Everyone thinks my dad is cool. This is not how I would describe him, but he’s my father. He’s worn Converse™ so long they’re cool again. He’s from Medford, a small town in Wisconsin. He took a football scholarship to Notre Dame, but could have had scholarships in basketball or baseball. My dad skis, rides horses, bowls, plays pool, throws darts etc. (However, he can’t beat Tom at darts and this annoys him.) He’s a true jock. While I was growing up, my dad was making documentaries overseas for the United States Information Agency. We lived in Tunisia and Libya. We were in Libya when Quadahfi took power. Kids would come over and say, “Who’s that military man with your father” I’d answer, “That’s the Emperor Haile Selassie “ (of Ethiopia). I was the only first grader who screened documentaries for show and tell.
Sometimes it seems as if my dad’s done everything. I say this, because as I’ve grown up there’s always some new surprise he’s never mentioned. For instance, I was working on the Taylor Made™ golf account. We’d been coming up with concepts and I asked my dad if he’d ever heard of Augusta. I was in my early twenties and didn’t play golf- except for one ill-fated P.E. class in college. My dad’s response? “Of course, honey, I went there on Air Force One with President Eisenhower when I worked in the White House.” Ok. You’d think someone would mention that type of thing. Similarly, when we were at California Adventure, Henry was fascinated with the airplanes while we were in line for “Soarin’ Over California” and said, “Grandpa Horn, wouldn’t it be great to fly a plane?” My dad replied matter-of-factly, “Grandpa Horn has a pilot’s license. I’ve flown lots of planes.”
My dad plays coronet and flugelhorn. He only plays traditional jazz and will barely acknowledge music composed after 1914. (Which is why he is called “Grandpa Horn”) When I was in college my father sold almost everything and went to play the streets of Paris for two years.
Some people read books; my dad reads shelves of books. He loves single malt scotch, writing, big dogs, jazz, Notre Dame Football, UCLA basketball, emailing his friends, and pretty girls of all ages. Not necessarily in that order. My dad likes something or he doesn’t. He is grumpy on the outside but is sentimental and will tear up at any Horatio Alger-type story.