Oh, Baby: Like My Daddy
If you went through our family photo albums you'd find plenty of my younger brother and I playing in my Dad's clothes. When it comes to my father and style, those two terms for me are synonymous with tweed sportscoats with suede elbow patches, briefcases and Chelsea's with square toes or cowboy boots. As all style is cyclical, those are all things (sans the square toes) that I've incorporated into my own wardrobe over the years.
One of the most coveted pieces I've acquired of my father's is his name tag from his short stint as a cop. For me, it's ultimate symbol of strength.
Before I was born, as a newly married man with one child and another on the way, my Dad trained and was hired by the LA County Sheriff's Department. It was a stable, respectable job with great pay and a responsibility to uphold the law and protect his community. All things that were and still are right up his alley. Or so he thought. Not too long after working on the force he realized just how corrupt and racist it really was toward men and people of color, in general. He figured he'd be the change and tried to stick it out, but was met with a great deal of resistance and no camaraderie from other officers. He then made the brave decision to leave the department and instead pursue a career as an aerospace engineer.
Today, I wear his name batch proudly on one of my favorite thrift store jackets that my wife and I often fight over in the morning before work during the cold winter months. Besides it bearing our last name, it's a reminder for us of the sacrifices that were made on our behalf to enjoy the lives we have and will because of him and people like him.
As I quickly approach being a father myself, I'll continue to wear this jacket and batch of honor remembering who my father was and still is for me to this day.
He's the best man I've ever known. He's the person I could always depend on. He was my first superhero and source of inspiration. I aspire to be just like my Daddy...