|Dad helps out on my wedding day in 1997.|
|Photo by Scott Saltzman|
H. Thomas Jordan Jr. graduated from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor’s in English and served in the U.S. Army from 1960-1963. From there he followed his father, Harry Thomas Jordan, into the furniture business and worked his way up to regional sales manager for Drexel Heritage in a short time. At one point Dad was responsible for an 18-state territory from the Midwest to New England and parts of Canada. Monday mornings he’d often load up his car with fabric samples, say goodbye to my mom and brother and I and be gone for three to four days, and every April and October he’d be in North Carolina for two weeks for the semi-annual furniture market.
But nights, weekends, vacations and holidays were all ours. We flew kites, built glow-in-the-dark monster models, checked out stacks of books from the library and sledded down giant hills. He taught us every board game and card game known to man, and indulged us by trying his hand at Space Invaders and Pac-Man when he would have rather been watching Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser or Meet the Press. And no matter what day it was, whenever I had a big Little League game or an important state tennis tournament or conference showdown in high school, I’d step up to the plate or the baseline and see him nodding encouragingly from the sidelines.
His discipline was always steady, measured and unwavering. He never yelled, never hit me. Around sixth grade, I started to show signs of acting more like Jimmy Connors than Bjorn Borg in a tennis tournament. I slammed my racquet into the ground after losing a point, cracking the frame and rendering it useless. I walked off the court and told Dad I needed another racquet. He just looked at me sternly; I walked back out and told my opponent I was forfeiting the match. He kept that ability as I got older and wrestled with adult crises; the times that I could tell I’d disappointed him, I knew I was headed down a wrong path.
From the time my writing started to be published almost two decades ago, his feedback always mattered the most to me. I’d send him my stories, and on occasion he’d mail them back, with his comments in red ink throughout the margins. Dad was always gentle with his observations; over the years I realized that his values always came through in his editing. Write honestly and clearly, he’d say. Write what you believe, and write from your heart.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.