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Thoughts on Fatherhood - Killer Acid

Thoughts on Fatherhood

One July day back in 1995 my dad and I happened upon a small screen print shop off of the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. We went inside and my dad struck up a conversation with the proprietor, a scruffy looking surfer dude named Tres. Dad nudged me to show dude my notebook, which I did shyly. I was 18 years old. The notebook was full of rudimentary pen and ink drawings, ideas which would become the basis of the art I’m known for. Tres seemed really stoked about the work. He asked if I had a brand name. I didn’t, but I went home and thought about it. That night I scrawled out a logo that said Craggy Sun. The word Craggy had a great ring to it. Was the sun made of rock…? I honestly didn’t give it much thought. It just sounded cool. I took the notebook back to the shop. They scanned and sized each drawing on Xerox machine, printed films, and burned the screens. The following week we went by and they had printed my art on a bunch of Anvil beefy tees in a variety of colors. There was one hanging in the window! I’m not sure how well the shirts sold at the shop, or if they sold at all. I was psyched that they gifted me a box to sling out of the trunk of my, which I promptly did for $20 a pop, mostly to friends and elder hippies at the park.

Craggy Sun - 1995 Craggy Sun - 1995

In retrospect, the notebook could have been anything. My dad, realizing my interests at a young age, saw the bigger picture. He connected the dots between my graphics and the graphics in the shop, and even though he tried to persuade me to become a doctor most of my high school years, in that moment perhaps he saw a different outcome. Sure it’s possible I may have discovered printmaking a different way, but this experience showed me something supremely interesting at an impressionable age. It fulfilled both the technical and artistic side of my brain. I ‘got’ it immediately. Coming from a small town where there was no big city view, it gave me a small window into the future. Looking back, he believed in and encouraged me. Just one person believing in and encouraging you at a young age can change your world. It could be a mother, an aunt, uncle, teacher, mentor, etc. But for me, on this day, it was my dad. This is just one example of my parents doing good by me. I can think of others, but this one is the most straightforward to express. Now that I’m a father myself, I find it easier to put myself in his shoes. I prefer to focus more on the positive aspects of our time together under one roof instead of dwelling on arguments or philosophical disagreements we’ve had over the years.

With my Grandpa in front of the print shop. With my Grandpa in front of the shop.

It’s so easy these days to resent and ostracize family, and to have permanent rifts build up due to politics or opposing lifestyle choices. It’s harder to remain neutral, be the bigger person, and heal divides. Being a parent ain’t easy. Sure there are bad apples out there, and people that probably shouldn’t have become parents, but most people are just trying their best with the hand they’re dealt. So this Father’s Day, let’s try and see our dads for who they are. And if we are lucky enough to still have them in our lives, let’s call them and say what’s up.

With Love, Rob and Family

Starting her early in the family business. Starting her early in the family business.
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