The greatest gift a father can give you is direction. 45 years ago yesterday my father, a man who always rose early in the morning. Somewhere between 4:30 am and 5:00 am every day for most of his life and went to bed every night at 9 am stayed up. Last night my father pitched a tent next to my joyous exaltation of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. I will never forget that movement. I will never forget who sat there and watched with me on a grainy black and white picture in the family room of our house on Dunstan Drive in Bloomington Indiana. So much of my love of technology comes from the moments that led up to that night. So much of who I am today came from the man that stayed up and was there with me. Over the next few Christmas’ dad fed my love of technology. He and mom got me Radio Shack’s 100 electronic experiments. I was hooked.
“One small step for man, One giant leap for Mankind.” Neil Armstrong. One magical night for an 8 year old and his dad.
My dad loved Bolo’s. I have seen pictures of my Grandpa Ole with bolo’s so I suspect it was a family tradition. I just don’t think I could ever wear a bolo. I barely like ties as it is.
Dad loved to grill. His particular specialty was garlic infused crown rib roast or prime rib if you must. Many family holiday’s were spent with mouths watering as the smell of dad’s grilled perfection wafted into the house and filled the air with the most amazing smell. He also grilled brats being from Wisconsin and burgers but his crown rib roast was the best. He also made a Danish treat called Ebel Skivers. Ebel is Danish for apple and skivers are pancakes. It’s a special round pan with round cooking sections. You pour the batter into the pan’s round holes and then add flavored applesauce. Dad taught me how to make them when I was little. It is a family tradition to serve them Christmas morning. No matter where we are we serve Ebel Skivers on Christmas day, its part of our families Christmas celebration.
Mom gave understanding. I struggled with my place in the world for many years. Trying to both not compete and yet be seen as a contributor to the world based on where my parents where. They were both high achievers and I struggled with my place in the sun. Mom always understood even in my darkest longest worst time periods. Mom was always there. I say this because its true. I was a hard kid. Mom and dad were always there for me. Mom always understood that was trying to find my way.
In the end the greatest gift my parents gave me was friendship. They are people that I would have had as friends if they weren’t my parents. I can think of no higher praise to give.
.your loving son…