Dad’s Fortune Read “Dependability”

Steve Ondo I once opened a Chinese fortune cookie and cringed to see: “You are dependable.”

“Wahoo!” I thought. “Why not ‘A great fortune will come you way’? ‘Sunshine will light your path today’? ‘You will have amazing success in all you do’?

Reflecting on my dad this Father’s Day, I award the dependable cookie to him.
Without cringing.

It might be fun to share some zany dad stories like my Facebook friends are posting today. But other than insisting – for years – that “unjar” was a word in Scrabble, Stephen Ondo was not a character. He was “Even Steven,” as he liked to describe a perfectly equitable arrangement.

Shying away from flair, he was a cautionary tale who saved his warranties, changed his oil on time, and ran to the encyclopedia in the middle of dinner to settle a point that the rest of us didn’t even know was a point.

A self-described “realist,” he humored my mother by reading Norman Vincent Peale. In later years, he began to cross the line toward optimism. “Don’t get your dauber down,” he would tell us, and – though not religious – “Keep the faith.” From him, these admonitions seemed real.

In an age of fleeting Internet fame for all (he would hate this post), he has lived on as an increasingly important reminder of the value of consistency, stability and – yes – dependability.

I his honor, I have booked an oil change. (Sorry, dad. It’s slightly overdue.)

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