72 years ago today, my Dad was born in Wichita, Kansas. My Dad had a pretty rough childhood, moving to California at some point while he was still fairly young. He was the only child of a second marriage, having 4 older sisters and one older brother. He lived in San Fransisco as a child and had to get a job to help support his mom when his Dad died while is San Quentin. My Dad was 12.
He was a hard worker who loved his family. He was in the Air Force as a policeman. He became a salesman. He loved sports. He was once offered a "loan" by an acquaintance who was in the mafia in Detroit. He once had a phone call from Magic Johnson's mom. She wanted to build a swimming pool. He thought it was a fake so he didn't take her seriously. No pool.
He was involved in Indian Guides (Anybody remember that?) and hockey with my brothers. He was involved with my drill team.
When I was 21 I fell in love with Kevin Bacon and I had seen "Footloose" 3 times in one weekend...it was true love! Shortly after that I came home from work and taped to my bedroom door was the PEOPLE magazine with Kevin Bacon on the cover...my Dad had bought it for me :0) I still have that PEOPLE magazine.
My Dad had several reversals in fortune. He was in a car accident that left him permanently disabled--the other driver was at fault and had no insurance. He started his own business with a partner who then ran off with all the money leaving my Dad severely in debt. He was trying to go back to school and support 3 kids. It was very difficult, but only now do I appreciate how difficult.
When I got married, I wanted my best friend to be there as my Maid of Honor as I had been hers. She was a young mother of 2 children and not living in the same state. She would have to fly, but that would be a hardship on her tiny families' finances. Without much fanfare, my Dad sold our camper and bought her ticket so she could be there.
My Dad's legacy lives on...he was a terrific and generous man who loved to laugh and be outside with his family eating a good meal.
I love my Dad. He left us too soon. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the Gospel and the promise of Eternal Families.
I would like to add to this and say that one of my favorite memories of him is that he used to work at Christmas time as a mall Santa. He was the only Santa whose lap I would sit on as a kid and not scream. I'm so grateful for this man. He blessed everyone he was around. It used to make me so sad to think of him not being around as I grew up. As I've gotten older I've learned a lot of things that him and I have in common.
We both loved to put ice in our milk to make it nice and cold and we both stuff TONS of saltine crackers in our tomato soup so that it's more cracker than soup. I like learning these little things and hearing all the stories about what an incredible person he was and I'm sure...is.
So Happy Birthday Papa. We miss you terribly.
Papa when he was young...he was very handsome. He's always reminded me of Johnny Cash
I love this picture because I can tell they both really love me...
I made this video one time when I was really missing my grandma. I like knowing that the 2 of them are together.