This is a portrait of my daddy, painted by my sister. She presented it to him as a gift for one of his "late seventies" birthdays. She captured not only his physical image, but his spirit as well!
When outside, or even working in his workshop, he ALWAYS wore a ball cap. Which is a shame actually, since he has beautiful white hair from his late forties on. That brown leather jacket was buttery soft after decades of wear. I can still remember the smell of that leather mixed with Old Spice!
The setting of the picture from which the painting was done, is one of the thousands of campgrounds that my parents visited over the years. First in a tent, then a small camping trailer, then a big, beautiful 5th wheel trailer! He is perched on his yellow Honda 90. He and my mother each had one, and they had some hair-raising adventures on them! The painting is just "so Harold", aka Hal!
He came from very humble beginnings in Marion, Ohio, and grew up working to help support the family. After his time in the Air Force during WWII, he came home to take advantage of the GI bill. He graduated from Ohio State, and remained a loyal Buckeye his entire life! The first song each of us kids learned was the Ohio state fight song! When he had the opportunity for a job in aerospace, he moved is family to California, and the adventure began! My parents are the first and so far the only members on either side of the family to ever leave Ohio. And none of us have ever regretted that they did!
I am the first of 5 children, each of whom secretly knew that they were his favorite! Of course, being the first, it was me... He was a loving and kind father, but he had that "look" that meant you were treading on thin ice. And when he called you by your first and middle name, you knew that the day was going to be all downhill from there!
~Loved my mom passionately for over 1/2 a century
~Kept & cherished family traditions
~Thought each of his kids was brilliant
~Loved Christmas more than any other time of year
~Organized Secret Santa Deliveries for needy families
~Was the best BBQ'er ever (especially Santa Maria BBQ)
~Read books like Captain's Courageous & Treasure Island to us after dinner each night
~Lived & breathed football
~Could fix anything
~Was a fan of good bourbon & brandy
~Taught me by example, what a good parent is
I love you Daddy! I miss you every day...
P.S. My sister is an amazing artist. If you are interested in seeing more of her work, look HERE.