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My Dad Knows Magic

A reflection of why this columnist’s father means so much to her – card tricks and all.

As I’ve mentioned in previous , my parents were young when they made the decision to have a baby. My dad was in his second year of college at East Stroudsburg University with hopes of being a gym teacher.

Upon receiving the news that he was going to be a father (at the prime age of 20), he told my mom they would make a life together. He knew he could be a good father.

In his heart he understood playing kickball wasn't his destiny. My mom trusted him.

Shortly after I was born, with visions of adventure and success, they packed me up headed west.

I have many stories I could share about this seven-year journey, but in the end, from rags to riches was how it all played out.

I admire my dad more now than ever. I look back on those hard days of living in a school bus, a canvas army tent, a partially constructed log cabin and a few scattered motel rooms.

Our mornings consisted of rolling up the sleeping bags, converting the dinette table from our bed back to an eating area, and consuming our daily staple – oatmeal.

I understand the pressure that was on him to give our family something better.

Even without a college degree, my dad knew he could be a success…he knew enough to purchase a three-piece suit and present himself as a true entrepreneur.

At one point he leased a Lincoln Continental, although that probably wasn't the best investment at the time.

I only wish I had a photo of him stepping out of that army green tent in his powder blue suit and heading toward the Lincoln.

He began selling things. It was his gift.

He sold motivational cassette tapes, electronics of all sorts, photography services, bulletproof luggage, and eventually built his talent to the point of starting a legitimate software and hardware business. This happened during the 1980’s – right at the peak of the information technology boom.

When I was seven, we bought our first house, which was great timing. I was at an age when it was becoming embarrassing to walk off the school bus just to get on the bus each day.

As he moved up the ladder to become the founder, president, and COO of one of Inc. magazine's 500 fastest-growing businesses in the nation, he never let us feel like we were without.

I had no idea I had been poor. I didn’t realize other people didn’t live in buses and tents. I assumed it was the norm.

And through all those years, are when he would perform magic shows for us – at our birthday parties, for our friends, or just for fun as an after-dinner treat at the kitchen table.

It didn’t take much – just a stack of cards or a handkerchief. But these special moments seemed to be the glue that kept us together through rich and poor.

My dad can perform magic of all sorts. I sure love him for that.

What kind of "magic" can your dad do? Tell us in the comments.

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