Our Fathers, Ourselves

Good or bad, weak or strong, alive or dead, close or distant, our fathers are with us.

Juan Thompson – Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up with Hunter S. Thompson

Sometimes the absence of something truly sends home its importance. In no situation is that more true than when it comes to fathers.

This being Father’s Day Weekend gives us all a chance to be grateful if we were blessed to have a father or father figure in our life.


My guest this week on most of our PBS STATIONS, Juan Thompson, personifies that gratefulness to its fullest extent. For Juan grew up, with what he himself admits, is probably the most unique father-son relationship of the modern era. You see, Juan’s father was the man whom they coined the term “Gonzo” journalist after, the great but very atypical writer Hunter S. Thompson. 

It would be many years, though, until I could appreciate his gifts and his motives.

Growing up with an iconic legend, known as much for his writing as for his one-of-a-kind wild lifestyle, Juan truly was able to grasp the still important role a father plays in his child’s life.


What do fathers want most from their sons? Do we only want them to be happy? Do we want them to be like us? Do we want to be loved? I don’t know what my father wanted from me – I know he needed my forgiveness.

What makes Juan’s story so riveting, and our conversation so revealing, is that even with a father who is unlike any you could imagine, if his love is felt, even if realized later in life, an everlasting bond is created.

I saw how Hunter loved my son, and I understood better how my father loved me.

So as we prepare to celebrate fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers and sons who are fathers, let us also take a moment to think about all those who come from a home where there was no father or father figure. For it is our duty to do all in our power to help these children.


And to all the unsung heroes – (our FATHERS) – thank you dads for always being with us!

Enjoy this special day,




TO CONTACT BARRY YOU MAY E-MAIL HIM AT: barrykibrick@aol.com



The Teacher

Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.
This week both my sons, and many of their friends, are going to a retirement party. It’s a party for a teacher that as my son says: “No one doesn’t like.”

I personally know this wonderful teacher and can see how he captured the hearts and minds of so many students who entered his class room. His name is Donald LaFraniere and to hear my sons and their friends talk about him I only wish I had him as a teacher myself.

I believe he’s been a teacher for over 30 years. Assuming he taught about 5 classes per day, with about 30 students in each class, that would mean he had a direct influence on at least 50,000 impressionable minds at a most important time of those mind’s development.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
– William Butler Yeats –
And what an impression he must have made because from the latest blurbs I can gather from Facebook, it looks like there will be hundreds upon hundreds of students attending this celebratory honor.

But let’s step back to those 50,000 impressionable minds and just think for a moment about the lives they will touch and the minds they will have an impression on. Because of my sons I am privileged to know at least a dozen of them personally. A dozen wonderful young people who themselves have already become productive adults and are already affecting, in a very positive way, many in their wake.
 A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
– Henry Brooks Adams –

Congratulations Mr. LaFraniere and a hearty thanks for your affect on eternity.

Plus, congratulations to the L.A. Kings for taking home the Stanley Cup last night, and a tear shed for the valiant N.Y. Rangers. Also, I want to wish all those great dads out there a most happy Father’s Day and may you all be blessed to share it with your wonderful families. Plus, I am thrilled to welcome another city and station to the Between the Lines family, KVCR in Palm Springs and throughout Riverside, California.
Happy Father’s Day!
TO CONTACT BARRY E-MAIL HIM AT: barrykibrick@aol.com

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