Things My Father Taught Me: Seth Putnam

There are plenty of old adages, poems, and songs that’ll tell you the truest friends are the ones there for you when you’re in a tight spot. Well, over the course of the past couple years, no matter how good or bad it’s gotten for me, Seth Putnam’s been there. Though we’re more than a few years apart, this young man carries a well’s worth of wisdom, and he’s become a trusted partner in a number of different capacities. Truly, there aren’t enough letters in the alphabet to spell out just what this guy means to me.

And like me, he cherishes his relationship with his dad and works hard to model himself after the men he admires.

Things My Father Taught Me: Jesse Thorn

As host of NPR’s Bullseye and creator of the blog Put This On, Jesse Thorn is a man of many interests, allowing them to drive the cultural content he covers: everything from comedy to rap music, from oxford cloth shirts to German Army trainers. Like me, Jesse is interested in continuing to grow, to educate himself by studying that which truly interests him. He’s a man who’s constantly expanding his own horizon by exploring the horizons of others.

For some time now, I’ve admired Jesse’s unending affability (the man has one of the greatest laughs), the way he can take on the voice of the common man and at the same time go toe-to-toe with some of the world’s smartest individuals, and the way he dives into his subjects, no matter the size or scope.

It’s with great pleasure I share Jesse’s story of his father.

Things My Father Taught Me: Jeff Link

Jeff Link is a listener. When we first met, I thought he found our conversations dull. I came to find out, as he’d recount elements of past conversations I’d barely remembered that he was intently listening, taking note of every word, every gesture. Jeff’s a kind man, and he’s become a great friend. One day, I’d like to meet his father. He sounds like Jeff, a humble man with a good work ethic and a big heart — not to mention an enviable record collection.

Things My Father Taught Me: Katie Stipanovich

When I met Katie Stipanovich, she had recently graduated from college and was visiting some mutual friends. I asked her what was next. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Mmm, I don’t know. I’d like to be a political consultant… but I don’t really like politics.”

“What was your major?” I asked. “Political Science,” she replied. “Right.”

Since that day, I’ve watched Katie blossom. She sucked it up and moved to the big city, facing her fears and giving a big shout of “WOOOHOOO” with each advancement in her career. Though she’s yet to find herself in the world of politics, she seems to ski through life, always with a big thumbs up. I think she gets it from her dad.

I’m excited to watch where her adventures take her next.

Things My Father Taught Me: Pieter Van Winkle

Because we shared a year in the trenches of one of New York’s oldest acting conservatories, because he’d occasionally let me sing harmony when we’d play Townes Van Zant’s “Rex’s Blues” in the school basement, because we’ve managed to run into each other every now and again in the years since we left school, because we’ll occasionally share what we’ve learned from devoting our adult lives to our passions, the bond Pieter and I share is a special one. As soulful a man as you’ll meet, it’s with great pleasure I share the words of Pieter Van Winkle.

Things My Father Taught Me: Dave Gunn

There are few as good as Dave Gunn. From the moment we met, his humble demeanor paired with a wit that just don’t quit made for a formidable conversation partner… or “pardner,” if I dare attempt a phonetical match to Dave’s inimitable Southwestern Kansas accent. Perhaps its my familiarity with the region, having been born a couple hours East of Dave, perhaps its our appreciation of the lore of “The West,” for whatever reason, I love any chance I get to listen to Dave Gunn talk, for he always has an interesting take on the topic at hand. The weekend of his wedding, I was fortunate to hear Dave read from old letters written to him by his father. It was then I figured out a piece on his father would stand out in a series like this. And this year, this month in fact, Dave is a new dad. No time like the present to reflect on things learned from one’s own father.

Things My Father Taught Me: Lizzie Garrett

As the author of Tomboy Style, the blog and the book, Lizzie Garrett demonstrates her appreciation for menswear and stuff guys like to talk about: sports, cars, and… well, girls. And today, finally, the truth comes out. The person who is largely responsible for Lizzie’s fascination with many of the trappings of manhood is none other than… her own father. Like my dad, hers had a habit of spouting off random facts while behind the wheel of a car. Unlike my dad who’d provide a socio-economic history lesson of literally every city along I-70, hers was telling tales of Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. I’m so glad she shared a short playlist here at the end.

Things My Father Taught Me: Swathi Narra

In the time since I’ve moved to Chicago, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a number of beautiful, funny, and whip-smart people. As someone regularly featured in “street style” pieces, I often introduce her as one of the most beautiful women in Chicago. As the co-founder of Luxemi, the premier online destination for purchasing or renting the latest in luxury Indian apparel and accessories, she’s clearly got the brains. And today, I learned the reason I find myself laughing incessantly at her terribly corny jokes, the source of that good humor is her father, a man quick with fashion tips and quicker still with a play on words.