I am surrounded by great examples of strength in my life. That statement really hit home during the past year. Growing up, the notion of strength was best exemplified for me by watching Popeye cartoons on the weekends. But decades later, I realized my parents in the living room would be a much better example of strength. I included a picture of me with my “Pops” because my sister Victoria made a voyage to Poland a few years ago and found out we may be related to the real-life Popeye. I can totally see it. Can’t you? My parents sacrificed so much in their lives while working multiple jobs to give me and my sisters the best life possible. For that, I am very thankful.
I hope to carry on that characteristic of strength to my sons. If you read my articles in the past, you probably know about my son Trey, who happens to be pretty involved with his autism. How much strength do you think it takes to be non-verbal in a world that must be so confusing to him at times? Autism ain’t for weenies! My youngest son, Beau, is his strongest advocate at all times! He’s always by his side and leading a great example to others in his high school. I am very proud of both of them and how they flex their muscles to their world. I mean it’s gotta be easy for them. You know, we’re all related to Popeye. Shiver me timbers!
My lovely wife isn’t as sold on the fact our bloodlines date back to Frank “Rocky” Feigel but she has other endearing qualities. A lot has been made about front line health care workers during the pandemic. I’ve seen very few reports about the importance of social workers during this very stressful time for Siouxland families. I’m happy to watch her strength as she has been an in-home social worker for more than a quarter of a century. I’m not sure what the burnout rate is for that line of work, but I’m sure it’s less than 25 years! She’s a rock star! Strong! I’m happy to call her my Olive Oyl.
At KSUX, I am amazed at how many nonprofits have made strong moves to completely pivot away from traditional fundraising events and go virtual, or some other creative outlet, to spread the mission of their agency while still adding money to the bottom line to make such a positive impact on Siouxland residents. Working to help others may not afford you the luxury of driving a new Corvette, but I dare say nothing is stronger than to make the best life possible for your fellow woman or man.
That’s exactly what my parents did for me. Corvettes and muscles are nice. But strength comes from within. It’s easier to learn that when you have great role models in your life. I am forever grateful.
I might go celebrate with a side of spinach. Shiver me timbers!
Tony Michaels, morning host on “Tony and Candice” morning show (KSUX 105.7) and author of an upcoming book “Tacos and Beer Atmosphere”. Learn more at tacoswithtony.com.