I thought I would dedicate an entry to my dad
On the surface, my dad, Gary Howard, is an uninteresting man. Before retiring, he was a semi-truck driver and now spends his days doing what can best be described as pissing off my mother. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee, and enjoys playing on his computer and amassing DVDs like squirrels amass nuts.
When I was younger, my dad had the coolest job. I would brag to those around me that my dad could drive — and I would motion toward a giant semi-truck barreling down the freeway — one of those. Once, when I was in high school, I met him at a truck stop and watched him arrive in his 12-ton truck, felt the ground shake and the rumble of the diesel engine through my body, and watched his extremely average-sized body jump out of the cab onto the concrete. Maybe it was the diesel fumes I was breathing in, but I believe I caught a glimpse of what my mother must have seen in him all those years ago.
My dad didn’t teach me much on purpose. He certainly tried, but failed almost every time. He tried to teach me to play baseball, but hit me in the face with the ball; tried to teach me to ride a bike without training wheels, and I ran into the back of a parked car. Once, after realizing my teenage obsession with Cindy Crawford, he sat me down and explained that “most women don’t look like that.” I am certain this set off my desire to prove him wrong by dating only supermodels.