Celebrating Local 4's favorite dads

Members of the Local 4 family salute their dads in celebration of Father's Day

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DETROIT - Members of the Local 4 family salute their dads in celebration of Father's Day.

Guy Gordon

I had the good fortune to work for my dad for several summers.

One of the things, it wasn't what he said or advice he gave, it was just the example, and the illustration, he gave by his actions. He was always concerned about whether he was being fair with the "other guy" in his business dealings. Even to the point, in some cases, it would put him at a disadvantage. And, I think the whole notion of being fair with people you deal with, day in and day out, is a lasting lesson that I've tried to put into focus any time I do what I do.

Ruth Spencer

I love this photo of my father.  He's at boot camp in San Diego getting ready to eventually ship out for the Korean War.  When I think of my dad I always remember his patriotism.  I can still hear him saying, "My country, right or wrong."  He was also a hard worker and a gifted salesman.  He was able to support our middle class family in style,  and my mom, brother, sister, and I never felt deprived.  Dad loved music and at one time he had his own band.  He also enjoyed volunteering with groups that helped teenagers develop leader-ship skills and good self-esteem.  My dad had a magnetic personality and a very big heart.  He knew how to be a loyal  friend.  And he set an example of good character for his kids.  When my dad died I was struck by how many people attended his funeral.  In fact during the service there was still a line of mourners waiting to get in. You see - my father wasn't famous.  He never made a fortune, wrote a book, or saw his name in lights.  He was just a good man doing good when he could.  He was honest, reliable, and stayed around when the going got rough.  I wish there were more men like

him today. I miss you, Dad. Love, Ruthie

Rhonda Walker

I am a confessed and proud daddy's girl and I have been my entire life. 

My father, Dr. Ronald Gillum just celebrated his 74th birthday and I'm so thankful he is in great health and enjoying his retirement years with my mom, they so deserve it!  I had an awesome, fun and memorable upbringing with my family because my parents are truly the best

My dad enjoys a round of golf everyday weather permitting and every Father's Day we golf together at a different Michigan golf course.  It's one of my favorite days of the year and it's been our tradition for over 20 years!  One of my fondest childhood memories is the patience he showed when teaching me how to play!  Our best bonding moments are over a game of golf.  Another fond memory, when I was little I went to church with my dad every Sunday because I loved being able to get any time with him just the two of us.  He was a church deacon so my entire family didn't go every Sunday like my dad, so I figured out if I went with him, I'd get to have him all to myself.  And that quality time was not isolated to the weekends, for two years until I got my drivers license my dad drove me to high school everyday.  I wasn't very fond of the school bus, so he changed his work schedule to start work earlier just to take me to school.  He spoiled me a ton but I swear I'm not rotten!  My dad is a great teacher, friend, confidant, cheerleader and role model.  He instilled in me a great work ethic, leadership skills, the importance of giving back to the community and to believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.  He is my biggest inspiration in life and still the person I work hard in my career, relationships and in the community to make proud! 

Steve Garagiola

The memories I have with my dad are of the great outings he took me on, going to work with him. It didn't occur to me at the time that it was pretty different than most other kids. After we moved to New York, my dad often worked at Yankee Stadium as a radio announcer for the Yankees. On the occasions that I went to work with him, I got to sit in the press box pretending to broadcast the games the way he did. I remember trips into the Yankee clubhouse after games where he did interviews. There sat Mantle, Maris, Whitey Ford.  Whoa! Thanks Dad.


The photo is with my dad and brother Joe (who is now a VP in the Commissioner's Office). That was in St. Petersburg where we went spent six weeks every year at spring training.  

Ashlee Baracy

My dad has such a special place in my heart for so many reasons. When I was a little girl, he would take me everywhere with him. I had my own hockey stick that I would play with when he would play floor hockey and a miniature tool belt that I wore when he took me to work with him. I have always admired his hard work ethic.

More importantly, we have always had a close bond, which grew stronger when my mom was going through treatment for cancer nearly ten years ago.

