Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dads, Encouragement & Gratitude

I pretty much think of my dad on a daily basis. Since today is officially Father’s Day it seems like the perfect time to share a little look-see into his life with all of you. My first thoughts when asked about my dad? He was cute and talented in oh so many ways with a very long and diverse list of interests and skills.

He always had a project or two or three in the works — a new model plane, his latest guitar creation, picking out a new tune on the five-string banjo, playing a hopping boogie-woogie on the piano, putting together a new transceiver or other piece of radio gear, communicating in Morse code to someone on the other side of the world, climbing his 80-foot radio tower to tweak it slightly for better reception while scaring the living poop out of my mom, doodling the best cartoon characters, carving wood into those same characters, following automobile racing via radio, TV and in-person — sports, sprint and Formula One. We even had a go-kart for a time that he and my brother raced. My mom hopped on it once for a trip around the old sports car road track out in Riverside…we were so worried when she didn’t return in a reasonable amount of time, my dad took off on foot to see if she was okay Turns out she was fine…just going so slow that other drivers were lapping her five or six times! 

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something on the long list of talents and interests; but you get the idea. Every day, I am reminded of how much my dad influenced the person I am today. He had a wicked good sense of humor and was very, very, very quiet. He was a reasonable guy, fairly cool-headed unless he was really provoked and a great teacher. He had the patience of a saint when it came to teaching me a new skill. While he was a perfectionist in his work and craft he never demanded perfection from me, which I so appreciate now. I think his overall guidance and lack of judgement encouraged me to not be afraid to try something new. I have friends that are so afraid of failing they never even try to do something new. Whereas, I’ll jump in and then figure out how to swim later — which I think is a good thing. (Did I just say whereas? Cripes…where does that come from?) Anyhow, when I jump in, if I succeed great and if I fail…well, at least I tried! I never want to be ninety and say "gosh, I wish I had."

My brother took this pix about a year or so before my dad passed in 2001. I love that I found it a few years back and I keep it nestled in alongside a collection of vintage model airplane books that were my dad’s and a few of his wood carvings. What? The turquoise lump of clay? Come on…don’t you think Botero would be pleased? I created the “dinosaur” when I was five and somehow it has survived over the years. It is the only piece of “art” of mine that I have from my childhood and for that reason I always give it a place of honor in my home; and right now that is in the midst of some of my dad’s collections. 

Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads; and, it is my hope, that in some way you are instilling virtues in your kids for which they will be grateful fifty years from now.

So, Dad, I still feel you with me every day; and I hope that you know how grateful I am for all you gave me and all that you brought to our family. I loved you then, I love you now and I will love you always…wherever we may be.