Books from Dad

Books LV Steinhoff gave Ken Steinhoff when he started high schoolShortly after I started Central High School, Dad came home with four book under his arm. I don’t think it was any special occasion or if they wrapped in gift paper. I don’t even remember if he said anything when he handed them to me unless it was, “Here are some books you might find useful.”

They were

  • Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language
  • Roget’s International Thesaurus
  • Merriam-Webster’s Synonyms
  • Robert’s Rules of Order

Why these books?

As I type these, I have to wonder who told him this would be a useful combination. Dad was a smart guy, but he constructed roads and bridges, not words and paragraphs. I can’t think of anywhere he would have been exposed to Robert’s Rules of Order.

Still, those books served me all the way through high school, got packed up to go to Ohio University, and were thumbed through at papers in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.

I’m shuffling stuff around in my office to make more efficient use of space, so I took the books down this afternoon. I flipped to the front pages to see if he had written anything in the flyleaves.

No, he was a strong believer in never engraving on or writing in anything that you might need to sell or pawn some day.

They’re a little worse for the wear, and they wouldn’t bring anything at the pawn shop, but they are priceless to me.

11 Replies to “Books from Dad”

  1. What great gift from father to son… This is a thoughtful and caring way to guide anyone into what is important to be understood in the real world.
    Now we just tell our Utes with sculls full of mush to just Google it.

    1. Fifty years from now, my grandkids will say, “Ah, yes, I remember that great link granddad sent me. It’s all 404 now, but it was really special at the time.”

  2. Your dad was a very smart man. I have all 4 books on my shelf and they’re pretty worn. Bartlett Book of Quotes is another well worn favorite.

  3. +#}*]>*# iPad auto correct! That was supposed to be Your dad. . . . Not you’re

    [Editor’s Note: I fixed the auto correct error in the first message, but decided to leave this one. I love it when Anola talks dirty.]

  4. Thanks For the edit Ken. Sorry, I can’t control myself when Apple autocorrects words that were already correct. Actually I have no patience for people or AI systems that think they know better than me.

  5. Your dad had some pretty good ideas. Few young people today would know what a thesaurus is. Of course many people “our age” cannot navigate computers – I struggle with that myself.

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