The New (and Old) Face of Dad

Remember when I talked about video footage I submitted? It’s been edited, combined and made live:

If you can’t see the above video, you should be able to see it on YouTube by clicking here.

I didn’t know they were going to do this, but they made short profile videos of each of the fathers involved: Whit Honea, Jim Higley, Clay Nichols and Seth Taylor.

A really inspiring video from a great bunch of guys who are also great dads. I love that so many fathers brought up that they want to be present and involved for their kids. I think that’s my favorite part of this group video.

When I finished my video, I realized that I had submitted about 18 or so minutes of footage that took hours too long (I know, I know) of retakes, shortening answers, trying different angles and even difference cameras (iPhone, 5D Mark II). Brevity is not my gift. As part of the process, I was asked to share a story about my own father. I was going to try to write it down, but I watched that section again and decided to share it on its own:

If you can’t see the video above, you should be able to see it by clicking here. You can follow me on Vimeo.

I need to smile more.

Happy Father’s Day, people.

Note: Thanks to Philips-Norelco for sponsoring this post as part of their New Face of Dad campaign. You can read more about this campaign by visiting their Facebook page.

  • Kate Haney

    That is a wonderful story. Well done.

  • Sheri Watts Hart

    Great job Jon, on both videos….and on how you view being a dad. Lucky girls.

  • americanrecluse

    Ahh that was a beautiful story, and I love the photo. Now I want to see the whole 18 minutes!

  • Kelly Michel

    i loved this!

  • Michelle


  • Amy Shouse

    My dad died in 2006 and I ache on Father’s Day but I loved watching this. There is nothing (especially for a daughter) like a dad that tries to make the world better for her. Impossible task but the effort = love.

  • MyPetGloat

    Jon, the connection doesn’t have to be material. And I suspect for girls it might be different…don’t want to assume though. My dad was largely absent from our family, and he ended up leaving us and we never saw him again. He isn’t a very kind person – wasn’t then, isn’t now,, so he didn’t leave me with many happy memories. Which makes him the polar opposite of you. But I can tell you that I have one very strong very fond memory and that was the morning he taught me how to make scrambled eggs. I think I was six or seven. Seems inconsequential doesn’t it and I’m sure he doesn’t remember it, but it was a very big deal to me. I learned how to make scrambled eggs from my father step by step. It was one of the few genuine moments between us and it must have been because I have always remembered it.

  • Amy Jacobs

    Just wanted to tell you Jon that this made me cry. My husband’s father died three years ago. It really hit him hard. He actually died working…he worked in the movie theater business for 50 years and was repairing a projector when he collapsed from a heart attack. Beside him was his toolbox and bag (that I had bought him years before for Christmas). When we were making arrangements and going over what had happened with him the one thing both my husband and I thought of was his tools…where were they and who had them. I can totally understand your story because I know my husband has a similiar story he could tell helping his father at the theater to fix and work on stuff. One of THE most profound and moving things I’ve ever witnessed is how the loss of his father affected my husband. The relationship between a son and a father is so very complex and goes to the core of who a man becomes. I loved my father in law like my own father, since I didn’t have one around growing up and I must admit a deep longing and jealous when I see the love someone has for their father. You are lucky to have those memories…to have his toolbox and to be with your daughtes every day. Believe me when I say that your role in their loves means more than anything else in their lives besides the love they will some day feel for their own children…and those children’s father!

  • twocharacters

    Dude, I’ve never noticed it before but in the intro you look like ridiculously photogenic dad or something. They should start a meme.

  • Alison Groth

    Jon, what wonderful videos! I loved your story about the toolbox. I lost my father in 2005 and I miss him every day. Through those years, I’ve noticed that it’s the things that were once in his own hands that mean the most to me now. His tools, yes, his screwdrivers and his hammer, to be sure. I feel more confident using tools that were his. I have an old ruler that he kept in his desk, and his shoe polish kit. He always took good care of his shoes and that wooden kit is so precious to me. But also his lessons, his many lessons, that have stayed with me. God bless the wonderful fathers out there. I was truly blessed with one of them.

  • Sol Kawage

    God you’re sexy.

  • Sarah R. Bloom

    Great job on both videos, Jon.

    My father and his sister both hold dear some tools of their father after he passed away. He was an upholsterer and a tinkerer and his garage was packed top to bottom with bits and pieces of his work. Fabric, staples, stretchers, leather–tools of all kinds. He was also a pack rat. Me, I remember most his hands and how they smelled; how they felt.

    My father is still around, lucky for me. He’s been an incredible source of strength in my life (despite a period when I was a teen of not liking him very much). Even though he doesn’t have the same shaving ritual he did when I was a kid (he uses an electric now), one of my favorite memories of childhood associated with him is sitting up on the bathroom sink to watch him use the big lather brush in the mug of Old Spice shave cream (it lathered up when you wet it), and then shave. The smell of Old Spice will forever remind me of him even though he doesn’t use it anymore.

    I don’t think as parents we get to choose what will be most important to them; what will hold us in their memories. They choose. Just like you chose the tool box.

  • Brigitte Hinkle van Pelt

    I really enjoyed this video. Well done, Jon. You are doing such a great job with your daughters to ensure they know they are loved and cared for. :-)

  • BeckyCochrane

    Remember these years, because when they are teenagers and act as if everything you do exasperates them, all this groundwork you laid of love and support is the truth they will come back to, and your relationships will be even better than you can imagine.

  • Heather Howell

    And I’m bawling….

  • Kristan

    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of folks who really enjoyed this video and the “new faces of dad.” Brought tears to my eyes several times, and made me happy/hopeful for all these kids.

    Also, great photo and accompanying story, Jon.

    I will say this: As someone with an “older” father (he was 46 when I was born) I have always been aware of my dad’s mortality, and I would much rather have as much time and as many memories with him than any single tangible object to remember him by. So don’t worry about what you may or may not leave behind; just focus on what you’re doing now. :)

  • Amanda Brumfield

    Beautiful Jon, very well done. *sniff*

  • Diane Sherman

    What a beautiful post, Jon! My dad is still alive and well, but I carry with me a lot of rich memories of him from my childhood. One of those memories involves a trip to the beach and stopping at an ice cream shop. Right after he had purchased ice cream cones for me and my sister, we all jumped back into his convertible Cadillac and drove around the area with the warm wind blowing our hair.. and blowing our ice cream cones into a dripping mess all over his white leather seats. It was a fiasco at the time (not to mention a really bad idea), but when I think about that memory I can’t help but smile. There’s no physical reminder of that time with him.. only an emotional one. I expect your girls are going to have many memories like that with you, physical reminders or not.

  • Tek Gomez

    that opening montage has the son and grandson of a friend of mine!