As far back as I can remember, Dad and I always had a test of
wills. We both enjoyed it. The earliest example I
can remember was when the family was at the beach when we lived
in L.A. I came up to Dad covered with sand and he told me
to brush myself off. I still wanted to go back in the
water and didn't feel like taking the time to brush off, so I
said "No". He replied, "Brush yourself off
or we're going home". I refused and we went home.
day, when I was young, Dad and I were at our pool, behind our
house in Walnut Creek, CA. I was talking to him while he
was brushing the sides of the pool. I started walking
around the pool while I was looking back at him and walked right
into the pool. He laughed so hard he could barely catch
was helping me with my spelling lessons. He asked me to
spell "been", and I said "BIN". He
said, "Not that kind of "been". I was
completely confused, so he added, "like in the song, 'where
have you been, Billy Boy'". I guess I was pretty
surprised to hear him singing, although it didn't help and he
had to spell it for me.
Dad finally became the vice-president at Bankers Capital Life,
he was so pleased. He said to me "Life begins at
thing that Dad and I had in common was our mathematical
ability. Dad would constantly try to talk me into becoming
of the most amazing and selfless things that Dad did for me
occurred after my junior year in high school. I wanted to
be an architect and the best place to learn architecture was at
Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. I found that it was
easier to get into Cal Poly if I was a resident of
California. Dad was recently unemployed and divorced, but
he packed up the apartment and moved us to Walnut Creek, CA,
where we used to live when I was young.
decided to go into the Army, so Dad said that he'd like to move
to Marin, so that he wouldn't have such a long commute. He
found an apartment very close to where he would be working when
his company moved from the city to Marin. On the day of
the move it rained so hard that everything got completely
soaked. We would always talk about that day when we were
I returned from the Army, I stayed at Dad's place for a
while. He worked for Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. and I got a
job there, as well. I would go to his office and visit
once in a while until he decided to take early retirement.
took a trip to Naples to stay at a friends house. When he
returned he said that he liked the area so much he bought a
condo. He was so pleased. He had always loved
tropics for as long as I can remember and now he had finally
been able to buy a home in a place with tropical weather.
flew to Naples for Thanksgiving, 1989. Dad picked me up at
the airport and we drove to a park in Naples. We sat on
one of the benches and watched a dolphin swimming around in the
water near the park. Dinner was at Grandma and Grandpa's
condo. Later, after dinner, I asked Grandpa how he liked
Florida. He said that he didn't care much for it - it
never rained and the bugs were big and their bites didn't
heal. I remember Dad saying to me later that he was so
surprised and hurt that his father didn't like what Dad
considered a paradise.
was never much on learning about new technology. One year,
while I was visiting around the holidays, I told him that I was
going to get him a VCR for his Christmas present. We went
to an electronics store and I found a nice VCR and hooked it up
and showed him how it worked. He was so happy that he
started recording all of the football games. He joined a
video club and started buying movies.
time I visited Dad in Naples, he would take me to his favorite
restaurant, "La Playa", which was a restaurant in a
beautiful hotel on the beach near his condo.
year, I decided to give Dad a trip to Disney World in Orlando
for his birthday present. I made the arrangements to fly
him to the Orlando airport where we would meet him and then take
a shuttle to our hotel. We spent most of the time at Epcot
Center, as the rest of the park is more family oriented.
Unfortunately, July in Orlando is extremely hot and humid and
the lines for all of the rides were extremely long. I
think we had the best time when we were in the country
pavilions. Dad especially liked the Mexican, German and
I said earlier, Dad was never up on new technology. When I
got him his first CD player, he was surprised at how easy it was
and how clear the music sounded. He had the same reaction
with DVDs. I enjoyed getting him these things primarily to
see his reaction.
and I would constantly tease each other about our political
beliefs. With the last presidential election there was
plenty of ammunition. The fact that Florida had made such
a mess out of their election was lots of fun for both of us.