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<p><strong>You’re up next, Dad.</strong></p> <p>When I think of my dad, I think of a flamingo. Not just any flamingo, but one wearing sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt. This may not make sense to Go Local readers, but it is a symbol of our relationship. My dad bought me a trinket of the described flamingo four years ago, and it has traveled from Springfield to Windsor Locks with me, where it is displayed in my home prominently.</p> <p>My dad is the reason I am able to drive. He gave me lessons in my early twenties, and I was terrified. I always got into my own head. We got into an argument during a lesson one day, and I was ready to give up. My dad, not sure how to resolve it, went to the dollar store and found the flamingo. He walked into my room and, without a word, sat it on my desk. I couldn’t stop laughing, and the rest is history. I got my license about a month later.</p> <p>It says a lot about our relationship. It’s one based on laughs and him inspiring me to always push forward. When my dad tells me I can accomplish something, I know it’s true. But that’s probably because I’ve always looked at him like one of the superheroes he loves.</p> <p>While my mom is busy filling the walls with giraffe portraits, my dad is stockpiling a Marvel and Blizzard Games collection for his room that he’s been “working on” for years.</p> <p>Everything about my dad has always been cool. My dad’s favorite superhero is Spider-Man, so naturally, so is mine. He plays softball, so I joined a team as a kid (turns out I need to stick to writing.) My dad jams out to rock music almost exclusively, so my first album at 12 years old was Green Day’s “International Superhits!” I can thank him for who I am today and for teaching me a lot of important lessons. My dad has inspired me. If you work for Reminder Publishing, stroll by my desk one day and check out my sea of action figures.</p> <p>The barbarian is the best character to choose when playing a video game, and it doesn’t hurt to be as tough as one in real life. Some days are going to feel like a journey to Mordor and back, but that doesn’t mean you should ever give up. There’s a huge difference between being a geek and a nerd. The game isn’t as fun with cheat codes, so be honest (in life and in video games, of course.) Math homework doesn’t just go away, so defeat it like the main boss in the game and level up a grade. It’s okay to be an adult and come home to shelves filled with action figures and comic books. Most importantly, be yourself.</p> <p>The pages of this edition contain cool Father’s Day events and gifts. I’m going a slightly different route this Father’s Day due to my dad’s unique interests. Maybe swap the traditional tie for a Spider-Man mask or replica sword? The possibilities are endless.</p> <p>My dad is my superhero, always there to save the day or rescue me when times are tough, and I am forever grateful. I’m even grateful for my eccentric middle name that was inspired by a Dungeons and Dragons elf.</p> <p>Dad, thanks for everything.<br /><br />Love,<br />Stephanie (Aryn – elf of the mountains) Trombley</p>