Sunday, June 19, 2016

Vincent M. Pittman

A long time ago, on my old site Within the Couch, I had a fairly regular feature called People Made of Awesome. It was my way of celebrating my favourite people on a very public platform, giving me the opportunity to talk about why I love them and what effect they've had on me and my own life. Today I am reviving that feature and I can think of no better candidate for that than my own father, the man who had a large hand in making me who I am today.

The kind of guy who goes out with tattoos on his forehead unashamedly.

Born in 1950, my dad has had a pretty long run. He survived through the Cold War, the Vietnam war, some rather terrible administrations, and my uncle being a perpetually pissy panda. In all of that time, only one of those things managed to take a part of him in the exchange, that being Vietnam when he took an RPG to the everything. He lost an eye, the use of two fingers, was left with many scars, and a mess of shrapnel floating around in him that will likely be in there until the day he dies. He was a soldier by choice and that is a life that tends to leave a mark. It can't always be all G.I. Joe type fun bits with lasers and silly snake voices. War is harsh in real life.

Although, to be fair, it's much harsher in the G.I. Joe comics than in the cartoon.
After he got out of the service, he set about getting his life together. He owned cars, a home, and he was even a drag racer. He met my mom, who pursued him like a fox chasing a rabbit, they got hitched, had my sister, and that all eventually led to me coming into the world. I offer here a loose description of all those things because that's really what I have to work on. I wasn't around yet, so word of mouth is all I've got. Well, that and a trophy he got be being a badass driver. In my lifetime, my dad has always stood out as the person I aspire to be. He's tough, cool-headed, smart, and opinionated. He has a passion for history, a quick wit, and will never back down when someone hurts a loved one.

He also has a penchant for looking like a biker without even trying.
As a father he's always been there to support and comfort me when I need him to be. Even though we don't share many similar interests, he still reads everything I write and tells me how proud he is of me. All of this, who I am, what I do, none of it would be if it weren't for him. Because one thing he always drilled into me from a young age was to never give up on myself or my dreams. I am a writer because my dad believes in me. He always has, through the dark times when I was self-destructing quietly all the way back to when I was just a kid writing little books about people fighting killer rocks. I'm incredibly lucky to have this man in my life and I genuinely hope to continue having him in it for a very long time. I love you, dad. Happy Father's Day.

You will always be my hero, Pop. Always.
And to you, my faithful few, I hope you enjoyed seeing me wax sentimental for a change. It's not something I do often and, well, this is a special occasion. The month is almost over and July is stomping towards us from the dark depths, ready to unleash what lies beneath. Before then I will have something else for you, because I know this vacation has probably been boring for you and you all deserve something. In the meantime, I hope this is a good day for you all and that it only gets better. Later days, bleeders.

That awkward moment when you realize you may have subconsciously copied your dad's hairstyle.

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