|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.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.