By Mark Pitts
Executive Director, Printing and Writing
The third Sunday in June is Father’s Day, a day to commemorate, celebrate and honor the fathers and father figures in our lives. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the responsibilities we have as father figures to others. I am fortunate to have had a dad who set a high bar as a role model; put family first; gave guidance when I needed it.
Having spent my entire career in and around the paper industry, it is no surprise that some of my fondest memories of my dad are rekindled through pictures. The images may be a little fuzzy and discolored with the passage of time, but looking at those pictures on paper brings back vivid memories. Milestones that included my dad may have been lost forever had they not been documented on paper. He, along with my mother, signed my report card in grade school (sometimes with a stern warning about the next grading period). I remember that he co-signed the loan for my first car, handing me the title when it was paid off, saying “she belongs to you now”. There are countless other examples of how my father touched my life that could only be re-discovered through pictures, scraps of memorabilia, or documents with his signature.
I look forward to Father’s Day because it means I receive a personalized card from my daughter. We started a tradition in our family when she was little: for birthdays and special occasions, we would make a card ourselves; or write our own message rather than give a commercial card. I have kept these cards for years, treasuring the sentiments of a little girl, and as she matures, gaining insight into how I am progressing as a dad through my daughter’s eyes. Her thoughts expressed in her words are affirming, touching and telling.
Father’s Day is a wonderful time to take stock of what has been impressed onto us and to pass it down to future generations. What better way to do that than to capture a Father’s Day moment on paper.