Father's Day Politiku

07/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Dad's Pentagon career began in the early 80s when this issue of nuclear non-proliferation --- his area of expertise -- was considered more of an industrial and diplomatic issue than one of national defense.

As would be bureaucratically expected, Dad's attempts to stop the US government from approving the trafficking in arsenal quantities of "commercial" plutonium met with direct opposition from the Departments of State and of Energy who, at the time, wanted to befriend the nuclear industry and nurture diplomatic relationships.

When Dad asked if I would be willing to part with my seldom used teenage dartboard, I assumed he was looking for a new way to energize the drab walls of his windowless, Ring D office. When the then State Department's Ambassador at Large for Nuclear Affairs got wind of the fact that his photographic likeness was mounted on a Pentagon underling's dartboard, however, he was more than just a little bit perturbed.

The then Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy, Michael Huffington was consequently put in an extremely awkward position when the Ambassador got in touch.

Having been made to promise to personally ensure that no likeness of the Ambassador's face would ever appear on a Pentagon dartboard again, Michael Huffington was given no choice but to enter my dad's office and request the removal of the photo. The Ambassador's photographic likeness was consequently excised, leaving as a target only the Ambassador's silhouette and a cluster of darts in the area where the face had been cut out.

Dad did as he was told. He took the cut out of the Ambassador's face home with him at the end of the day. He did not, however, discard the excised photo but instead, mounted it beneath the tail of one of the antique carousel horses we had in our house.

Constance Congdon Politiku
My Dad, machinist,
Said never force anything,
Motors know the truth.

Andrew Solomon Politiku
Child in my arms, you
Can be anything. Except
A Republican.

Michael O'Brien Politiku
Daddy flew airplanes
Brought the admiral's mail
And mom's little wing

Aaron Landsman Politiku
Will my son grow up
To wax nostalgic about
What he couldn't change?

David Amram Politiku
My father always said
Some day you'll be a father
your world becomes theirs!

Susanna Speier Politiku
Dad would always vote
Libertarian. And then...
Barack Obama.