Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Dad

My Dad has always been my hero. He has such an interesting life story. He was born the second eldest of eight boys to a truck driver father and a homemaker mother. They lived in a tiny house with no indoor plumbing for many years. Right after high school he enlisted in the army. He told us once that basic training was like the boy scouts but with more exercise. I always thought that was so funny. I wonder if recruits now would say that. I guess he was used to hard work and brothers.
When he was in the army, he was stationed in Germany. He was the crew chief on a large helicopter. His crew was responsible for maintaining the helicopters and while he saw no combat, he had many friends killed as a result of helicopter accidents. After he was discharged, he worked for a short time in a machine shop and went to college. He also married my mother. After college he went to work for the Boeing Company and worked for Boeing at Vandenburg Airforce Base near Santa Maria, California where I was born. He worked for Boeing his entire career, hiring in as a Mechanical Engineer and retiring as Vice President of the Militairy program. He met Kings and Prime Ministers, Secretaries of Defense and even has a personal congratulations from then President Bush (the first). He traveled around the world. Pretty good for a guy who grew up in a family that really never left the town they were born in.

Growing up, my Dad was a quiet, stable force in my life. He didn't talk much...but he didn't have to. He has never used his words frivolously. Sometimes that makes him hard to understand for the rest of my family who tend to talk continually. He is a thinker and a doer. He usually consider the best way to do something, figures out the plan beforehand and then implements the idea. It's interesting he chose mechanical engineering as his career path because his whole brain is wired as an engineer. He is good at compartmentalizing, whether that be a technical problem or a relationship.

When my daughter, Sweet Baby M was born, he was the first person to hold her. He was so excited about that little grand daughter and thought she was just about the best thing ever. She nicknamed him Poppa first which has become Pops. I can remember her always urging Pops for "faster"...whether that was on a bike, a swing at the park, or tubing behind his boat on Lake Carlos. When the Big D was born, he was out of town and wanted to only talk to Sweet Baby M to hear what SHE thought of her baby brother. It's so fun to see Big D grow up and share so many of his grandfather's qualities. Big D is quiet and thoughtful just like his Pops. He likes figuring things out, just like his Pops.

My whole life, I only remember my Dad taking care of our family and accomodating the needs of everyone else. He took care of my little Gran (my Mom's Mom) most of her life. He has always been the source for good advice and a stable sense of self.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy. You are the best and I love you.

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