How My Dad Taught Me to Love Muhammad Ali

Back when boxing was a sport people paid more attention to, my dad watched as much of it as he could. He would take over the living room to watch the Friday Night Fights or a Wide World of Sports special and wait with a sort of edgy eagerness we rarely ever saw. My dad…

My Friends Are Getting Divorced, And It Got Me Thinking

We had just sat down for lunch when Dennis dropped the bomb. “Michelle and I are separated, and it looks like we’re getting a divorce.” My heart sank. I hadn’t seen him for over a year and was eager to spend the next hour getting caught up. Over the course of our 12-year friendship, Dennis…

Old Dad Joke: Are You Dunn?

Here’s another joke my dad used to tell: A young man was leaving his small Irish town for New York City when a little old lady stopped him in the street. She said her son had recently moved to New York and hadn’t called her in several months. She was desperate to hear how he was making on and asked…

I’m Going To Let My Son See Me Cry—Here’s Why

“Why do kids cry so much and grownups don’t?” asked my son Elliot. It was Father’s Day and I had taken him to see Inside Out, the new Pixar film, voiced by Amy Poehler and Bill Hader. The movie brought us inside the head of an 11-year-old girl to tell the story of how five…

Old Dad Joke: Stickity Stick

Here’s a joke my dad used to tell: A guy signs up for the army and goes to get his equipment after he’s been processed. When he gets to the place where he’s supposed to pick up his rifle the man tells him that he just ran out. “If you need to shoot just say ‘BANGITY…

Talking About Phoebe

Here’s how we told our son Elliot that our dog Phoebe passed away. Jess: So something happened last night at Gram and Papa’s house. Elliot: What happened? Jess: Phoebe got sick and went away. Elliot: Phoebe went away? Jess: Yeah, like Dado went away and like Jumpy your frog went away. Elliot: Phoebe died? Me:…

Learning About Bourbon From a Master Distiller

“You can just sit here drinking and I’ll spin the table.” Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell gives the tabletop a push and sends two half-ounce whiskey shots around in front of me. “One is our rye bourbon and one is our straight. I want you to tell me what you think.” Talk about being…

Saying Goodbye

As Sheila and I struggled to remain upright on our surfboards, Patrick sat up on his and pulled the jar out of his backpack. It had been his idea to scatter dad’s ashes in the Pacific. “I miss you dad,” Patrick said as he poured the ashes into the ocean, “Goodbye. I love you.”