Happy Father’s Day

ABOVE PHOTO: “First Haircut” Christopher, Barber (center), and Dad circa 1957. My mom told me that I wasn’t quite two years old but I don’t remember.

Clifford LeRoy Burnett (1925-2005) was a great father and I learned lots from him. Dad taught me sports and other things that refined my hand-eye coordination as well as my patience. Dad was patient with everyone. I rarely saw him lose his temper but he rarely needed to flex that side.

Dad was a member of what journalist Tom Brokaw termed as the “Greatest Generation.” I agree that they were and remain so to this day. They were not perfect but they were instrumental in unifying the country and world in ways that resulted in broader prosperity for most people of earth.

I will always love and respect my father for the work he did to help me become the positive man I am today. I acknowledge that my propensity to innovate solutions rather than wallow in problems comes from what he modeled during my formative years growing up.

Dad joined the Navy at 17 years old and served as a SeaBee in the South Pacific during World War Two. He later reenlisted into the Air Force and our sibling family lived in many places beyond our native KC metropolitan area. I was old enough to remember those experiences and I believe that the memories were significant to my serving in Army Music for an entire career.

Now that I have children and grands, I’m even more appreciative of the subtleties and nuances of being a parent. And in particular, the importance of being a great father to your children as they grow into adulthood.

Dad was there for me as a kid and by the time I was a man on my own I knew the lessons he was teaching me. I also knew by then that the choices I made in my life were mine and not his responsibility.


1 “Tell any intimate associate something confidential, even if you make it up as a test. And if it gets out, you know that you can’t trust them with anything that is important.”

2 “I spend the first six months of the year minding my own business and the other six months staying out of other people’s business.”

3 “A person who will lie to your face is not your friend, son. Regardless if you’re kin or not.”

4 “The benefits of active duty military service are perfect for anyone who wants to travel, learn, and improve their circumstances in life.”

5 “Do the right thing even if it is the hardest choice at first. The impact of doing wrong takes a lifetime to undo.”

6 “Take time to go fishing so you can reconnect with the nature of creation. Sometimes we can forget God’s work and lose appreciation for the things that provide our sustenance.”

QUOTES: Clifford LeRoy Burnett (1925-2005)

Like most sons, my dad taught me “right from wrong.” And like most sons, I am still trying to make my dad proud everyday.

Happy Father’s Day!

Musings In Cb: “FATHERS & SONS”

PHOTO by Corinna Gray Photography (2023)

Christopher and Terri (Anderson) Burnett established their branch of The Burnett Family in March of 1979 in Copenhagen, Denmark. They are professional musicians, educators, and entrepreneurs based in the Kansas City Metropolitan area.