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landon

HD Media sports columnist Chuck Landon speaks to Putnam Rotary on Aug. 30, 2016.

Dear sons,

It has been 22 years since I last wrote you on Father’s Day.

Much has changed, much hasn’t.

Now, just like then, Father’s Day would be meaningless without you guys. So, today I want to celebrate you again.

My sons. My young men. My Will. My Chase.

They are the walking, talking and, now, even parenting proof that I’ve gotten a couple of things right in my life.

Yes, parenting.

My sons also will be celebrating Father’s Day today. Will, 35, has a daughter, Alexis, a son, Bashir, and another daughter on the way. Chase, 32, has a daughter, Saoirse, and another daughter on the way.

It all seems slightly surreal for us to be wishing each other “Happy Father’s Day.” Yet, that is the case.

The last time I wrote you, Will was 13 and Chase was 10. It was long, long ago. Yet, how come it still feels like yesterday to me?

The Father’s Days have flown by.

Back in the day, I wrote that I knew I expected so very much from you two. Too much at times. I realized it then and I remember it now. You knew I would try to lighten up and do better, but at the same all three of us knew it never was going to happen.

It was my nature then and it’s still my nature now.

In a word, I have expectations — high expectations. Both for me and you, my sons. Expect to succeed. Expect to persevere. Expect to be the best. And don’t ever settle for less.

I raised you both with that mantra.

And, yes, sometimes it happened. Sometimes then, sometimes now. Each time it does I feel that same exhilaration and that same, familiar feeling of fatherly pride.

There are ups and down, highs and lows of being my sons. Remember how our lives were all rainbows and thunderstorms in the past? Thankfully, our weather has improved over the years.

Has your “Old Man” mellowed?

Somehow, I doubt it.

But you guys wouldn’t recognize me any other way. Besides, you, my sons, haven’t changed that much, either.

Will, you still are the mercurial son with lots of highs and lows, but not so many in-betweens. You relentlessly surf the wave of emotion. And, yes, you still have a heart as big as all outdoors.

Sometimes that makes up for your bad choices, sometimes it doesn’t.

All I know for sure is my heart swelled as I watched you playing ball with Bash just as I once did with you. It was one of life’s sweetest instant replays.

As for you, Chase, you still are the steady son. Not too many highs, not too many lows. Just a whole lot of consistency. You are dependable without making a big deal about it, which means it is coming from the right place.

If I need something, all I have to do is ask you. We spend time together so easily, so seamlessly. We never ever run out of subjects to talk about. I am so proud of the choices you’ve made and the life you have put together.

So, Happy Father’s Day, guys.

It’s because of you that I always walk in son-shine.

I love you, fellas.

Dad