Fathers

Crede Calhoun

Stephen, Crede C. Calhoun, cousin Crede Merchant-Prashkar, Crede H. Calhoun

One of the few photographs in existence–with myself and my father in it as adults.

My dad loved to skipper and race Highlander sailboats.

Highlander Crede Calhoun

Ol’ 954

I did not like to do so, and would not after the summer of 1967; the summer I turned 14. On the other hand, the summer before, his strong hand grabbed my arm and plucked me from my spot sleeping in the bow on the spinnaker just as the boat buried its port rails and capsized on a brisk late June racing day. Thanks, man!

I inherited his almost perfect nose. We were about the same size too. And, many have remarked over the years that my dad and I share a ribald sense of humor. I suppose I got some of his very big brain. Among many differences is a singular one: psychology terrified my father in about the same huge portion that it fascinates me.

The photo above was taken at his 75th birthday party in 1999. I learned a lot about my dad’s influence on young lawyers, sailors, and, witnessed his movie star’s charm in action too. It was very moving. After returning in 1992, by 1993 I got to spend quality time with him on occasion. Susan, myself, his third wonderful wife Joanne, and pops, would get together for dinner. Joanne inspired him to really make an effort to reconnect with his sons and my mom in the aftermath of his eldest son’s and our brother Tim’s, death in early 1993. She worked magic. This led to many memorable holiday seasons.

I’m a deep diver, and Crede my dad was a sailor. His comment to me on one face-to-face in his home office in 2000, the year before he drowned in a sailing accident, was, “Hey, as long as you’re happy, and you should be–because Susan is great!”

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Poet Tim Calhoun

Tim Calhoun

My fraternal (duh!) twin brother Tim the day of his college graduation in, I think, 1986. He is father to my nephews Jesse and Nathan. He’s the only Calhoun son to graduate from college, which is statistically surprising because our parents reflect a Haverford/Bryn Mawr romance. (I once was told I look like a college professor!) Tim was a poet and he loved his kids with all his might and mighty heart.

Crede my brother, Crede my dad, Jesse my nephew

Crede my brother, Crede my dad, Jesse my nephew

Three generations of Calhoun male folk. My younger brother Crede–yeah, lots of credes–and his wife Carol McMahon Calhoun are parents of daughter Caleigh. She’ll be 14 soon.

Crede Calhoun

Grandfather Crede holding Caleigh, September 2000

Great dad and mom–brother Crede and sister-in-law Carol–and spitfire daughter, make for a fantastic future legacy: my parents had three sons and so Cails has a big job to help individuate the family’s deep feminine future.

Stepfather

Yesterday a stranger in a parking lot told me, “Happy father’s day.”

“Thank you.”

Susan’s son is my step son but I have never ever played the role of surrogate father. He’s got a great dad, and Matt is a terrific man.

I did on one occasion give Matt advice. I told him, and did so trying to frighten him, that “if you fool around too much you’ll end up like me.”

He gave me a horrified look.

advice. . . seemed to have done the trick!

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