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Fathers Stories
Brooke Allen began writing stories for his school newspaper in high school, for his literary magazine in college, and most recently for his children. He has a BA in mathematics and is a great believer in writing things down -- proofs and prose. He has been a teacher, speaker, computer programmer, and entrepreneur.

Mr. Allen lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey with his wife, Eve, and two sons, Davis and Glen.

He would love to hear from you at


By Brooke Allen

Someone said, "Mardi Gras starts today." Six of us shared a table for dinner at the small engineering college in Indiana.

I said, "Let's go?"

Four people said, "Why?"

Roger said, "Why not?" Roger, who had grown up in Indiana, had only once ventured outside the state for a weekend in Chicago.

That snowy February evening our friends dropped the two of us on Interstate 70. All we had was $20 and our thumbs. Our friends gave us a phone number. "Call when you've had enough of this silliness and we'll come and get you."

The next day we called, "You can come and get us if you want."

"Where are you?"

"New Orleans."

That day my life changed.

"Why don't we take a trip around the world next week?"

"Why not?"

"Why go to graduate school?"

"Why not?"

"Why get married?"

"Why not?"

"Why change careers without notice?"

"Why not?"

"Why have children?"

"Why not?"

"Why move your family to Japan for a few years?"

"Why not?"

"Why are you writing this?"

"Why not?"

My world opened up on that freezing day in 1971 when I changed how I react to opportunity.

Live not by "Why?" but by "Why not?"

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