Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Who was our Father?

Father, Husband, Friend, Jokester, Lover, Teacher, Mechanic, Experimental Carpenter, Pain in the Ass, Handyman, Student, Card Player, Coach, LMS Advocate, Counselor, Sounding Board, Consultant, Theologian, Secret Science Fiction Nerd, Facial Hair Specialist, Reader

Dec 3rd, 2010 the world lost a great man and many of its inhabitants were not ready for him to go, but go he did. He was loved by a great many and he always made sure that those whom he loved were aware. Memories of him will be remembered by more people than this author can count and many of his stories are sure to mature into legend as time goes on.

It is hard to recount all the things that I learned from this man; How important a pair of Aces (or in his case 1 Ace) is in 7 card stud; How to respect others, even if (especially if) I didn’t like them; How to spend half the day building a jig to save 20 minutes; How the little things in life are the most important; That there is always time to stop by the flower shop on the way home; How to love a wife\child\family; How to square an angle (even though he could never do it); That anything taken apart would have to be put together backwards first before fixing it properly; That short people get cold easily; Not to underestimate anyone, regardless of their height; Righty tighty, lefty loosy; To do what I want to do, not what everyone expects me to do; How not to organize my tools; When to stand up and fight and when its important to let the other person win (or think they are right); That sometimes style is just as important as function; How to pause for dramatic effect when retelling a story (doesn’t matter if it was fictional or just a recap of the day); Spaghetti sauce should be thick like a stew so that it could be eaten cold the next day.

Unfortunately there are some things that I never managed to learn from him as well; I never could get more than two knots tied correctly even though he tried to teach me at least ten different ones; Dancing was never something I could get right even though it came natural to him; To be completely honest, I didn’t always understand how the escalator parts he was describing fit together and why I should be amazed at the problem he solved; I can’t seem to sleep on the couch and watch a western on TV at the same time.

The lessons he taught will be refined and applied by many in the coming years, helping them to become better people, fathers, mechanics, students, husbands and friends.


  1. The only man I know whose favorite Texas Hold 'em hand was King Six off-suit... and he did WELL with it, sometimes.

    On a more serious note:

    Pops had a sound to him; keys hung from his belt loop that must have been able to open every engine room in every building in Southern California. When he walked they clanged together and had a very distinct way of letting you know that he was there. I could be standing in a crowd of a thousand people and pick out where he was just by hearing those damn keys (which was good because looking over a crowd of people you were definitely not going to pick him towering above the wave of people. His whistle would let you know that it was time to come home, even from a couple blocks away. His 'dad' voice let you know he meant business, but he got his compassion across when necessary.
    His smell I can never forget, engine grease and Marb reds... as well as the gas discharge that could only be him or the dog.
    All of these things I will remember, hopefully for a long time, but I will never forget the way that he loved my mother. I learned a lot from the man, most of which described above, but he taught us from an early age how to treat the woman you love.
    It wasn't just that he would do anything for her, which he would, but it was that he never forgot to remind her how she was loved. He called her regularly to let her know that he loved her, he brought her flowers on occasion and never wanted anything in return. But most of all, he respected her completely. He loved her for every reason imaginable but I think he loved her most of all because he married his best friend. The relationship they had is something I think we can all try to measure up to, He has been a catalyst that is driving me to improve my life and the way I handle it. I just hope that one day I can truly make him proud of me. It's the one thing that I struggle with most.


  2. I can’t believe I forgot to mention the damn keys. I was given ‘the hook’ while in high school and have kept my keys on my belt loop ever since. I think each of us got clip when once we received the house keys (and the authority to stay home alone). I have been told by many that they know I am near because they heard me coming. That little sound of the keys jingling from my belt always reminded me of Dad and it always will. I’m glad that I/we have inherited that sound from our father, even if I can’t make the other sounds we knew him from. I still can’t whistle as loud as he could (seriously, I could hear him 8 houses away with the TV on).

    I will not forget when were going through Dad’s van and his co-worker laughed saying that he didn’t know what any of those keys belong too, pointing to the mass of keys (70+) that were strung on the cage. Neither did any of us but I bet we could each remember him carrying those keys on his belt or him removing them before wrestling with us.


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