Father and Son on Campbell’s Hero’s Journey

Chris-Leykam_profile-pictureI love my son, Chris. I have never ceased to be amazed at his Industrial Design and illustration talent, his athletic ability as a hockey player, his values as a person and his work ethic.

Chris is my hero. It goes behind pride to something much, much deeper; bordering on something self-indulgently Joseph Campbellian in validation of the author’s concept of monomyth.  The time Chris and I spent this weekend stood out as one of the most special days we’ve spent together. I spent several years of the ‘70s commuting on Metro North from New Rochelle to the offices of recording industry giant London Records in New York City. I recall the decade as a record producer, engineer and A&R talent scout as one of my most creative periods. Today the same railroad tracks carry Chris to Manhattan as he works his creative design magic at one of most iconic men’s fashion brands in the world reminding me of Campbell’s belief in the psychic unity of mankind which continuously pours its energies into this world.

chris kayak

Chris and I talked for hours, sharing uncanny stories about the similarities of our experiences commuting on the train which were rewarded by an end-of-the-line coffee and a black and white cookie at Zaro’s Bakery. On one of my own commutes, I exited Grand Central Station on the Vanderbilt side and meandered across town, discovering by chance the Red Caboose hobby shop on 45th Street. My love of things nostalgic was raised to an entirely new level when Chris shared for me his own recent serendipitous encounter with the hobbyist’s haven. I felt like our father and son relationship was elevated to an entirely new plane; that somehow we are traveling the same asphalt and existential experiences.

CKL hockey

Saturday was special. My relationship with my son, Chris, awakened in me a Campbellian sense of awe before the mystery of being on some metaphysical father and son plane. I love you, Chris.

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