Thanks for Being Here

Father’s Day, 2004

“Thanks for being here.”

My father, Martin C. Fredricks III, said this to me many times, usually at family gatherings. Just as often, though, he said it to people he’d just met, at one of my brother’s NDSU football games, for example, even if they had their own child playing. It always seemed an odd thing to say to people with their own reasons for being somewhere.

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Photo of Martin C. Fredricks IV with his father, Martin C. Fredricks III

Gee, Dad, You’re Such a Dork!

“Mart probably fell into the toilet, and Dad’s making a list of ways to get him out.”

That punch line, originally delivered by my older sister when we were just kids, never fails to bring a laugh at family gatherings. It’s a short story that recently took on new meaning for me.

It happened many years ago when the family was out to eat at a fast food place. Before heading for home, Dad took me into the bathroom. When we didn’t return for a long, long time, my Mother wondered aloud what could be keeping us. That’s when my sister came out with the zinger.

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