06/21/2015 02:07 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Things My Dad Never Did


All my life I've been impressed by my father's accomplishments, but now something funny has happened -- I realize I'm just as impressed by the things he's never done.

He's never served himself first at the table, or wasted a single morsel of food on his plate. (As he'll turn 90 on his next birthday, this makes for quite a stack of plates.)

He's never complained about the long hours he worked to support his family.

He's never been a churchgoer, preferring to contemplate this nutty thing called life while out in the sunshine, clipping his hedges.

He's never rooted for a sports team, cheered for any politician or been dazzled by things other people possess.

He's never ordered a la carte, driven anywhere when he could walk instead, or used a power tool when a manual tool could get the job done.

He's never gotten less than a month's use out of a can of tennis balls, never treated an open bar as a chance to get loaded, never said "no" to a neighbor in need.

He's never gone to bed without asking himself: "What did I accomplish today?"

Just one more "never," my favorite of all -- he never made me think anything I dreamed of doing was out of reach.

All these "nevers" translate to one "always." Tony Carillo has always been there for his loved ones, having wasted none of his steam on the small stuff.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. Never thought never could mean so much.

Charlie Carillo is a novelist and a TV producer. His website is