The 4 Men Who Shaped My Life… Part 1, My dad

I am re-posting my biography. This time I will post one per week every Monday.  Some written, some video, and some both…. Enjoy!

No man is an island is so true, yet at times it seems like such a lie.  It always feels like a lie when I have felt sorry for myself, and felt like I was all alone, but for the most part I have been blessed with great mentors, parents, friends, teachers, students and friends.  Though I have felt alone for a good portion of my life, I look back now, and realize that was my distorted perception.  I always had great mentors, and friends, I was just always hard headed.  I would be lying if I said my life was easy and without a disproportionate amount of pain, fights, rough times, and struggles, but when I look back I realize, that I created 99% of my struggles, pain, fights, etc.  Growing up, there were four men who shaped my life the most.  It is weird because they were all so different, and shaped me with such a wide range of values, and qualities.  Here they are…

James Hackleman

James Hackleman

My dad… Pops was a tough guy.  Born in 1926 he grew up with a widow mother of seven kids, who had to work full time as a maid, and in the laundry room of the Hotel Del in Coronado.  Pops fought in world war 2. He was an Army Ranger, who saw combat as an infantryman.  After the war ended went to West Point Military Academy.

Dad was a newspaper writer by trade.  He and my mom divorced when I was ~10 years old.  I lived with my mom, but my dad was close by and I saw him pretty often.  My dad was never much of a hugger, and he wasn’t very  demonstrative, but I always knew that he loved me.  Dad was a hardworking guy, very neat, tidy, organized and short tempered (though he never hit me, I did see him get into a few scuffles).  I think the trait that I got from my dad the most was a strong moral compass (as you will read, I made plenty of bad choices, but I think for the most part I have conducted my life as a basically good man).  I have run with a lot of not “good” men, and though I hung out with them, I could always tell when they were crossing my “line” and I would chose not to engage. Even at a young age I could tell bad from good, and I never had a problem saying no to the “bad”.  These were my friends, and continued to be my friends.  I just had the “moral compass” and discipline to say no.  I could have followed so many of my early cohorts and ended up dead, in prison, poor, or all of the above, but I didn’t, and I owe that to my dad… Thanks dad I love you.

I wish everyday I could still talk to him

I wish everyday I could still talk to him

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