A few weeks ago I set out to engage people in a conversation about their fathers. Through the experience the depth of emotions provoked in talking about "dad" struck me and the powerful sentiments stirred by distant memories seemed to surprise even those who were sharing their stories. The discussions were often deeply personal and I am grateful to all of those who shared glimpses of their fathers.
Nightline co-anchor Bill Weir sat down with me for a touching interview about his late father. Bill describes his dad as a larger than life John Wayne type of guy who loved the outdoors and adventure. He was also an intellectual and a voracious reader who at 17 lied about his age and joined the army -- "He was the smartest high school drop-out I ever met." Reflecting on his only regret, Bill recalls the time when his parents split when he was 10 (and as is the case in joint custody) his mom needed his father's permission to move to another state. Bill says his dad always carried guilt with him about "letting them go" and Bill wishes he got to tell him "don't worry about it ... it worked out ..."
Four years ago tragedy struck when Bill's dad was working on his home in Colorado and fatally fell from the deck he was building. Bill's dad had only one request -- to have his ashes spread on Mount Sopris. Describing saying goodbye to his beloved father in his own way he says "I got to finish that deck and I got to make that hike and talk to him the whole way up."