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Monday, April 25, 2005

As promised: 

My father's memorial picnic, Sunday, went very well. Mom served some Passover food, like gefilte fish and macaroons. I was the "Master of Ceremonies" introducing people and reading a few things off of the program my sister had put together. Many of us took turns saying nice things about Dad.
After the ceremony my brother-in-law Rich and I had a cell-phone camera duel:

Example

So I won't call it a somber occasion. We celebrated Dad's life, rather than sit around and moan about him beiong gone...

Earlier, I promised that I'd publish the little speech I'd written for the picnic. And I try not to break my promises, so... here goes:

All of you know that Dad was an Engineer. A Chemical Engineer. But Dad had many other professions, as well.

Did you know that, at one time or another, Dad dabbled in each of the following occupations? He was a

Sports Manager
Scout Leader
Behavior Modification Specialist
Chauffeur
Middle and High School Band Martyr
Computer Sharing Pioneer College Scholarship CFO
Banker
Mechanic
Career Advisor
Plumber
Appliance Repairman
Carpenter
Stereoscopic Convention Companion
Electrician
and
Great Encourager.
Yes, Dad encouraged me to do all of those things I was too lazy to really want to do, even when I thought I wanted to do them.
“I wanna play baseball.”
“I wanna learn Judo.”
“I wanna be a boy scout.”

Of course I never wanted to be a mechanic or a plumber or a chemical engineer, and those were the things that really fired up Dad. Too bad he didn’t want to sit with me and play Scrabble or read the comic book I’d read so we could discuss it.
He’d lay out a blueprint drawing of a battery and tell me everything I never wanted to know about “-odes”: electrodes, diodes, biodes and triodes.

In some ways I really wish I could have been more like him. It would be nice not to have to call out a plumber every time the sink gets stopped up... or worse.
We really had so little in common. Dad didn’t take me to ball games because he loved to watch little kids swing bats. He wasn’t much for camping, either. Not all that long ago, Mom confessed that Dad would wait until I was asleep in my tent and then sneak home to sleep in his own cushy bed only to return to the campout before dawn.

He may have done it his own way, but he did it. He was there for me when I wanted to learn Judo so I could gain the confidence to fight back when I was picked on, at school.

He was there for me when my car broke down... ...wherever it broke down.

He was there for me when I needed a ride home from work because I couldn’t turn my head more than a half an inch left or right.

He went to San Antonio with me because he realized that my interest in 3D photography was true and not some passing phase. And Dad was always interested in photography, too.

Now that I think of it, once, I did change out some light switches and electrical sockets, so I suppose some of that technical stuff wore off on me.

I was recently the Cub Master for Marc’s scout pack. We went camping and my back was really killing me. I would have loved to go home and sleep in my own bed, but Marc and I shared a tent. So I couldn’t have gotten away with it.

A while back, I tiled our bathroom sink counter.

I also put shelves up in our hallway closet.

Aww heck... maybe we weren’t so different after all.

Dad... I really do miss you. You see... Marc and I have been working on his science project and I can’t quite figure out how to use your micrometer.



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