Editor’s Note: June is always a big month here at the shore. There are schools graduating, the weather warming up and resort Boardwalks and other attractions are opening for the summer. June also means Father’s Day.
For a couple decades, Tom Williams has turned his sports column over to area athletes to write about their fathers. Another appears in the sports pages this week. But, for the first time, the At Large column becomes a Father’s Day salute by Allison Travers to her father, Rick, the publisher of this newspaper.
Allison is a 2005 graduate from Ocean City High School. She received her BS in Nutrition from Montclair State University in 2010 and completed her Dietetic Internship in 2012 from South Jersey Healthcare. She is a Registered Dietitian currently working at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital as a Clinical Nutritionist.

A Father’s Day tribute to Rick Travers

By Allison Travers
Guest Sports Columnist

Life doesn’t come with an instruction book, that’s why we have fathers.

A wise man once told me, “the key to a successful life is to be happy with what you are doing.” If you’ve ever read a publication from Catamaran Media, played on the OC Splash or Tidal Waves girls soccer teams, played in the OCYAA baseball league or are a member of Upper Level Fitness, then you certainly know this wise man. He is my father, Rick Travers, Publisher of Catamaran Media, soccer and baseball coach extraordinaire, workout enthusiast and, most recently, Vermont blueberry farmer.

Most people in South Jersey are familiar with Rick Travers of the Current, Gazette, Sandpaper and Beachcomber newspapers, but few have gotten to see the fatherly side to him. While the newspaper and family do mix (stuffing inserts in the papers at the Wildwood office when we were six years old), there is another side to him other than the local newspaper guy.

I could tell you all about how great my Dad is, how proud I am of all he’s accomplished and how he’s had a tremendous impact on my life, personal success and happiness. But where’s the fun in that? It’d be too easy and Rick Travers doesn’t do things the easy way. Instead, I would like to share with you six different words from myself and five other siblings that we believe best describe our Dad.

Perhaps it started when I was in high school and eBay was the coolest and most addicting thing out there. Most people bought clothes, jewelry and collectibles, but not my Dad. No, my Dad bid on, and bought, a 1986 red convertible Mercedes, from Florida. Just last month, he did the honors of walking my sister, Nicole, down the aisle and giving the Father of the Bride speech. No one in the room knew what to expect. He delivered an outstanding speech full of jokes, laughs and serenading all of the guests mid-speech with Still the One, by Orleans. If you ask any of his children, that is definitely not what we were predicting.
His unpredictability spiked last year. He did something none of us expected and bought a 13-acre U-Pick blueberry farm in East Dorset, Vermont. For those traveling north, stop by and check out Wildwood Blueberry Farm and say hi to Brenda, Jack, Scarlet and Belle, oh and my dad, Rick.

You may think an owner and publisher of a newspaper may only be interested in reading, writing and business. That may be the norm, but when it comes to my Dad, he is more than a little left of center. His interests are constantly expanding. He enjoys skiing, working out with his wife (and the occasional professional athlete), history, sports (particularly fantasy football) and all the trivia that goes along with it. Here comes the good stuff; he bakes cookies and makes the world’s best granola (not an exaggeration), he’s a dog whisperer (ask Jack, Scarlet or Belle), a blueberry farmer, makes the best CD mixes and models for Orvis in their latest men’s line regularly. Additionally on any vacation, he always manages to find the most interesting things to do and places to see, which always make for a good story, that he will gladly tell you in full detail later.

Although it’s not a real word, to our family and friends, Rick Travers is the definition of a Bosshog. He goes full speed charging the back bowls in Colorado, puts in 150% at the gym with a smile on his face, knows how to make a John Deere tractor look good and makes a PB&J that puts Betty Crocker to shame. And any man who schedules his Wednesday afternoon work meeting at a golf course is worthy of a Bosshog title.

It’s hard to put into appropriate words just how witty my dad is. But he is notorious for his little zingers that casually come out of nowhere that leave you wondering, “how long did it take him to think of that one?” I can tell you, not long at all. He also has the most interesting way of telling stories. They are usually great stories, but definitely take way too long to tell, because he throws his zingers in that leave us in hysterics. Overall, if you spend 10 minutes with my dad, you’ll spend the first five minutes getting over how intimidating he can be. Then you’ll wish you could spend 20 more minutes with him to enjoy more of his charm and witty sense of humor.

Generous and Humanitarian.
I believe if you take out a magnifying glass and look in the dictionary under either of these words, you would very well see Rick Travers in small, fine print. He is relentless in his generosity, not only to me and our family, but to the entire community. When I was younger, I remember my dad always running out of the house for some function; a benefit dinner, Chamber of Commerce meeting, coaching meeting or a fundraiser. At the time, I was jealous. I had to share my Dad with so many other people, not to mention my five other siblings. But as I grew up, I saw all of the good he was doing for others in the community. His generosity shows not only with numerous donations, but his time, which is more generous to give than any amount of money. And anytime I’ve asked why he does certain things or goes to all of these functions, he always responds with, “that’s just the kind of guy I am.” And he’s right. As I’ve grown up, I now realize why my dad says, “life is too short and time moves incredibly fast.”

If you don’t believe his children, maybe you’ll take the word of his own employees. For over 30 years my dad has run a successful business and some of his great employees believe he’s just as awesome as we do. They’ve even gone as far to say he’s creative, clever, laid back, a unique thinker, Chicago-ish and that he has an interesting way of getting his point across.

None of the six words best used to describe my father would make him “the best father in the world”, but to me, he is the sun, moon and everything in between. His untraditional ways of doing things in raising six kids may make for an interesting story, but from this I can tell you what I’ve learned. Always keep people on their toes, be yourself, remember to think outside of the box, go 100 percent at everything you do, be able to laugh at yourself, give back to others in any capacity you can and no matter what, always say please and thank you.

Dad, I want to thank you for all of the life lessons you taught me over the past 26 years. You have the innate ability to see things unlike anyone else I know. Although my hard work brought on much of my success, I would like to thank you for teaching and showing me everything I needed to get me to where I am today. I can only hope I have made you just as proud as you’ve made me.

During my freshman year of high school, while grounding me, you said “I’m not here to be your friend, I’m here to be your father”. Well Dad, I hate to break it to you, but we’ve turned out to have quite a friendship. Nevertheless you are still my unpredictable, eccentric, bosshog, witty, generous and humanitarian father, please don’t ever change! Happy Father’s Day, Dad, I love you!

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