As I started to write this column, it occurred to me that June 21 is the start of summer (one of my favorite days of the year), and June 18 is Dad’s Day. But as important as Dad’s Day is, when I looked back through more than 75 columns (thinking the whole time, Is that really all I’ve written? Why does it feel like oh so many more?), it didn’t appear that I’d ever acknowledged Dad. How can that be? I wondered. I need to fix that wrong right now.

So, first, let me say Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and fathers-to-be who are reading this.

And then let me wish my dad a very special Father’s Day. Those of you who read my column regularly know how close my family is. And I can thank my dad (along with my mom, of course) for that. He is a very special, funny, and smart man whom I’ve always been able to count on, turn to, and rely on. If everyone had a dad who’s just a quarter as great as mine is, they’d be lucky indeed.

So don’t forget to celebrate your dad — on his day and every day! And don’t forget that it doesn’t have to be “dad” in the traditional sense of the word. Whomever you can thank for helping you to be who you are needs to hear from you.

And if you’d like to go the extra mile and treat your dad to something special, then this issue will give you lots of ideas.

For instance, you can take him to Germany and revel in a sporting event of truly global proportions. Before you go, pick up some cool World Cup stats from our “UpFront” section.

Of course, if your dad isn’t into sports (and specifically soccer), then perhaps he likes food. We have a story on some fabulous places to dine in New Orleans. Not only would you and Dad enjoy some mighty fine meals together, but you’d also be contributing to the comeback of the city.

Or, if he enjoys a good beer, you can head to New York, where the two of you can try out the many great microbreweries there. There are so many, in fact, the state is considering creating the Empire State Brewery Trail.

If he’s more of a sedentary fellow, pick him up a copy of Anderson Cooper’s new book. After you read our interview with Cooper in “DownLow,” you’ll see why there’s a lot of buzz about his book. Your dad is sure to be enlightened and entertained at the same time.

These are just the highlights. As you study each page, I’m sure you’ll come up with many other great ideas. So what are you waiting for? Get started.

But before I leave you, let me address some interesting mail I’ve recently received. Apparently there’s a “game” out there among our frequent travelers in which they count the number of personal pronouns I use in my columns. These readers have brought not only the game to my attention, but also which columns are chock-full of myself and which ones are less so.

After reading about this, I was determined to write a column with the least number of references to myself as possible. But after looking back over this one, I haven’t done so well.

So have faith, you counters — I’m going to do my best to get down to single digits. But, as an incentive, do I get a prize or anything for my efforts? Can’t wait to hear from you.

Picture of Sheri Burns