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Happy Father's Day

He's older now, but so am I.

And there's no denying I'm a chip off that old block - belly and all.

It's the clich˛© of growing up: the older I get, the more like my father I become. It happens to everyone, and I'm certainly no different.

Fifteen years ago, I'd have fought it tooth and nail.

Nowadays, I embrace it: Being a lot like Pete Smith ain't a bad way to grow up.

I can tell where he's rubbed off. We're both deeply dedicated to our families and our professions. Our choice of reading material and music are all over the map, and there are few things we enjoy more than a day of fishing.

Of course, my car is not Protected by Fife (his has the license plate to prove it) and my closet is mostly golf shirts (his is centered around Hawaiian shirts - the tackier the better).

Still, he's the role model I aspire to. And that leaves me with size 13, exceptionally smelly shoes to fill.

Happy Father's Day, Doc.

I hope I can continue to make you proud.

YOU CAN ADD Hilton Head to the list of places I have little to no interest in living. My family used to visit the island - in the years before the explosion of growth, back when it was still quaint and cozy.

Admittedly, I don't remember a lot about those trips, just that the house we stayed in was on a quiet street and was surrounded by palm trees. It was a short walk to the beach, and it never seemed to be a major headache to get anywhere on the island.

I traveled back to Hilton Head last weekend, just to make a stop at the outlet malls and do a little shopping. I was amazed at the amount of traffic on the main strip heading on to the island. It took nearly 30 minutes to travel less than 10 miles on a Saturday afternoon. I don't even want to imagine what it would be like during rush hour on a school morning.

Then again, I've grown accustomed to a five-minute commute to work.

ON A DIFFERENT subject, I'm now accused of being a liar because of a bunch of dadgum bushes.

The Echols family stopped by Sunday evening, just to see if I was telling the truth about the butchered bushes on South Lake Drive.

Linda said I had overreacted. She said I was being too hard on my clipper-wielding wife. She reminisced about a time a few years ago when she cut her shrubbery nearly to the ground, and it all looks great now.

Just be patient, she said. Besides, she said, they really don't look that bad.

I guess beauty - and butchering - really is in the eye of the beholder.

Web posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006

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