Mount Rushmore. He delivered me to the steps of the majestic Corn Palace, the curious but creepy Reptile Gardens, and the bat infested Carlsbad Caverns. He held me up to the rail so I could spit from the top of the Hoover dam and he led the way in our climb up the slippery and perilously narrow trail to reach the Yosemite Falls.
My dad took the time to be a leader while I was in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and attended the Pancake Breakfasts and the weekend campouts where he witnessed the bloody pinecone wars between rival patrols within our infamous Troop known as the 215.
My dad took the time to be a coach of my baseball team that wreaked havoc on the Kiwannas T-shirt league. He inadvertently gave me a lesson in civil disobedience when he decked an umpire for getting too personal in front of the kids.
If my dad didn't set the bar of fatherhood high enough for his four sons to clear - my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year. My father's parents also achieved this accomplishment, but this family tradition may be interrupted by this new age of no-fault divorce. I adamantly believe that this abbreviated depiction of "Responsible Fatherhood", was primarily the consequence of "Healthy Marriage" which is achieved due to love for family and the dedicated teamwork of two parents, rather than a government program.
As the father of three daughters, my journey through fatherhood involves an uncharted path. The examples of fatherhood extended to sons do not always apply to daughters. A son who wishes to follow his father's footsteps must evolve and adapt to the environment he is forced to raise his children.
I received a degree in Electrical Engineering and was hired by Northrop as a control systems designer in California. In contrast with my father's ability to take his sociological degree and convert it to engineering, I am attempting to do the opposite. This decision was not only prompted by the wrongful termination of my 15-year marriage, or the wrongful termination of my 13-year employment, but because of my concern for the safety of my daughters. The mother of a child in the State of California is transformed into a weapon of mass destruction that can be detonated upon walking into Family Court. The cat is out of the bag regarding Family Law injustice, and is provoking fathers to attempt to disarm their Family Law assailant by misdirecting violence towards mothers and children.
As a concerned father with insight into an out of control Family Law system, I am forced to conscientiously object to it any way I can. The winds of change are gathering strength and the exploitation of children for money will soon be recognized and stopped. In the meantime, I refuse to discourage marriage or raising a family, since this would be admitting to my children that parents are powerless to guarantee their preservation, protection, or prosperity.
"If you want to believe in it, then believe in it. Just because something isn't true doesn't mean you can't believe in it. Sometimes, the things that may or may not be true are the things that a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good, and that honor, courage, and virtue means everything. Power and money - money and power mean nothing. That good always triumphs over evil. And that true love never dies. You remember that - and whether it is true or not - you'll see that those things are the only things worth believing in." ("Second Hand Lions")
Jim Untershine, 824 E Pass Rd #3, Gulfport, MS 39507, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gndzerosrv.com
Jim Untershine holds a BSEE from Mississippi State University and has 13 years experience in feedback control system design. Mr. Untershine is currently using the teachings of Werner Heisenberg and Henry David Thoreau to expose Family Law in California as the exploitation of children for money and the indentured servitude of heterosexual taxpayers who dare to raise children in this country.