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The Impact of a Dad

Everyone has a father, but not everyone is lucky enough to have a dad.

Your father is the person that physically contributed to your birth. Your father may provide for you. They might keep a roof over your head and food on the table. He could even show up for your childhood sports event or graduation. A father does these things out of a sense of obligation, not a desire to be with their children. They don’t pursue a relationship with their children. They do what is necessary.

A dad is different.

A dad makes their children a priority. A dad looks forward to spending time with their children. A dad makes a positive impact on their child’s life.

I met my dad when I was about 8 years old. My mom introduced him as Duke.

He married my mom shortly after. His son, Casey, became my step brother. Duke made our new family his priority. My life is better because of him.

Everything I am passionate about today, I learned from Duke.

He always looked for things our family could do together.

Some of my favorites included: Camping, riding motorcycles, days at the river and snow skiing.

My passion for cars is because of Duke. I don’t think we ever had a “stock” car at our house. My mom’s cars always got aftermarket wheels and lowering springs installed. Duke built an incredible International Scout II with a 392 Hemi under the hood that was the envy of all my childhood friends. His Saleen Mustang became the fastest car I would ever ride in. I was always welcome to join him in the driveway when he was working on cars. When I started driving he would spend countless hours working on my cars with me. I learned so much about attention to detail and doing things “right” when working on cars with Duke. His passion for cool cars became my passion because he took the time to share it with me. I guess it’s his fault I have had 20 different unique/custom cars in my life.

Duke in the SP2

Every Thanksgiving our family would make the pilgrimage to the little town of Washington, CA to camp for the week at Duke’s best friend’s gold mine. Here we would ride dirt bikes and quads all day on epic adventures with a crazy cast of characters. This is where my passion for riding motorcycles was born. At night around the wood stove I would learn some colorful new vocabulary and at least a couple of jokes I shouldn’t tell when I got back to school. Some of my best childhood memories were our family at that gold mine. Creating this family tradition was important for Duke because he knew how much our family loved it.

At the Mine. Brandon, Duke, Casey, Big Dad, Charlie.

As I grew older Duke taught me the importance of a strong work ethic. I didn’t like some of those lessons at the time, but looking back, I wouldn’t be the man I am today without them. He always did a great job of being able to balance being my dad or my friend based on what I needed at that time in my life.

This website is named after Duke’s dad, Big Dad. From the stories I’ve heard over the years, Duke was a good dad to me because that was how his dad was with him. I have done my best to be the dad my girls needed as they grew up. I am happy to say that they have grown into amazing women because of what Duke taught me about being a dad.

Everyone has a father, but I am lucky to have Duke as my dad.

Thank you Dad.


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