Updated: Mar 18, 2020
My dad. I couldn't imagine having any other dad but him. For a few years now, I have been wanting to make a documentary about him. I have always wanted to know as much as possible about him and I love to hear stories about him.
I remember after he passed away, I went on YouTube to look up videos and I found something I couldn't believe: an interview that he did with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He had never told me about this interview. I was completely surprised to find it as my dad usually told me everything. The more I thought about it though, the more it didn’t surprise me that he had never told me about the historic interview. My dad was the most modest person I had ever met. Thanks to YouTube, I was able to find old interviews of my dad and silent footage of him with Jack Kennedy.
Dad's astrological sign was Virgo. Virgos can tend to be a little reserved at times, and my dad was no exception. Being a reserved person is also a very British thing, and my dad's reservedness made me think that it had more to do with his British heritage. He could be very British himself, using the word "mum" instead of “mom.” My dad was American as well and believed one shouldn’t talk too much about one’s family. He once said, “In Boston, you just never talked about your family and their history.” One was to lead a private and sufficient life. His own family history though was full of ups and downs. He grew up with butlers and maids and had everything, and then lost it all overnight during the depression. My dad would say that money doesn’t grow on trees, and that you have to work hard to earn what you want in in life.
Dad could have cared less what type of family that you came from and whether you had money or not. He was however very proud of his family history although he would never talk about it unless you asked him. Always modest, he would say that his family, “Didn’t really do much. Bradlee’s were a bunch of bankers.” While he was modest about his ancestry, it spurned in me a hunger to learn more about my family that I continue to this day.
When dad liked something, he really showed that he liked it. If you liked him, he liked you. He was a very simple man in that way. My dad never considered himself a celebrity, even though he had accomplished so much as Editor in Chief at the Washington Post during Watergate. Not a day in his life did he think this made him more than he was. In fact, I used to joke with my dad that one day I would become more famous than him, and he would reply, “I would love that.” He would say in his own way that I was not him, that I was never going to become him, and that he just wanted me to be me. He was already proud of who I was.
The last thing my dad said to me was, "I love you."
Here's to celebrating all the fathers out there every day.