The Dapper Woodsman

Today would have been my Dad’s 63rd birthday. We lost him very suddenly on Valentine’s Day 2009, while he was on a ski trip with life-long friends. They had gone out for a ski and when they got back he decided to take a nap. His last words were, “Well guys, it just doesn’t get any better than this”. And then he closed his eyes for the final time. For those who have lost a dad, you know how devastating it is and that you never fully recover. For me, sharing stories and remembering my father in different ways has been very helpful.
Now, my Dad would be the first person to tell you he cared nothing for or knew nothing about fashion. This may have been true (although I know he was quite the clothes-horse prior to serving in Vietnam), but he did know about style. Fashion and style don’t always go hand-in-hand. Some of the most “fashionable” people are those that walk to the beat of their own drum and have a “signature” look. This was my father. He lived in Pendeltons, Levis, his beret or sun hat, and blue or green tees. Oh, and the beard. I do not remember him ever without one. He always looked put together and adorable. We like to say he was the “Dapper Woodsman”. So, in honor of him, here is a look at the style of P. Michael Gergen. He would act mortified by this, but secretly I think he’d get a kick out of it.

The beginning of the Pendeltons

Levis and one of many wool sweaters

Classic dad-he would have lived like this 365 days a year

Blue shirt, green sweater, levis…just part of the uniform

The Dapper Woodsman-this look personifies his style

30 years later and nothing has changed (except for white hair)

The last photo taken of us together

The Gardener

The last photo taken of him, February 13, 2009-he really loved that Pendelton

“Out through the fields and the woods and and over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view and looked at the world and descended.
I have come by the highway home and lo, it is ended.”
Robert Frost

I love you and miss you every day Dad…



Filed under Fashion, Musings

13 responses to “The Dapper Woodsman

  1. Laura

    You have captured him beautifully, Megan!! What a treat to read
    this today, on his birthday.

  2. Jo

    Megan – this is absolutely beautiful. I can barely see the screen I’m crying so much. He was one in a million and what a beautiful legacy he left in his girls – Cheg Pie, Scruffy and Pean. I love you and miss him greatly.

  3. Jhanel

    Beautiful tribute!!

  4. This is the sweetest tribute to your father – he was such a handsome man and seems so kind and caring. These photos of him are so beautiful too. Losing a father is so painful…

  5. Thanks everyone. He was one of a kind….

  6. Sarah

    Megan, a beautiful tribute and lovely photos I’ve seen before, but could always look at again. Michael was stunning, young and old. The love of my life is a “Dapper Woodsman” of sorts and my heart still flutters every time he puts on a plaid shirt. Thanks for sharing and Happy Thanksgiving. :)-Sarah

  7. Jami Kiecker

    This was a beautiful tribute to a great man! I know he would be proud!!

  8. Tina

    Such a classic style. Perfectly fitting of such a legandary man. Such a wonderful tribute, Megan. A great way to honor his day.
    I hope you have the last photo blown up and in a frame. Its wonderful.

  9. Al Bjerke

    Nice tribute, Megan. I miss him every day too. He had that undefinable effect on people. Thanks for keeping him in our thoughts.

  10. David Darrow (34th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog)) Bien Hoa 70-71-72

    Always a good guy in Viet Nam. I was digitizing some old pictures of him and looked him up and was shocked to hear of his passing. Let me know if you want copies.

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