My favorite memory was sitting next to him after my mom came out of surgery from her mastectomy and he looked her in the eyes and told her how beautiful she was and how much he loved her. That moment epitomizes the kind of man my father is and how blessed I am to call him my dad. As I have grown up, he has been my biggest supporter and fan. My most recent favorite memories are seeing him run with my mom to the edge of the Miss Michigan stage when I won and watching them both jump up and down in excitement with tears in their eyes and of course spending football Saturdays in the Big House with him cheering on the maize and blue. I love my dad!

Brandon Roux

My dad is Frank George Roux Jr. and he is the best! He has done what all good fathers do. He taught his son how to make his way in the world. Most of my childhood memories revolve around sports. He helped launch a little league program in our hometown outside of Chicago. He coached on the field.  And off the field, he told me how proud he was while always focused on the things I could do better.

We had season tickets to the Chicago Blackhawks and I grew up in the Old Chicago Stadium. Those memories will NEVER leave me or him. Two years ago, we watched the Hawks win the Stanley Cup together (Sorry Wings Fans) and celebrated with my son, Christian, in the parade downtown. My dad always wears a sport coat and he did that day. It was 95 degrees! He told the crowd he was on a weight loss program.

Frank has a brilliant sense of humor. Frank Rouxisms include: "A little bit of alright Jack."  "Let me go out and come in again."  and "We're going broke saving money." He's a lawyer and has a very serious side. He also once told me "Sometimes, life is a series of connected disappointments. It's what you do in between that counts." A bit dark, I know. But I find it to be true and it gets me through the tough times in life.

I love you Frank George Roux Jr. Happy Fathers Day!

Karen Drew

This photo is from a Tiger's baseball game when my Dad visited me in Detroit. 

Baseball was something special between us.  He introduced me to the game when I was a child living in the Chicago Suburbs -- so of course I became a Cubs Fan.  Going to a game was always an adventure -- the drive down to the park gave us a chance to talk, finding a parking spot near Wrigley taught me patience, and asking for all those treats at the park dad taught me we were on a budget and I couldn't always get what I wanted.   But once the game started -- wow it was so cool cheering and smiling together!  Dad also told me to pay attention during the game stop talking so much ( not sure if I learned that lesson ) .  Then at night we would watch the news -- I always thought there would be a shot of us together in the stands.  There never was -- but that's ok -- the memories are the best !  I miss you Dad!

Kevin Dietz

As a kid, my father heard the same thing almost every morning - he wanted to sleep in - my grandpa wanted him to wake up.  So, my grandpa would walk in his room and say, "Jerry, the only way to get up is to get up and do it!" It's simple but powerful advice. 

My dad pretty much lived his life that way - Get up and do it!  Want great grades in school? Get out the books, study, pay attention in class and you will get your A's. Want to be a great ball player? Don't whine, go practice and be better than the other guys. Want great friends?  Go get them, introduce yourself to people, get involved in as many activities as possible and be the best friend to others that you can. Want a great relationship with God? Just do it! Go to mass, say the Rosary, pray often during the day. Want a great wife? Just do it!  Approach your dream girl, be polite, dress sharp, open her door, smile, and treat her like she is the only woman on the planet. Want to become one of the country's best dental surgeon's?  Just do it! Learn your craft better than the competition, become involved in the industry, find quality partners and staff who share your same core beliefs, treat patients with the same care you would want to receive. My dad has never made excuses - he has just stayed the course.  He got excellent grades, was an outstanding athlete, has phenomenal friends, the women of his dreams and is one of the most respected dental surgeons in the world. Dad, you have been and continue to be a great role model. Thank You! 

Lauren Podell

My dad knows how to put a smile on everyone's face, including mine and he's been doing it for 27 years.  

While the name 'Doug Podell' makes most people in metro Detroit think of rock radio – to me the "Doc of Rock" has always just been 'dad' to me. His over 30 year career in rock radio has inspired me professionally, but it's his passion for family and life that I will strive to achieve as my life progresses. Whether it is expanding his Beatle collection, picking out the perfect Christmas gift or giving his daughter career advice, my dad gives 100%. 

