"You're Scott's son, aren't you?" That's the question I most often get in Dublin, Georgia, the place I call home. Once you see us both, listen to us talk, watch us adjust our glasses and use the same facial expressions, there's not much doubt I'm Scott Thompson's son.
If you know us really well, you'll know we can both be completely sarcastic and quite dorky as well. Those of you who know him know he works tirelessly. He's been a real estate attorney for I believe 27 years. He's a historian, has authored books on the history of Dublin and Laurens County and publishes a weekly column in the Courier Herald. He's a member of the Dublin City school board, having been elected in 2005. He was a little league coach, and he's been involved with the Dublin High School band and baseball team. And that's just some of what he does.
He also happens to be one of the more generous people you can run into, having given much money to kids and schools in the county, along with other charities and causes. And he lent a helping hand in making sure that every team member on Dublin's state championship athletic teams got their championship rings. He often quotes Winston Churchill, saying "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
We both share a love for writing. The highlight of my short career as a journalist so far has been covering a football game in Athens with him last September. As I sat in the press box, he was down on the field taking pictures between the hedges.
And it was he who introduced me to baseball, which we both are very fond of. He was my coach for the majority of my little league career. I used to follow him to work a good bit when I was little, sporting a suit and all.
Those days are gone now, but our bond isn't. Back in January, he had a heart attack. Luckily his heart problems were realized soon enough to avoid anything worse. Even when I got the call, I wasn't really panicked. Because the man endures. And even though I felt uncertain in those couple of months, I knew in the end, he'd be fine. It's certainly made me appreciate spending time with him a great deal more.
Along with my mom, my dad has been my rock. He's been to countless band concerts, practices, marching band performances, baseball games, banquets, you name it. And even when other people have let me down, he's been by my side throughout it all, supporting me in all that I've done.
Having a father that is so widely respected around the community as well as a grandfather who was the same way, I often find myself wondering if I will live up to that, and I put a good bit of pressure on myself.
The best advice my dad has given me is to be myself and follow my dreams. People can be amazed at how he rattles information off the top of his head like an encyclopedia, and I used to pretend not to know him when he did the twist in front of the entire band. But it's all him being him. I believe he's still very much a kid at heart.
Big Scott is not perfect. He'll be the first to tell you there are things he could have done better. Like all the rest of us, he's only human. But in his number one job as a dad in a world that is in desperate need of more good ones, he gets an A+ from me. Happy (early) Father's Day.