Thursday, December 2, 2010
My daddy would be in his 90’s if he were still alive. He just lived to be 65 though, passing away today, 31 years ago.
While I was 19 when he died, on a sentimental occasion such as today, it seems obvious that he gave me a lifetime’s supply of gifts.
Let’s start with the first gift that comes to mind - my love for animals. My dad (pictured in both photos above), whose name was Charles but he went by Ron, had a dog named Duke. Duke was a great dane crossed with a yellow lab - a big guy. I don’t actually remember him except from pictures, but clearly it was Duke who gave me my first dose of doggy kisses, and quite clearly, they made me happy! The pictures below were taken in 1961.
11-month-old me with Duke giving kisses:
Duke giving me a ride while daddy, smiling and smoking a pipe, shares the spotlight:
My dad was a teacher, a professor actually. He taught electronics at Monterey Peninsula College and he had a radio show called Career Corner that aired on KMBY during the 60’s. He made the best vanilla steamers and he told wonderful stories like “Charlie and the Green Griffin,” complete with illustrations. He wrote love notes to my mom and he worked hard to provide for us and build his dream house in the redwoods. He was an A’s fan and a hell of a poker player.
The list of gifts my father gave me continues to be revealed as life unfolds. Besides my passion for animals though, a good work ethic with an appropriate amount of silliness, love and devotion to family, fond memories and the courage to chase dreams are the ones that come to mind today.
I love you daddy and I am so very proud of, and grateful for, your legacy.