|My Dad was bold, even as a young man. At age 14, he left his rural Pennsylvania home to attend Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Mass. Here, he signs the paperwork with his father, who I never had the chance to meet.|
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
My Hero, My Father
This appeared yesterday in the Columbia Heartbeat (3-15-11) , a local publication by Mike Martin. Mr. Martin is profiling all candidates for the city council. His article on Glen Ehrhardt, an attorney that my father partnered with toward the end of his career, has an exceptionally nice mention of my father in regard to Glen’s candidacy for councilman.
When attorney David Rogers passed away in 2005, he was "of counsel" to Ehrhardt's law firm, then known as Rogers, Ehrhardt and McGuire. About Mr. Rogers -- a longtime co-host of the KFRU Sunday Morning Roundtable who described himself as a "raconteur and amateur historian" -- I said this to a friend at his funeral:
"David was one of few people who, while part of the system, was never afraid to criticize it."
Rogers was one of my favorite Columbia voices, a well-regarded pundit who had the audacity, the courage, and the strength of character to call right or wrong, fair or foul, savvy smart or Boonedoggle boneheaded, on our community's political establishment -- of which he was a prominent part. It's hard to imagine such a larger-than-life figure not rubbing off, at least a little bit, on a younger attorney in his orbit.
Glen Ehrhardt clearly wants a more conspicuous role in the political decision-making process. But hereabouts, that role often comes with an unfortunate trade off -- the dismissal of voices that question the establishment, of which he too is a prominent part.
Should Mr. Ehrhardt win, therefore, I hope the spirit of David Rogers comes with him.
Thank you for these words Mr. Martin.
From experiencing too many deaths in the family over the last five years, I can say without question that it is a gift, actually a treasure, anytime someone mentions Dad or Jim. It keeps their spirit alive and reminds the family that their life was indeed meaningful, a powerful force of nature. My dad was larger-than-life and he is my hero and always will be.
Should a person ever wonder if mentioning the deceased to a family member will upset them, remind them of their loss, the answer is NO. What is upsetting is to think anyone would forget their precious lives. Give the gift of a memory or funny story to someone who has lost a loved one, and the joys of giving will flood both the giver and the recipient. Be bold.