Old Five and Dimers - Fathers Day 2018

Let me tell you a good story about my father. I may have mentioned this at another time, but what good is a story that's only told once? This is a good one, I promise.

My father and I had pretty significant disagreements throughout most of this century, but I never once lost my respect for him and his integrity. He was, to as great a degree as anyone is, a man of his word and would go to unreasonable lengths to do what he believed was right. I could cite dozens of examples, but I didn't even learn of the best one until he was nearly gone.

When my parents were divorced, my mother hadn't worked for several decades and, as such, her earning power was somewhat limited. The divorce decree included child support as well as alimony. The amount of the alimony was tied to mom's salary: When she received a raise, the alimony would be reduced by the amount of the raise. This, of course, meant that her earnings were capped until the alimony was eliminated.

One night, after receiving a raise and after a couple of glasses of brandy at a company happy hour, she called my father to give him the good news: "Congratulation. You got a raise." she told him in what I presume was a snide tone of voice. Dad was silent for a second and then responded by saying "You're right. This isn't fair."

I'll be honest, I'm not sure if they had the decree reworked or if they just handled it themselves, but the end result is that he agree to split any raise she received. If she received a $100 raise, the alimony would only drop by $50 and she'd also be $50 to the good. 

He didn't have to do that; the only reason for reworking the deal was his sense of right and wrong which, if I'm honest, was a good deal sharper than my own. That was my dad. This sense of right and wrong got him cheated in business more times than I care to share, but it never changed him. He was a good man in that he could invariably be counted on to act on his beliefs and you can't ask much more than that.