Happy Birthday, Dad.

Saturday, again, huh? Well we all know what that means here, don’t we? Time to unwind a bit, it’s been a stressful week.

But it’s also the 1st of December, an that’s an important day for me. My Dad would have been 105 today. He’s been gone for over 25 years now but, every time I have a problem one of my key questions is, “What would Dad do (or say)?. If I listen closely, he often tells me, still.

“I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.”
― Robert E. Lee

The last couple weeks he has seemed especially close, reminding me of a man’s duty. So, I thought maybe we should look at some of the things he loved.

One thing he dearly loved was music, his father did two things: ran the town light plant, and directed the town band, in truth it was the family band practically, of the 10 of them 6 of them were my uncles plus Dad. In his opinion, this was the last great American composer.

I have some problem disagreeing!

I can’t remembering him ever going to a movie, I suspect he got it out of his system when he moonlighted as a projectionist. He’d watch on TV though, usually something like this.

He liked technology a lot too, he had the first TV in town, and when color TV’s started coming out, he didn’t think he could afford one, so he bought a kit and built one. What was on? Good shows, like these.

And for all his insistence that their were no composers after Sousa, he never seemed to have much trouble watching this.

or this

In fact, even the commercials were neat.

But for all that he was a serious man, devoted to keeping the lights on, while keeping his people safe, and he would brook no compromise. He was one of the people who made our lives in the field both easier and safer

Dan Miller ran this song this week, in another context, and in truth he and I both saw it over at the Mad Jewess’es shortly after the election as well. It’s considerably too new a song for Dad to have heard but, it’s a pretty good summary of this article.

It seems a sad song on first listening doesn’t it? But, it’s not really, it speaks to us of the eternal dreams and battles we fight for what we believe in. And those dreams live as long as we are remembered.

A perfect man? Nope, he surely wasn’t, but he was the best I’ve ever known.

“Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.”
― Robert E. Lee

That would have made a good epithet for him

Happy Birthday, Dad, and Thanks.

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

19 Responses to Happy Birthday, Dad.

  1. Thanks for the article. My wife, Jeanie, read it and commented that her dad, who would have been ninety-eight in October, had directed an Army recruiting band during much of WWII before being sent overseas. Later, after receiving his doctorate in musicology at the University of Iowa, he directed the Omaha U. marching and concert bands (1950- 51). In 1952, he and the family moved west to California, where he taught musicology and led the San Jose State band.

    I wonder whether your dad and hers might have met; it’s possible, I suppose.

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    • It’s possible, of course, Dad to his lasting regret was classified as essential during the war. My Uncle Gerry however, played in the Army band during (or shortly after) the war, so that might have been more likely, and one of my cousins was (maybe still is) affiliated with Miami (of Florida) he’s also had some of his works published, mostly ad jingles last I knew.

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  2. JessicaHof says:

    Happy 105th to your Dad my dearest friend. Up now and feeling a bit more like myself.

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  3. giliar says:

    Wonderful tribute, NEO! You Dad was an excellent role model for you and I know he would be proud of who you are today.

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  4. What a beautiful tribute. I often think (and refer) to the wisdom my father imparted – most of which was by example rather than lecture.

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  6. mtsweat says:

    A great man, your Dad was, good friend. It appears his attributes and principles live on in you. A wonderful tribute and walk down memory lane to boot. Blessings

    Like

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