Author: Varner, Marty

On January 31st, my dad turned the big 56

(Editorís NoteóMarty recollects his earliest memory of his dad. I recollect my earliest memory of Martyóa gigantic bulge in his momís stomach.)

On January 31st, my dad turned the big 56, and since I havenít done this yet, I thought this would be the appropriate time to talk about how much my dad means to me, and how great of a man he is.

The earliest memories I can remember from my childhood are the sounds of dadís old mandolin. The songs I heard and the melodies I consumed from my dadís constant picking around the house were my first steps into the realm of bluegrass and I didnít want to go back. At the age of three, my Dad was generous and trusting enough to buy me my own mandolin. That old $200 mandolin was extremely unique as well. My dad was gracious enough to take half of the strings off to make it easier on my fingers. This delicate mandolin was made easier and more comfortable to play so I could get more practice time in. This initiative and care made me more inspired and determined to play more and more until I became better and better and that wouldnít have been possible without my dad.

My dad is also very accepting of me and what I decide to do even if it is not among his interests. While my dad and I both enjoy football, baseball and hockey, we were never a basketball family. But after paying attention to the game, I discovered I really liked it and enjoyed watching it as well. Knowing this, my dad is very open to me watching the Warriors and even got him and me tickets to two different Santa Cruz Warriors games as a Christmas present. I appreciated this gift more than my others this year because it represented to me that he respected what I enjoyed and that he was willing to try to enjoy it with me.

While my dad and I differ on basketball, my favorite thing about my dad is how many things we agree on. As many of you know, we are both very big bluegrass enthusiasts. Since I enjoyed bluegrass so much from such an early age, my dad thought it was appropriate for me to come with him to IBMA at the age of 11. This is especially cool because it shows how willing he was to drag me along in his bluegrass explorations and adventures even though I was at the very annoying pre teenager stage. Even though Iím pretty sure he had to deal with me whining a couple times, I am sure he knows how much I appreciated the trip along with the rest of the others we took to Nashville and how those were some the best weeks of my life.

Since my dad and I have so much in common, he is my favorite person to talk to. Our daily conversations are usually the best parts of my day as well as some of the funniest. Our conversations can also consist of anything. The other great thing about our father son dialogue is that it is so open and transparent. I cannot even fathom having a father I couldnít be honest with, and hopefully I donít have to.

While he is doing such a good job being a father to me and Veronica, he is also the editor of the Bluegrass Breakdown. His hard work at his job gives me the inspiration to do mine. There are times in school when I get frustrated or bored and I donít want to do it, but then I see my dad working so hard and realize that hard work is a part of life. What makes me in awe is that after I see the hard work being done, he is not phased when he is finished. His strong will only makes me want to work and try harder to become more like him, and if I do it wonít be so bad.

As a seventeen year old, I will hopefully not be living with him much longer, but it will always be nice to know that he is there. His reassuring words I know will help me get through hard times just like my words will hopefully show him how I feel about him as father and as a man.

Posted:  2/2/2013

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