It would take more than dusty shelves and cobwebs to stop me from delivering a surprise to everyone in the office. My eyes lit up as I brushed the dust off a black leather album – my dad’s old modeling portfolio! Flipping through the yellowed pages, I was flabbergasted when I came across a picture of a shirtless man with perfectly groomed hair effortlessly holding a bicycle over his broad shoulder. Today, Arch Nelson’s balding head is a reminder we’ll all eventually dance with father time. Back in the day, though, he could have been the lead on any number of daytime soap operas.
The next morning I set my plan in motion. Arriving at work early, I turned the office into a shrine of my father’s glory days. I buzzed around the office taping his old pictures on anything that would draw attention; the refrigerator, coffee maker, bathroom stalls, award casings, etc. The anonymous shirtless man with the smoldering eyes was everywhere by the time I finished. Now it was time to sit back and watch everyone’s reaction.
“Who is that?!” everyone asked. When I replied with “That is… or was my dad,” the priceless reactions began. Exclamations like “No way!” “Are you serious?” “Damn, Arch used to be a Stud!” and the classic “What happened to him?” were uttered as everyone expressed their surprise at my father’s good looks. But the ultimate reaction was still missing – my dad’s. As he strolled into the office unaware of my prank, everyone followed behind him, eagerly awaiting his response. He came to a halt at first glimpse of the picture and immediately looked at me and laughed as the whole office roared behind him. My work as an intern at NanoLumens was complete…just kidding!
Although my father’s flowing locks and defined muscles have been replaced by Mr. Clean’s head and Chewbacca’s body, he is still and will always be my role model. His hard work, great sense of humor, relaxed personality, and family values are constant reminders of the traits I hope to acquire. However, the characteristic I respect the most is his way of coming out of the toughest situations with optimism and a positive outlook. He has been through some high waters but always manages to swim through smiling at the end. To paraphrase author Karen Salmansohn, youth quickly fades but a good heart keeps you beautiful forever. I am grateful and proud to call him Dad. Happy (belated) Father’s Day to my wonderful dad, Arch Nelson, and to all the fathers out there.