Everyone has a father. We all think we have the best dad in the world and we're all right.
You have to admit mothers have better publicity, but dads are every bit as important as dear mom. A mom can teach her child how to throw a ball or use a hammer but generally we look to dad to learn those skills.
My dad, Clarence, is father to four boys and one girl. Regardless of old we get, your dad will always be your dad. The Zaitz children are lucky to have Clarence as our father. For one, he has always been there. Each of us has been shaped by the teachings of Daddy Zaitz. We can all swing a hammer, plant a garden and most importantly, have a fine-tuned sense of curiosity.
My dad spent his career in the world of journalism—as a reporter and as owner of several publications, including the Keizer Times, the forerunner to the Keizertimes. That curiosity has done well for his children We all ask questions. Lots of questions. We want to know things: how, when, why and where.
The 'where' part has given us experiences many of our peers didn't have. Dad always wants to know where 'that' road leads to, or what's around the bend.
When dad learned of Oregon's gold history, he didn't waste a minute. Soon our family of seven was spending most summer weekends along Quartsville Creek in Linn County, cracking open the creek bed and panning for gold. While we never found the large nuggets he dreamed of, we had the best times on the creek swimming and camping.
Without his careeer we never would have taken six-week road trips around the country, poking into remotes parts of America. We all inherited his travel bug.
Dad celebrated his 91st birthday this week and is as spry as ever, traveling as always, seeking new places to see—which is nigh impossible since he and mom have traveled to every corner of the country, many times.
We all have fathers. They are all the best in the world. Some are bester. Like my dad, Clarence.
(Lyndon Zaitz is publisher of the Keizertimes.)