Monday will be my Dad’s 78th Birthday!!!

I would like to introduce him to you. This will be kind of long but he deserves the space as 78 years is a long time :)

My Dad was born on Halloween in Garland Utah. He went to Garland Elementary and graduated from Bear River High. I have these two things in common with him. :)  He called my grandma MA and my grandpa Daddy all of their lives.

Dad is retired from Hill Air Force Base ..where he worked as an Aircraft Mechanic. He earned the Zero Defect Award at this job every year. I find that quite impressive as I can’t seriously go through ONE day at my job without some sort of a defect. He also taught auto mechanics at CASA in Homedale Idaho, sold auto parts for Barger Mattson, was a courier at IDX  and now works part time for  IDX and Labcorp in their office. He is one of the hardest working men I will EVER know(also one of the hardest headed men :)  All my life he worked  hard. He used to do mechanic work and we owned a service station. He is extremely gifted with this and he is still my go to guy when I have a car issue. Todd and I   had a disagreement on oil checking one day just a while back and he handed me the phone and told me to call my dad… I did and Todd was right :) but the fact of the matter was Todd knew I would ask him anyway because part of me still feels he knows everything. My kids go to him for this type of thing too. He has helped us so many times with issues that I couldn’t count or remember them ever. I also remember numerous times that he has helped people who were standed- he fixed the problem and got them back on the road. It is an amazing gift and when he was able to he was always willing to help someone.

He is a LOVER of automobiles and he does not want anyone to be driving something that does not run correctly. He is hugely the reason that I have driven several vehicles over100,000 miles and a couple over 200. He taught me that you always take care of them and they will take you a long way. This is very true. I have taken his  advice on this and it works. He doesn’t like people to have to drive cars with dents or missing lights or anything of the sort. He will find you the parts and set you up to get it fixed.. YESTERDAY. he has no patience for driving a crap car. He is OCD with this. This is a trait he passed on to my brother Danny wholly and completely. :)

He loves airplanes and always has. My dad took flying lessons and was given the opportunity to trade his Harley for a plane when he was doing this. I found this story out just a couple of years ago while he and I were having dinner. He used to take us all to the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds shows at Hillfield and I in turn LOVE to watch them. I tried to pass this on to my kids but they are not as enthralled with it as I was. He and Todd and Levi’s dad have conversations about airplanes still. He still loves them.

He also rode a Harley. He and some friends took a trip all the way up the California coast into Oregon with very little money and they slept on the side of the road. His Harley was actually on display in a shop in Logan a few years ago. I had wished then that I was wealthy and I would have paid anything to get it back.

He served in the Army in New Zealand. He met and talked my mom into marrying him in Monterey California in 1958. He was crazy about her and she thought just crazy all together. But they had 4 children together and raised a fairly decent family(if I do say so myself).They had some severe trials in their lives yet they still made it through every thing and loved each other with a passion. They were married 50 years when she passed away.  He still misses her horribly.

When I was growing up my dad and mom would play kick ball and badminton in grandma’s front yard with us. He used to hike all over the hills by our house hunting. We had a really good hunting dog named Cocoa and my dad LOVED this dog. He is still a total animal lover and always has been. These memories are especially important to me because my dad has horrible arthritis now and he is in pain from it all the time. He still gets up and goes to work every day and these memories of how it used to be remind me of his strength. He  always has incredible strength. He  had many obstacles in his life and has always been an example to me of how to laugh at some of the trials and to ALWAYS  move on. He does not think he has this strength now but  he truly does.  He has been through more things in his life than many people ever will face and he has always come out of it ..

When someone asks him to do something or for help with something he goes above and beyond.  The time he went to Shar’s school to talk about careers with her class is just one example of that. He had pictures and stories and the kids just loved him.

He loves his wife, his family, his coworkers, his job, his church, reading, his cat, the ducks that come to his house, his grandkids, guns and  shooting (he is an excellent marksman might I add). He is a proud Veteran, NRA member, Republican, Mormon and Dad.

Because of him I have the gift of vacations across the country, sight seeing in Utah,  camping, fishing, sleigh riding, dinners out at Sizzler in Ogden with the really good salad dressing, handing him tools while he worked in his shop in Tremonton, working in a gas station, Christmas village, walking down the aisle with him, taking my kids with him to work, telling me that he knows everything about everything, political arguments, his testimony of the church, him reading the Christmas story from the Bible and oh sooooo much more.
Today I just wanted to tell him that always I am his daughter and I am proud of that. I am proud of him and I most surely LOVE him and wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY .. ribs and banana creme pie to come :)

Love  you Dad