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Sun Jun 16, 2019, 09:56 AM


John Hickenlooper on fatherhood

When he married my mother, she was a widow with two children. Rather than claim the name “Dad,” he invited them to call him by his nickname, “Hick” (his full name was John Hickenlooper, Sr.)

Hick, who had lost his own father young, loved being a father — maybe more than anything. When my sister Deborah and I came along — his two biological children — he was Hick to us, too. He wanted us to feel like one family. And we did.

He called us his “tadpoles” and his “jewels.” He loved introducing us to things he loved, like summer storms, fire engines, and The Wizard of Oz. He loved piling all of us in the car and just taking off, letting us navigate for him, embracing the adventure of getting lost together.

An engineer by trade, he loved taking things apart — often on the living room rug, to my mom’s consternation — and putting them back together. He loved challenges, especially mental ones, and loved asking us to rise to them.

He fostered curiosity and boldness in his children, taking one child out for dinner when she opened her eyes underwater, celebrating another for beating him in chess. He took endless joy in watching us grow.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Pete Buttigieg

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