On top of being a loving & supportive man, my dad is just plain cool! How many people can say they their dad took them backstage to meet Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Green Day, & "Uncle" Ted Nugent? While I did grow up in the world of rock, my dad was not ashamed to go to a boy band concert or two (he was raising a little girl after all).  When I was in middle school, the NYSNC concert in Detroit was sold out – so my dad – going above and beyond as he usually does – bought me tickets to the concert in Cleveland! As an only child my father may or may have spoiled me but once thing he did do, was keep me grounded. My father worked hard and has earned every ounce of success he has today. He always taught me no one is going to get me anywhere in this business, but me. While his career could go down in history books, he certainly *isn't* history. My dad inspires because he is always on top of the trends. Nobody knows how to Tweet and Facebook like he can.  My dad even has an online radio station that's been up and running for over 10 years! Doug Podell is a father, friend and inspiration to me and I am one lucky girl to be able to call him "dad". Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you.

Rod Meloni (A tribute Rod wrote 2 years ago when his father passed away)

My father died today. While sorting out so many tear-filled emotions, my comfort lies in my unending admiration for what he did with the most precious gift: life.

Strange as it may sound, these words you are reading not should not exist. I, my brother and two sisters should not exist either. My father's death, by any earthly measure, should have come 58 years ago. A twist of fate worthy of a best-selling novel allowed him to show us all what one can and should do with a gift of this magnitude. The Korean War called for James J. Meloni Jr. Not exactly looking for it and not seeing himself the typical soldier, my father enlisted in the Army Security Agency. Fresh out of art school, he tested well as a Morse code intercept operator. This job required sitting in a radio truck with a typewriter and earphones transcribing enemy communications. While he did not carry a gun, this job was no less dangerous. That truck would sit as close as possible to enemy lines. Stationed at Fort Devens [Massachusetts] he did not know one of his fellow soldiers had viral hepatitis. On the day his orders told him and his group to ship out to the Chosin Reservoir, [one of the bloodiest and hard fought battles of the war] he instead was rushed to the base hospital. He too contracted the deadly disease. He spent several months in quarantine. The men he trained with spent the next several months fighting for their country and all lost their lives in the process. So what does one do after cheating death? My dad finished his tour [in Germany] married the love of his life [my mother Anne] and set off to make his place in the world with a boundless sense of appreciation and a serious commitment to giving back, leadership and most importantly teaching. While a skilled artist, he was not so good he could pay the bills when we children came along. He went into advertising. In 1961, he was selling the first business computers. Simultaneously he entered Boston University and earned an MBA in night school through ROTC. He served 13 years in the Army Reserve, studying military strategy at, of all places, Harvard. [Something he never discussed until pressed on his death bed.] He used the strategic thought he learned there in business. He became a successful ad campaign manager, won awards, and in the 1970's even received a phone call to run Hewlett Packard's growing computer advertising program in Chicago. Here we gain understanding what really drives a man of character.

Business to business advertising wasn't exactly lucrative early on. We lived in a modest house. With so many mouths to feed, my parents taught us the fine art of inventively wringing a lot from very little. We went camping when the other kids went to their Cape Cod cottages. My dad built a camper out of a trade show display booth and an old VW Beetle axle. When we outgrew it, he sold it for a bigger camper.

At Christmas, my dad's art talents went into making creative, inexpensive craft-type gifts; given to family and friends. One day, one of our neighbors who worked for the electric company brought home a couple of wooden cable reels. My dad looked at them for about ten seconds and saw FURNITURE! He turned one it on its side, attached casters, painted it antique green, topped it off with a stained and varnished sheet of plywood, tacked leather facing on the sides and to this day it sits as a unique book case in my parents family room.

That same creativity went into my parent's approach to our extracurricular activities. My mom essentially took over my Cub Scout Pack. My dad became Cub Master. Together, they hand crafted the awards racks, my mother managed the themes and execution, and my dad unapologetically wore a Fedora converted into an Indian head dress at monthly meetings they ran like a well oiled machine. When I graduated to Boy Scouts my dad ended up the Council Commissioner, [the highest volunteer job].

