Editor's note: For Fathers' Day 2010, we asked readers to Tell Us About Your Rad Dad. We received lots of great photos and short stories about dads who have done all kinds of cool things with their kids. George Gess's story caught us by surprise. The third in our series of submissions (the first two posts are available here: 1 and 2), George's story invited us to have another think on what makes a dad truly rad. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Here's George:
I have always thought of my dad as "rad." Not really because of what he did, but just because he was my dad. The Man. The guy that made what I wanted to do while I was growing up possible. Be it little league baseball, soccer, basketball camp or backpacking trips, he was the one that made it happen. He was always there for me; always on the sidelines, always in the crowd, always a postcard away. I had a lot of great times growing up, and I have him to thank.
My dad was an attorney in northwest Ohio. His name is Tom Gess. A few years after making partner in the law firm that he was with, he began doing pro-bono legal work for a land trust called the Black Swamp Conservancy. The goal of the conservancy was to protect the land in the Black Swamp from deterioration and development, thus preserving the natural habitat for local wildlife. Shortly after providing legal counsel for the BSC, he became board-member and President of the entire outfit. When he was home at night, he was spending time with the family. When he wasn't at home, he was giving his time to the environment. Not for profit, but because he loved it. That's pretty Rad.
[George and Tom Gess. Photo courtesy George Gess]