Father's Day Homage: A Man's Man

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Arthur Jones, Jr. is my father. I declare that loudly and proudly. My dad is a very good man. That’s not just my so-not-humble opinion – it also happens to be a fact. My father has taught me more life lessons than I can begin to count. My dad really is the strong, silent type. He’s not perfect. He doesn’t speak just to revel in the sound of his own voice. He’s a man of action. He’s like a black John Wayne. He’s a man’s man.
 
Before I continue, please allow me to extend a Happy Father’s Day wish to every father in this city, this county, this state, this country, this hemisphere, and on this green planet. I join you in saluting your father for who he is and for what he does – whether he’s here on Earth or home in Heaven. If you’re a father – as I am – I tip my hat to you, as well. This is our day. This is the day The Lord has made. Let’s rejoice and be glad in it.
 
It’s so cool that I look exactly like my father. We have the same facial features and expressions. Our height and weight are the same. The way we laugh is virtually identical. I walk just like him. Our voices are pretty close. We both take great care to dress well – although I inherited much of my style sense from him.
 
My father was the enforcer of the rules of our house when I was young. He constantly reminded us of the handful of primary directives my siblings and I were charged with: [1] keep The Lord’s commandments, [2] get the very best education you can, [3] do your daily/weekly chores, [4] respect your elders, [5] establish and maintain a good reputation for yourself, and [6] be ever mindful that life is precious.
 
My father taught me all I needed to know about cleanliness. He’s a veteran of the United States Army. Maybe that has everything to do with it – or nothing to do with it. I’m not sure. Dad inspected my bedroom when I was a kid. If my bed wasn’t made up just so, I would have to do it over until it was right. Dad hated dust, so a can of Pledge was never too far away from my hands. Dad took the time to show me how to shine my own dress shoes to a mirror finish. I use that skill quite frequently even now. My father didn’t believe that cleaning the house was something my mother or my sister was supposed to handle. We all cleaned. We all did our part.
 
My father taught me all I needed to know about food preparation. He’s a great cook. He can make pretty much anything he wants to eat – and he loved me enough to teach me how to grill, bake, broil, fry, or roast whatever dish or dessert I want. He never considered cooking to be beneath a man. I remember his culinary lessons quite fondly. They were as fun as they were insightful. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was ensuring then that I would eat well later on whether I was single or not.
 
My father taught me all I needed to know about chivalry. He believed that real men opened doors for women, pulled chairs out for them, and picked up every check when dining out. Dad taught me when a lady was out with me, she was under my protection. He taught me to get her home at a decent hour, to walk her to her front door, and to see her safely inside. Once she locked her door, only then could I return to my vehicle. Thanks for making me a gentleman, Dad.
 
My father taught me all I needed to know about sports. He showed my brother and me how to play football, baseball, basketball, badminton, and golf. He taught us the rules, as well as good sportsmanship. We watched many sporting events on television and in person together.
 
Much of what I know about manhood, I learned from him. Dad taught me how to be a man of my word, how to work hard, how to be kind to others, when to speak up, and when to be quiet.
 
My father modeled for me how to be active at church. In my youth, Dad didn’t just send me to church, he came to church with me. To this day, he’s still very active at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church. He loves The Lord, and it shows.
 
My father used to sit me in his lap and read me the newspaper during breakfast. Today, he will read these words during breakfast.
 
I love you, Dad. Thanks for being a man’s man. Hooah!
 
 
 

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