My Dad was Benjamin Bowman. He lived from 1916 to 2002 and he was a great guy. Woody Allen once said that if you want to be successful in anything, 90 percent of your success comes from just “showing up.” And every time I think about that, I think about my Dad. One thing he did was show up. He was hardly ever sick, so when it was time to go to work, he showed up. He wouldn’t miss any kind of a family gathering, so when one happened, he showed up. When I played baseball or football, Dad showed up…not just at the games, but all of the practices, too. Dad was very involved in his church, so when anything went on, there, he showed up to help out. And if you knocked on the front door of our home, he wanted to be the first one to open the door and greet you…he showed up there, too.
This business of “showing up” always spoke volumes to me. Dad wasn’t always very expressive with his words, but when I turned around and saw that he was always there, it told me how much he cared and loved. And that’s a legacy I try to carry with me in the way I support the ones I love.
A strange thing about my Dad is this. I never really knew what he did for a living. He worked for the Bendix Corporation in Kansas City. And every time I asked him what he did, he would say things about Traffic and Transportation and Stationery supplies. So, as near as I can tell, as things got shipped in and out of the company, he was the guy who signed whatever papers needed to be signed. And if your pen ran out of ink or your pad of paper ran out and you needed to be replenished, you went to my Dad. I’m guessing, because he never said anything more specific about his work. All I know for sure is that he went off to work happy every day and came home the same way. So, it was either the best job on the planet…or he just approached it that way.
I count myself among the lucky people in this world. I grew up in a home where the parents stayed together…and not because they felt like they had to, but because they really wanted to. They loved each other and my brother and me very much and showed it every day. And Dad was a shining example of how to get along and go along and to love without limits.