He gave in so many ways.

My dad was not a sports fan not having played them in his youth. Yet, when his sons started playing baseball all the time and wanted him to play catch, he went out to Benny's [the local deep discount retailer] and found a "glove" in the deepest recesses of a clearance bin for about $3. It was leather, after that, any resemblance to a real mitt was purely coincidental. It wasn't pretty but it did the job. He did not want to be there, but he pushed himself to play catch with his boys so eager to improve their skills. No he was not out there every night, but often enough that as we played one day, I vividly remember recognizing the true sacrifice and loving gift from his heart. I appreciated it then; it drives me to make certain I do the same with my daughters today.

In that same spirit of giving my dad chaired many committees and the Parish Council while my mom ran our church's religious education program. He would occasionally help teach CCD classes. One of his most memorable lessons involved charity. He believed true charity was accomplished anonymously. "Giving was the reward itself" he said.

Our life was crazy-busy, and fun too. So, when the moment of truth arrived, when my dad's ship was about to come in, when he could have packed up the whole family and moved us to an upscale Mid-West suburb for the so-called good life, he told Hewlett Packard NO. There wasn't enough money anywhere to upend his family's world.

Later we learned there was much more to the decision. Another call kept coming; one he could not pick up with a phone receiver. After considerable soul searching he answered God's call. He went back to school and became an ordained permanent Catholic Deacon. For those unfamiliar, a Deacon is man who becomes [for lack of a better phrase] almost a priest. This ancient tradition was all new to us in 1981. This includes a Bishop's assignment to a parish, reading the Gospel, preaching, witnessing marriages and baptizing babies. This he did with great gusto. He officiated at my wedding to my wife Karen. My heart swelled with pride as he delivered a homily with the insight only he could provide. I was born when fathers weren't allowed in the delivery room. The hospital sat across from Plymouth Rock. When I arrived, he was watching the sun come up next to that famous monument. His message to me and Karen was "marriage, if done well and faithfully, is a pilgrimage". He well knew.

At that time, my dad had gone into the ad business for himself. He actually turned a profit in his first two years. [No small feat.] Then, in an instant, the personal computer [whose predecessors he helped put on the map] put him out of business. He needed a job. His experience as a Deacon made him uniquely qualified to teach his religion. He joined my mother doing just that at the Catholic High School my wife and I graduated from years earlier. My father went on to baptize his grand children, along with thousands of other children [This was his favorite part of the job]. He gave First Communion to two of his grand daughters. He also gave great wisdom, comfort and guidance to parishioners in three different churches.

We found out a couple of weeks ago my dad had late stage, pancreatic cancer that spread to his liver. In learning about his condition we discovered that long ago bout with hepatitis made him susceptible. In the last moments I spent with him alive, his hand in mine, sitting in that same old modest house, he worried he had not done enough; that somehow he fell short of the mission God set before him. It was difficult to assure him nothing could be farther from the truth. As I sit here, it is exhausting just tallying everything he fit into his nearly six decade pilgrimage between when he should have died and when he actually did. Looking into his aging eyes one of my favorite Bible passages came to mind. It is from Matthew's Gospel Chapter 25, [better known as the tale of the talents]. It reads "well done my good and faithful servant" It praises a man's taking what little he has and growing it into something better in service to God. There is no doubt in my mind my dad has already heard those words from his maker. His answer to the challenge was well done indeed,

Will Jones

As each day goes by, I see myself transforming into my dad, Will. That would make sense because we're both named Will, right?! Here are some of the ways we are alike. We both rub our heads when we're thinking. We're both frequent head nodders in conversation. We both crumple up paper towel throughout the day. Just check our pockets at the end of the day for proof. We both appreciate a good pair of sweatpants. The list goes on. The best lesson that I have learned from my dad is responsibility. He taught me that I'm not going to get handed anything in life so I must work hard. Dad, thanks for all the lessons and I look forward to many more.

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