Happy Father's Day Daddy

on Sunday, June 21, 2009

Me and my Dad at the Georgia Tech homecoming in 1968. I was four years old. This was a big event for our family. We loved going to the Tech games and cheering on the Yellow Jackets! He was the Placement Director for Ga. Tech. At the time, this was a big deal because he was the guy responsible for making connections with all the big companies in America to get jobs for our graduates....still to this day, older men will tell me or one of my siblings what a great guy he was and how much he meant to them....that was 40 years ago and they still remember.

Needless to say he was a big man on campus and a bit of a celebrity locally. He was chosen by Tech, 6 months later to take a small group of carefully selected students to travel to Russia. Sort of an act of good will on Russia's part to let them in. In fact, they were the first Americans allowed there during the Cold War....can you imagine the stress. They arrived at the Leningrad train station; suffered his third heart attack and died. He was only 45. My mother was left with 5 children, ages 5-20. Her first husband was a WW2 pilot and was shot down...no children. After two husbands, she decided not to remarry.

My mother surrounded herself with fellow christians and a church full of support. One family friend, Philip, admired my father soooooo much. He actually took a trip to Russia years later and brought us back a picture of the train station. Oddly enough, Philip died at 45, as well, of a slow growing brain tumor. Philip was also the minister that married us. Both men had their funeral services at 2 of the largest churches in Atlanta and not a seat to be had in either one.

What made my father such a great man, to be admired by so many and still leave such an incredible legacy? Here's my take on it:
-He was kind.
-He genuinely cared about other people.
-He was a great father to me and husband to my mother. She claims they only had one fight in 20 years and that was over whether or not he should take a raincoat to Russia. Not bad, huh
-He was a gentleman and used him manners willingly.
-He was charismatic. People were just naturally drawn to his personality.
-He was a wonderful christian man.

Even though I was only 5 when he died, he is still teaching me today, by the way he lived his life 40 plus years ago.

Thanks Daddy.

2 Comments from you:

Nanci said...

Beautiful. You should copy this post and make sure you keep it close to your bedside table.
Isn't it funny when you write from the heart, there is no hesitation of words of love and admiration...

Nanci said...

Oh, I forgot to mention, such a very handsome man too. My goodness....

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