This is a tribute to a man that has always been and will always be my mentor. His name is Alan Dale Jacobson, he is my father. He is not technically my father by blood, but he is by far the best father I could have ever asked for. I have known him my entire life as Uncle Al until I was 13 and he married my mother and our relationship went to a whole new level. He taught me many things like pride, honesty, to put my family above all things, and how to be an honorable man. At first we did not get along at all, but he never gave up on me.
He was always there making sure I was making the right decisions and teaching me every painful lesson for making the wrong decision. I remember when I was 14 and I sort of ran away, but eventually got hungry and started riding my bike home. I got about half way there and sure enough he pulled up alongside me in the truck and all he said was “I’ll be waiting for you at home boy”. With only about 2 miles left it took me about 1 hour and a half. When I finally got there he knocked me off my bike and started teaching in his own way. This is by far my fondest and most memorable memory of him and I will never forget the lesson that came with it.
At the age of 16 I talked with him about dropping out of school and he agreed on two conditions. I had to get my GED and I had to have a job. I enrolled in a program at Moraine Park Technical College and earn my HSED (High School Education Diploma) and at the same time worked with him as his ground man. When I was 18 he started his own Cable TV contracting company and gave me a job. We worked together until I was 21. During that time he taught me how important it was to have a good work ethic and to take pride in your work. Every job site we worked at we were continuously praised on how fast and how well we did our job.
This lead to more and more work because we built a reputation for not only fast, reliable, and quality work, which spread throughout the Cable TV community. When I joined the United States Marine Corp at the age of 22 my father was both shocked and proud. He was shocked due to the fact that I was taking charge of my life and proud for the same reason. Still to this day he will tell me how proud he is of me and what I am doing. Personally I think it is because he has seen me grow into the man that he knew I could be. He always knew I was better than what I gave myself credit for.
My father will always be my mentor for more reasons than I can possibly state in one page. He is by far the proudest and most honorable man on the face of the earth. He has taught me so much about so many things over the years that there is no possible way that I could ever express it. Other than being all the man that he taught me to be and then some, he has laid out a very hard legacy to live up to. However, he has given me all the tools that I need to be a better man than him. The main reason he will always be my mentor is because no matter what I did or what happened he would never let me quit on myself.