The most important man in my life experienced a major milestone this week. I am talking, of course, about my dad.

His name is Harley. And yes, I do believe he was named after the motorcycle to the best of my knowledge. Oh, having another birthday isn’t the milestone. Even if you couple that with him sharing a 38-year marriage anniversary on the same date with my mom, that is not the milestone.

This year on his birthday, my dad officially retired from working.

I can honestly say he had a major impact on my work ethic over the years. Now, I am certain he will tell you how I never worked as hard as he did, and he’d be quite correct. Still, in some ways I looked up to him when I started seeking my own jobs. I did follow in his footsteps early on working at the very same restaurant where he got his start decades earlier. To top it off, we even worked together at the same gas station, and yes he was technically my supervisor. It was a short lived experience, but it did afford me memories I wouldn’t trade for the world.

My dad learned about work at an early age. I’ve seen him work bagging groceries, driving tractors, washing dishes, and other odd jobs until he found his passion. He got a job as a light duty mechanic at a gas station doing minor work on vehicles like oil changes, tire repairs, brakes, things of that nature. He eventually got a job working on John Deere tractors.

My parents returned to the area of my birth where dad took the last job he had before retirement. He was a maintenance worker for the casino’s housing department. When he told me it was time for him to retire I didn’t think twice. I’ve seen my dad work tireless around the house on his days off with yard work, cleaning for my mom, even cooking on multiple occasions.

He used to say he had to go back to work to rest up whenever he took a day off.

I don’t know anyone better to emulate in this world that the man that showed me how to take a snow shovel and create my very first job of my own at the age of 11. In my mind he has earned his retirement, and I wish him the best in this new chapter of his life.

Happy birthday to Charles Luther Cummins of Prescott , Arizona; Dewey Walters of Whitesboro; and Harley Todd of Jackpot, Nevada.