I wish you all a happy Father's Day, whether you are a dad or you want to celebrate your dad. Unlike my mother whom I miss so desperately on Mother's Day, I miss my dad mostly on our birthday instead of Father's Day.
I know we often write about our own experiences and the influences of others in our stories. I know this is very true of me. Without thinking about it a great deal, I know that I put Pop in many of my stories. I was the only one in my family who called our father "Pop." He called his father Pop as well.
I noticed that my characters almost always refer to their fathers by the name "Pop." My dad comes up in a character in almost every story I've ever written, but none as much as THE VIOLIN. I wrote THE VIOLIN for my dad. It's about his middle brother John. The boy, Jimmy, is a character based on my dad. Pop banned birds as a kid, had a dog named Guess and a red tail hawk whose wing was broken. Pop fixed his wing and, when it was healed, forced himself to let the hawk go free.
Today I think of my dad and the gazillion things he taught me, most of them by his own example, some by explaining to me how the world works. He had a great respect for nature and was a conservationist before it was popular. So, in gratitude, I just want to say to Pop wherever he is in the universe, I love you. Thanks for everything.