From Under My Father’s Shadow

on March 6, 2007 in Uncategorized

I grew up in a small town of about 2500 people in central Minnesota. My father was the local milkman, delivering milk daily to people’s homes. Everyone in town knew my dad. Thus, everyone in town knew me as Tom’s son.

Just like most young men in their late teens, I thought it would be great if people would know me as Steve, not as Tom’s son. I wanted to make a name for myself. Unfortunately, I was not an athlete, was not the smartest in my class, and did not have a skill to make people take notice of me. I was just another face in the crowd. A face that belonged to Tom’s son.

I graduated from high school and began attending a technical college. One month before graduating from college I accepted a job in my home town, of all places. So, I moved back to Melrose and began making a name for myself. I began to move out of my father’s shadow.

During those first five years of life on my own, I became very active in the community. I was a seventh grade religion teacher for three years, a city council member for two years, and joined the newly formed Boy Scout troop as an assistant scoutmaster. Shortly after I turned 21 years old, the troop committee appointed me as the scoutmaster. (See an earlier blog about this story.)

I have kept active in the community since those days. I have been a member of the local cable access television station for over 16 years. People in town now know me for my accomplishments. And my greatest accomplishment? I would say it would have to be that I have been the scoutmaster of the troop for over 25 years, and helped to provide the Scouting program to over 250 boys.

Oh, I am still known as Tom’s son to the older population of the community, and you know what? I do not mind anymore. In fact, I am proud to be Tom’s son. I hope I have made him proud enough to be known as Steve’s father.

(Note – My dad is on the right in this picture. The other gentlemen was my scoutmaster.)

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    One Response to “From Under My Father’s Shadow”

    1. Anonymous says:

      Great Story!

      I think there’s also a second message here for us scouters that it’s not about us, but about our sons and the boys in our units. Too many scouters are too tied up in thier scouting success, rather than the success of thier boys.

      Keep up the great blogs!

      V. Palango
      vpalango@comcast.net
      Scoutmaster, Troop 131 – Wrentham, MA

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