Dear Abby - From A Proud Dad

Beware friends and family...  If you think you are going to blush or be shocked, just don't read any farther.

abby & me

You can't hide pride forever!

It’s been too long. It’s time to let you in on a family secret.

When a man has seven children (four by conception and three by selection) there will be a large variety of reasons to be proud. It could be excellence in sports or academics; it could be generosity or patriotism. A dad with seven children doesn’t have to look very hard to experience opportunities to be proud. Sometimes proud moments appear in places and for reasons that I didn’t see coming. Maybe even a little embarassing. That’s one way a family secret can get started. 

I want to share one of those moments with you tonight.

A Small RatherI haven't said much about how proud I am of my daughter Abby's success as a communications major in the Murrow College of Communication at WSU. Yes, I’ve shared the pride I have in Abby and her sister Amelia, for attending my alma mater and understanding how special it is to be a Coug. I’ve shared photos of us during Dad’s Weekend and I’ve mentioned assorted accomplishments along the way. I made sure that I shared the way Abby approached Dan Rather during the Murrow Symposium in order to get this picture.

But there’s something I haven’t told you – until now.

Abby has become a very talented writer. Even better, she’s discovered a part of herself that is fueling a passion that has disrupted the status quo and caused others to take notice.

Last summer, Abby began writing a column for The Daily Evergreen. With each submission her talent shined through a little more clearly. By the time school started in the fall, Abby had grown comfortable with her style and the pressures of deadlines. She felt she was ready to commit to a weekly column and she had an idea to pitch to the editors. Abby would revive the “Dear Abby” column and answer letters from students seeking advice on sex and relationships. To say I was a little surprised when she told me would be an understatement. A dad doesn’t really want to know how their 20-year-old daughter would be qualified to answer those questions. There are some things that you don’t learn by reading a book… if you catch my drift.

Fast forward several months and Abby’s advice column has taken new dimension. Her byline now reads, “by Abby Student – Evergreen sex and relationship columnist.” The topics she covers would make Dr. Ruth proud… or blush! I’m almost afraid to look each week – but I do. And then I become proud all over again. I won’t go into detail – this blog is still rated PG – but here are a handful of headlines to peak your curiosity:
  • Hookups and hangups keep relationships at bay
  • Connecting ink to kink
  • Some don’t have a choice when it comes to wanting sex

SLUITThree columns that brought my fatherly pride to the point of an unveiling were published in the last few weeks:

After Abby wrote about the increasing number of American’s who are “exploring the road less traveled,” (read the story if you need to ask about the road), one reader felt the need to post a comment that she was “ashamed for her (Abby’s) parents.” Oh how wrong that reader was. I couldn’t be more proud.

Abby HP

Today, Abby and two other college columnists from around the country were featured on a panel interview called “On Campus: Let’s Talk About Sex” conducted by Huffington Post. I logged in and watched and listened. Abby knew I was there. And it was all good.


In addition to her newspaper column and interviews, Abby also cohosts a late night call in show on KUGR radio. She’s gaining experience, confidence and as a close friend told me tonight, moxie. Look it up… Moxie: 1) vigor, 2) courage and aggressiveness; nerve, 3) skill; know-how. Yep! That’s my girl. That our “Dear Abby.”

Add A New Comment

  • Rod
    Mar. 1, 2014
    Thanks Tony. It's especially graifying to see our children find success as they sort out some of life's building blocks. Go Cougs!
  • Tony
    Mar. 1, 2014
    Rod that is an amazing lady you have there As a daughter and you are one helluva dad! Well done sir and go COUGS!
  • Rod
    Mar. 1, 2014
    Tom - "Student" is their real last name. They are my "step-children" that became part of my life about 15 years ago when I met their mother. She and I got married in 2001. I seldom refer to them as anything other than my kids. I understand the confusion. They've had to explain that to school and college administrators fairly often.
  • Tom
    Mar. 1, 2014
    When are you going to let your girls use their real last names instead of 'student'? Seems overly protective.

The Fine Print

Rod Brooks (that's me) is VP & CMO of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).  It's important to disclose both of those relationships and to be clear that this is my personal blog where I share thoughts and opinions that are solely my own.  Contact me!

blog categories

latest tweets

stay in touch