June 17, 2017 (windy Hill Beach, South Carolina) — I was born on Father’s Day 1954. Mom and Dad each passed away in recent years. I miss them dearly, and joyful tears of remembrance are welling up as I write this. I hung a photo of Dad on my office wall a couple of months ago, flanked by a pair of college debate trophies on one side (it was Mom who encouraged me to participate in high school debate team) and on the other side a photo of my friend and business partner James “Bonecrusher” Smith, and a joint statement of candidacy signed by Dr. Alan Keyes and I to allow votes for Dr. Keyes to be tallied in Virginia in 2008.
A couple of days ago, the newest trio of FutureBillionaires.org card carriers were visiting my office (they’re in town for Bonecrusher’s annual charity events for ChampionForKids.org — including an induction ceremony this afternoon for the Boxing Legends Hall of Fame and a golf tournament tomorrow). One of the trio saw my name on one of the nuclear power certificates on another wall and asked what my middle initial stood for — Bernard, I said, and pointed to Dad’s photo — “That was my Dad’s first name.”
Dad was born in Philadelphia. He met Mom at a USO dance here in Myrtle Beach during WWII. They wrote letters back and forth while he was deployed in England and France, and when he came back after the war, he came straight to South Carolina and asked Mom’s mother for permission to propose marriage to her daughter. Mom’s Dad had died shortly before the war began. I’m grateful to God for the many blessings He has given me. Having Mom and Dad as parents is high on that list.
Best wishes to all you fathers out there, and God willing, for generations of fathers yet to be. Kathy and I have two sons. Both live close enough that we get to enjoy seeing them often. Last year, the oldest (whose middle name is also Bernard) played with me in Bonecrusher’s tournament. The youngest (whose middle name is Christopher, after his Great Grandfather who I mentioned earlier) said he might join me in playing tomorrow. Hope he does!