"Father’s Day gifts for a Fred Flintstone-era newsman" by; Jessica Shepard

   This weekend is Father’s Day and I’m stumped at what to get for mine.
   I mean, there’s the standard card and maybe a newly released DVD movie, but, it seems like I do that every year.
   I do know that everyone will be home this weekend; meaning my brother and sister are coming in from out of town.
   So, I’m going to try and coordinate ahead of time and see if we can’t all get our heads together and get Mike something.
   Still, it’s hard to put a price on all of the things he’s done for the family.
   Look at the newspaper, he came out of retirement to fulfill his love for journalism and providing an objective/factual point of view rather than an emotional or opinionated one.
   Well, at least until you read his columns!
   Even then, I know he puts plenty of facts in those, too.
   Speaking of journalism, he’s taught me a lot as well.
   And even though I sometimes forget all the ins and outs of AP style, he nudges me back on track without making too much of a fuss.
   One of the best things about being his stepdaughter is that he’s a giant nerd and kid at heart.
   That means we get to enjoy a lot of the same things when it comes to movies, books and music.
   Not to mention, some of our best family vacations have involved museum trips, historical sites and national monuments.
   Mike’s also got a great sense of humor and takes our occasional jokes in stride.
   Like the one about how he’s celebrating his 50th class reunion this year and I’ve asked him if he used to carpool with Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.
   Or, the one about if he had to write essays with a chisel and stone tablet.
   Plus, there’s always a chance to bring up how he got lost on the Colorado River years ago.
   Al laughing aside, I don’t think I can come up with a gift for him that encompasses how much he means to me or this family.
   Mike is hugely supportive of my siblings and me and takes the time to ask us how our work days go and has plenty of conversations with us about pop culture interests.
   He’s bonded with my brother over books and my sister with Aggie fever.
   Not to mention, he supports my mom in all of her endeavors and isn’t afraid to go with her to Hobby Lobby.
   Sure, he’s not a fan but, he endures the aisles of craft supplies like Dante’s trip through the circles of Hell. In fact, he won an award for writing a column on that experience and it was hilarious!
   All in all, Mike is a wonderful dad and I’m grateful and proud to be his daughter.
   I’ve just got to decide what kind of present to get him to express this gratitude.
   How do you get a gift for the man that owns every piece of Aggie memorabilia available?
   Well, maybe the question is more like, how do I get him a gift that will annoy mom at the same time?
   After all, if I can kill two birds with one stone, that would be the best solution. 

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