May. 8th, 2016

psi_star_psi: (freaky)
I meant to post this somewhere or another for reference, and now I'm getting around to it. These are the notes I slapped together at about 5:30am on the day of my dad's funeral. I adapted it as I was speaking, but this has the gist of it.

My father was an information junkie. We had newpapers and Newsweek, the
evening news each night, and once CNN and other news channels became
available, they were the background sound of his presence. He was often
studying - military manuals, course texts, history books. I remember him
working to get his Master's degree, and then he earned his PhD after I'd
moved out for college. He embodied the importance of education in the way
he lived, so I never doubted its value.

My father worked a lot while I grew up. He regularly put in over 12 hour
days in the Army. He went into the field for weeks at least once a year.
He travelled for various purposes. Many evenings were consumed with his
studies. But he reserved time for us. He never missed father-son
scouting weekends. He exposed me to fishing, camping, hunting, and
skiing. He taught me to throw and catch a ball, and how to drive stick
with his beloved "pick-'em-up" truck in the empty Ft. Benning PX parking
lot.

In that same truck, we loaded my essential worldly possessions and drove
across the country when I went to college. Three and a half days from
Georgia to California in an un-air-conditioned, two-person truck cab,
trading off driving duties. The whole experience is one of my treasured
memories. It started out with my return home from the opening night
celebration of a play for which I'd built sets, where I found him tapping
his foot in the driveway at 1am, "Where have you been? Come on, let's
go!" I had time to say goodbye to Mom and Sue, then I woke up at dawn in
Mississippi. We spent a day and a half crossing Texas. Upon our arrival,
he helpfully corrected my identification of an artillery piece on campus.

"Oh, look," I said. "A cannon."
"It's a gun," he replied.
"It looks like a cannon."
"It's A Gun."
"...OK, it's a gun."

He continued this vital education in firearms when I later visited with my
wife, Jen. He took us to the range to practice with a couple of handguns
and a rifle. Upon evaluating our targets, he provided feedback. "If
anyone breaks into your house, give Jen the gun."

We travelled in the U.S., we travelled in Europe, and he travelled even
more places with Mom. He shared his love of silly action movies, wacky
songs, family and friends, and this country. My father was an amazing
man.

Goodbye, Dad.

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May 2016

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