Weekend Assignment: The Things We Share With DadJohn Scalzi has a Fathers' Day weekend assignment at By the Way...
Weekend Assignment #116: Tell about some personality trait or quirk you got from your father -- or, if you're a father, some personality trait or quirk of yours you see in your kids.
Extra credit: Did you ever get dad a tie for Father's Day?
My parents divorced when I was young and I went big chunks of time without seeing my father. I think my grandfather was probably more of father-figure to me during my formative years, so I'd rather talk about a couple of things I picked up from him. They're not really personality traits or quirks, more like personal preferences of his that rubbed off on me.
My grandfather was an old-school FDR-worshiping Democrat who could never understand why people didn't have enough blankety-blank common sense to go to the polls and vote a straight Democratic ticket. While he never said so explicitly, I got the feeling that he might have believed Richard M. Nixon to be the Anti-Christ. He died before the Reagan Revolution started up or that might have been really bad. He taught me that while the Democrats might not always do what's right, they certainly have more empathy for the common man that Republicans do.
My grandfather was also a die-hard baseball fan. Summer Saturday afternoons were our time together to sit down and watch the Game of the Week on NBC. (Was there ever really a time when there was only one baseball game a week on the tube? Yes, there was. And to really blow the youngsters' minds, for a while we only had three channels and had to occasionally go outside and rotate the pole the antenna was mounted on to get them to come in clearly. I think we got our first color TV about the time I started junior high school.) Anyway, there we were every Saturday. The games were usually either the Yankees or the Dodgers (the big TV market teams) playing another team in their league. We always rooted for whoever they were playing; it didn't matter who. Someone once said, "Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for U.S. Steel." My grandfather believed that and passed along to me his hatred of anything and everything connected to the Evil Empire.
Extra credit: I don't remember every Father's Day gift I ever gave my father or my grandfather, but I don't think I ever gave either of them a tie.