As young boys, we typically look to our fathers for guidance and wisdom in the ways of the world. If we are fortunate, who we become as adults is shaped by the life lessons we pick up in the company of our dads.
My friend, Eric Wilcox, wrote about that very topic in a 2014 blog post for Voices of August, recalling the once-a-week routine when his dad, a physician, would take him out of school to go work on the family’s wheat farm in Eastern Oregon.
“We worked hard, building fence by the mile, hauling rock by the ton, shoveling hog manure ad nauseam,” Eric wrote. “We would work for hours, stopping only for a swig of lukewarm water from a mud-covered canvas canteen and maybe a stale animal cracker. We didn’t talk much, there wasn’t much to talk about.”
Young Eric was learning about the value of work.
When his dad turned to stained glass as a way to create art for family and friends, Eric also learned about the equally important need to make time for relaxation.
In time, the son would inherit the father’s studio and immerse himself in the same hobby, finding joy in designing and creating works of art.
Dean Morrison Wilcox died last month at age 88. He was a gregarious, generous family man who instilled great values in his son, my friend.
Read Eric’s piece: The need to escape and create