6 notable, local men share a favorite memory of their fathers

"My dad has always been there when you needed him the most."

Quality time spent with a dad is priceless, as several well-known Boston-area men will tell you.

As Father’s Day approaches, we asked six area men, from Chef Michael Schlow to WBZ-TV anchor David Wade to EverybodyFights Founder George Foreman III, to share a favorite memory with their fathers.

George Foreman III with his father, boxing legend George Foreman. —Courtesy of George Foreman III

George Foreman III, EverybodyFights founder

“I remember when I was just 11 years old — and overweight for my age and height. I looked in the mirror and told my father, ‘I don’t like what I see.’ He told me to never say that again, and that if I could learn to love whatever I saw in the mirror, others will love it too. #selflove”

David Wade with his father, John Wade. —Courtesy of David Wade

David Wade, WBZ-TV news anchor

Advertisement

“I have many great memories with my dad. He’s the best. My dad has always been there when you needed him the most. He was my best man at my wedding. Also, here’s a little known fact: He’s ranked No. 1 in the world in dad jokes! One of my best memories was a trip to the Grand Canyon a few years ago. My brother organized a rafting trip through the canyon for my dad, my brother, my nephew, and me. We got dropped off in the canyon by helicopter. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip and pretty special to get to share it with him.”

Chef Michael Schlow and his father, Ned Cohn. —Courtesy of Michael Schlow

Michael Schlow, chef/owner of Schlow Restaurant Group

“I have so many amazing memories of my dad, Ned, it’s hard to list just one. At the very top of the charts was when he and my mother met me in Italy to celebrate my 40th birthday. We had rented a beautiful house in Umbria and he and my friend’s father would build this raging fire every night in the outdoor pizza oven where we would cook amazing dinners with ingredients my dad and I would buy at the local mercato. We’d sit around, drinking aperitivos in the early evening, waiting for the fire to be the perfect temperature, then stay up all night eating dinner al fresco, surrounded by great friends, telling stories, and drinking way too much wine. It was one of the best experiences in my life. I’m so grateful I got to share it with my dad (and my mom!). He passed away six years ago. I miss him terribly, but he’s still with me all the time, with his words of wisdom and ‘life lessons’ echoing every day. Happy Father’s Day, Ned.”

Jung-Ho Pak with his father, Chan-Yong Pak. —Courtesy of Jung-Ho Pak

Jung-Ho Pak, artistic director and conductor of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra

“As the picture indicates, I remember my father being an amateur musician who played piano for the shear enjoyment of it. He enjoyed playing popular songs. He was innately expressive though he chose the very practical career of a dentist. He enjoyed dancing with my mother, and I think that became his artistic passion. My most touching memory of him was when we visited a famous tourist destination in Korea, and as we were walking up a hill, we came across a young girl selling gum. She obviously was poor, and my dad gave her money. She offered him the gum in return and he refused the gesture. He pat her on the head and told her to keep it. It was a small gesture, but it made a deep impression upon my understanding of his kindness and empathy. It was a lasting impression of how every act we demonstrate can be emblazoned upon a child’s understanding of the world. “
Stephen McNulty with his dad John McNulty and his two sons Daniel and Mikey. —Courtesy of Stephen McNulty

Stephen McNulty, singer and Boston Police officer

Advertisement

“One of my favorite memories of my father goes back to 1995 when I was an 18-year-old kid only thinking of music as my future career path. At the time, my father had worked for nearly 20 years as clerk magistrate at Suffolk Superior Court but had always dreamed of being a Boston Police officer. He made the unthinkable happen when he graduated the Boston Police Academy as a married father of 5 at the age of 47. I was honored to sing the National Anthem at his graduation ceremony. I remember it vividly. When he crossed the stage to receive his badge, I had never been so proud of anyone else for anything else — and right then, the seed was planted in my mind that I wanted to follow in his footsteps someday. My brother John would become an officer soon after. Many years later, in 2006 at the age 30, I would transition from a life spent in music to join them. I even got the chance to ride with my dad toward the end of his career. These days, he’s enjoying a well-deserved healthy and happy retirement.”

Benjamin Appleby with his father, Dr. R. Scott Appleby. —Courtesy of Benjamin Appleby

Benjamin Appleby, wine and beverage manager at Abe & Louie’s in Boston

“My favorite memory of my Dad has to be when he read me J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ the summer before I started first grade. We would read a chapter every night at bedtime, and every one felt like a cliffhanger. It colored my whole summer. Every bike ride became a trek through Mirkwood Forest, and my friends a company of dwarves. It’s a tradition that I have continued with my own seven-year-old, complete with the voices of Gandalf the wizard, Smaug the dragon, and especially, Gollum.”

Advertisement

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and grammar.