Ad Veritas: Father’s Day Reflections

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Editors note: ‘Ad Veritas,’ a phrase that springs from the profound depth of the Latin language, is the fitting title for this new column. Its translation to English echoes ‘Towards Truth’ or ‘To the Truth,’ an eloquent yet profound mantra that encapsulates the essence of the path we are about to traverse together. Each column is a step towards uncovering and understanding deeper truths, probing a myriad of topics, narratives, and perspectives. With an intention to both honor and continue the legacy of ‘My View,’ my father’s cherished column, ‘Ad Veritas’ promises a fresh voice and a dedicated pursuit of truth. This column symbolizes more than a series of articles—it is an ongoing dialogue with you, our readers, as we collectively navigate the pathways to truth in our ever-changing world. We invite you to join us in this enriching journey, finding not only knowledge but also inspiration, from the perspectives shared in ‘Ad Veritas.’

This week, as we commemorate Father’s Day, I find myself enveloped in a cascade of memories, a testament to a bond forged in love, respect, and a shared passion for truth.

In the vast expanse of the universe, there are few relationships as profound, as complex, and as deeply influential as that between a father and child.Whether intentional or not, a father chisels his son’s character, shapes his perspectives, and guides him towards his own understanding of life’s many truths. And when his time comes to say goodbye, he leaves behind not just a legacy of love, but also a compass that navigates us through the meandering paths of life.

My father, Dennis Richardson, was the embodiment of these sentiments. His legacy persists not only through the life he lived but the truths he imparted, and the myriad lessons I absorbed in his presence. As we journey through ‘Ad Veritas,’ towards truth, I cannot help but honor his memory, his teachings, and the tremendous impact he’s had on my life.

This column carries a piece of him, a reflection of the profound influence he had, not just as a father, but as a mentor, and as a guide in my quest for truth. I invite you to join me in honoring not just my father, but all fathers – those who are with us today and those who continue to inspire us from beyond the earthly realm.
My father was a wellspring of life lessons and practical advice. I’d like to share three invaluable lessons he instilled in me – the art of writing, resilience in business, and the power of dreaming.

He taught me the potency of the written word. His wisdom guided me, showing me how to craft words that could touch hearts, change minds, and illuminate the truth. He demonstrated the importance of clear, precise language, and nurtured in me a deep respect for the rhythm and power that words possess.

Secondly, my father was a dedicated businessman who never knew when to quit – and I say that as the highest praise. He was a believer in the underdog and a practitioner of tenacity. He taught me that ‘odds’ are just numbers, that they don’t define outcomes unless you allow them to. He showed me how to look at setbacks not as failures but as opportunities to learn, grow, and come back stronger. He started his career as a journalist, making his way through several newsrooms in Tennessee before saving up the money and relational capital to buy his first newspaper in Huntingdon. Facing local competition, dwindling financial resources, and several setbacks, he and Mom (and current Carroll County News-Leader editor Shirley Nanney) dug deep within them to do what it took to make it work, soon buying out the local competition and then expanding the company to the next county over with the purchase of the Camden Chronicle.

And third, he taught me to dream. My father was a visionary, a man who could look beyond the surface, past the mundane, and into the realm of what could be. He taught me to imagine fearlessly, to see not just with my eyes but with my mind and heart. He encouraged me to explore the boundaries of my imagination, to create what others deemed impossible. His lesson was clear – dreams are the blueprints of reality; without them, progress would cease.

These three lessons – the art of writing, resilience in business, and the power of dreaming – are pillars that shape my life. They are guiding stars in the vast sky of learning my father left behind. And on this Father’s Day, I honor him, thankful for the profound influence he had on my life.

I’d like to add here that I also have an amazing father-in-law. For the past 11 (almost 12) years, Terry Larkins has helped me immensely as a mentor and adviser in different areas. Thanks to this relationship, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to learn from his vast life experiences as he’s taught me about construction, plumbing, electrical, auto maintenance, and life in general.

I invite each one of you to reflect on the lessons learned from your fathers, to appreciate their influence and cherish their wisdom. Because the journey towards truth, towards ‘Ad Veritas,’ is illuminated by the lessons learned at our father’s knee.

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