Stormin' Bob Swanson

Blogging Bob

Happy Father’s Day

Father's Day gifts 2021

If you’re like me (and I know I am), you take a lot of pride in being a father. And if you are lucky enough to have a great family like mine, being a father is super easy. The secret ingredient — thyme time.

I’m lucky enough to be able to spend a lot of time with my family. That was true even before the pandemic. One of my favorite ways of spending time with my family is onstage during my performances. If you’ve been to one of my shows, you know how crucial my family is to having a successful show. They travel with me, help me unload and set up for the show, my wife sells merchandise during/after the program, my boys help during demonstrations and songs during the show, my eldest son has even helped with the artwork on tour t-shirts and music videos — the list goes on and on . . . .

Nate (in mask) and Henry help with the “windbag” demonstration during a performance at Tupelo Public Library on June 17, 2021.

Sure, when I was first learning to play guitar, I guess I had a few rock star dreams. I even briefly played in a band with a couple of co-workers when I was working in television in Arkansas. But dreams sometimes have some nightmarish elements — making a living in the music industry can be very difficult, often entailing a lot of low-paying gigs, staying out late at night, playing in smoky bars to small, indifferent audiences. My audiences are the best — attentive, engaged and so full of great questions! The cherry on top is that I get to experience all this along with my family.

So on this special day, I wanted to feature some of the gifts my family gave me this morning. Probably my favorite of the bunch is a “Dad Jokes” card game created by my eldest son, DJ, at an iCreate camp (MSU Idea Shop) that he took part in this past week. I was flattered that all my time spent crafting and delivering “groaners” have clearly made an impression. I also think it is so cool that DJ is using his artistic talent in such a creative, productive way.

I also love my new sneakers and hat, as well as the book and movie. Both Steve Martin and John Lithgow are guys that I would love to hang out with — both are insanely talented. I listened to Steve Martin comedy albums as a kid, and he’s gone on to star in many films, is a professional-grade banjo player and songwriter, is a playwright, novelist and art aficionado. Lithgow is a talented actor, banjo player, author and illustrator in his own right.

Speaking of creative people, I’ve mentioned Carl Finch and his band, Brave Combo before. Another track off their “Holidays” album is “Father’s Day.” To all the fathers out there, enjoy spending some time with your kids today.

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