|Tom Shepherd Chuck Norris|
It's happened as long as I can remember. I'd be walking with my Dad and someone would stop him and say, "Hey, are you Chuck Norris? You look like Chuck Norris!" At this point I'd step back and watch to see what happened next.
Sometimes Dad would drop into a classic defensive posture, one leg back, the front one bent at the knee, weight on the rear leg, fists raised, chin down while he eyeballed them with a cool response, "Yes, that's me... Chuck Norris."
Chuck Norris represents a good deal of what is right with the world. Everyone knows that you don't mess with him, and he's going to put a hurt on the bad guys as he saves the day.
That's also how I see my Dad. Whenever he enters a situation, it just gets better. He has a quick wit, a disarming smile, and integrity as strong as the steel he manufactured at AK for 30 years.
Chuck Norris once said, "Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth."
Living 2000 miles apart from Mom and Dad can be tough sometimes, Chuck Norris tough. As I get older I find more and more of my personality reminds me of my Mom and my Dad. There are times when I need a little of both of them to get through the day.
Chuck Norris said, "A lot of times people look at the negative side of what they feel they can't do. I always look on the positive side of what I can do."
Sometimes I wonder if my Dad secretly is Chuck Norris. While I haven't heard him say those words, I've seen him live that life. I've never seen him take down a Soviet spy, take down a ninja, or save a President... but he's built a treehouse, hung tire-swings, laid down giant trees, dug a fence line, restored an old coupe, taught me how to shoot, and lets my daughters paint his face.
I've come to the conclusion that Chuck Norris looks a lot like him.
It happened to me for the first time a few weeks ago. I was walking in a village in Guatemala, tools on my belt, torn jeans with a leather cowboy hat. I heard two guys on a roof alongside the gravel street talking about me. The other laughed as the first said, "Se parece a Chuck Norris" or, "He looks like Chuck Norris.
Now whenever I visit Bola de Oro, Chimaltenango, Guatemala... I frequently hear, "Hey... Chuck Norris."
It's a great reminder for me... and quite the challenge to live up to. Someday my son will be measuring his own life against my own. I hope he thinks I look like my Dad*.
*Shepherd family... insert jokes about the size of my nose here. How is it that I didn't get Dad's blue eyes, but I got Harry's nose?