Blake Snow

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Tagged University of West Georgia

Things my dad taught me: Never ask what you’re not willing to hear

The following is an excerpt from a graduation speech my father Brent Snow gave in 2008 at the University of West Georgia:

I grew up in the deep south—deep southern Idaho–so I picked potatoes rather than cotton! My family was very athletic and my older brother Bruce was probably the best all around athlete in Idaho when he was a senior in high school. Being two years younger, I was constantly compared to him in every sport I played as well as in academics. While I was often on the “short” end of those comparisons, I never resented being so. I respected and admired him a great deal and thought it was an honor to be compared to him.

After finishing my Ph.D. in 1979, I became a faculty member at Oklahoma State University. After I had been there for a couple of years, my Father called me and said he was coming to Stillwater and maybe we could go see a couple of basketball games that were on the schedule. This was quite common for us as athletic events were really an excuse to be together, laugh, and for me to be interviewed about how I was doing—was I doing what I should as a Dad?, husband?, and in my work? I loved those interviews with my Father as he would listen and share some advice and wisdom all the while watching a point guard hit a three pointer! You didn’t have to know my Dad very long to realize he was a very wise person.

After one of those games on the way home, we had been talking about my Brother and me always being compared as athletes. I decided to try to be a little clever by putting my Dad on the spot and testing his wisdom:

“Well Dad, how would you compare Bruce and me as athletes?”

“In what sport?” he said –surprising me that he was willing to do so.

“How about baseball?” Continue reading…