Ode to my father. - Fluorescent Dreams Wax Cylinders
21st of November, 2012
21:14 - Ode to my father.
My earliest memories of my father were his stories. Whether they were about Schindterhanas, a young German boy who had adventures around his farm, or about “Agent C-3” the spy, his creativity came out every night.
My father's business skills were well-known. From restaurants like Captain Kidd's Pub in downtown New York City to creating Discotronics, one of the world's first video stores, he was talented at recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities. Even after he retired, he used his business skills to analyze and invest in the stock market.
His talents in art and craft were less known. He once showed me his drawings from his college years: they showed his skill and patience. While he lived in Mexico, he learned to create stained-glass windows. He played the organ well. Music was a constant in his life: often smooth reinterpretations of popular music, but sometimes something more unusual. He once told me that his favorite style of music was the Viennese Waltz.
Few would recognize his biggest artwork: a house and five acres in Loxahatchee that he designed and built. He spent many months supervising the building of his perfect Florida ranch house before we moved into it. He designed the property's artificial lake, the guest house with his office and a workroom, and the solar heating for the in-ground pool. He even selected the dozens of kinds of fruit trees that occupied the property. Even near the end of his life, he would visit hardware stores to find the perfect tool or part to fix problems at home.
Second to my mother and I, he loved dogs. I grew up with a black cocker spaniel (who was paper-trained before I was), two Dalmatians (who were both convinced that I was one of them), and poodles.
He loved the good life. When he was younger, he loved good cigars. Throughout his life, he loved drinking scotch and soda, and taking the occasional cruise. He enjoyed the game of bridge, and met many wonderful people because of it. But he loved travel most of all. He traveled the world for the Navy, and he took me to Europe, Mexico, and through the Caribbean many times when I was a young teenager. The last time I saw him, I asked him if he had any regrets. “Yes,” he said. “That I didn't travel more.”
I will always miss you. Goodbye.
Your “Big Boy”.