Last month, I acknowledged Mother’s Day by posting an essay about my mom. Now Father’s Day is approaching and, being one who must do everything as evenly as possible, I felt compelled to post something to commemorate my dad.
Dad was always a bit of an enigma – one could never be quite sure what was going in behind those blue eyes of his – but one thing was certain…he was a man of enviable talents. They weren’t the outgoing types of talents you find inhabiting a gallery, stage or screen. His were rather quiet, nose-to-the-grindstone kinds of talents that made him seem able to do almost anything you might need – or want – to have done. He paid the bills by working as an electrical engineer, but he satisfied his desire for productivity by creating things. In addition to being a freelance photographer and a homespun guitar player, he liked to build stuff. Stuff like houses, boats, furniture and, the pièce de résistance…an airplane. Not just some remote-control model – although he built those, too – but this was an honest-to-goodness, fly-way-up-high-in-the-sky, open cockpit biplane. A Starduster Too, to be exact. It took him over 17 years to complete it, working evenings and weekends, but when all was said and done, it was a pretty impressive specimen. His accomplishment was even featured on one of Paul Harvey’s radio broadcasts.
Building something like an airplane would never be on my To-Do list. As much as I wish it were possible, there’s no way I could emulate any of my dad’s dexterous abilities. The main characteristics I inherited from him were wrinkles and a snarky wit.
When I think about Dad, though, more comes to mind than how skilled he was. What really sticks with me is how dramatically my opinion of him changed as I grew from a little kid to an adult. If you’re the least bit interested in learning more, just click the button below to read Discovering Dad.