Friday, June 19, 2009

Father's Day - 2009

Once again this weekend brings us the date that we honor and pamper our fathers. Although my father died early, many years ago, he's on my mind all the time - I really miss him. A couple years ago I wrote about him at length and provide, HERE, the link to that entry if you care to read about him.

Over here on the Eastside of Costa Mesa, in the best
neighborhood in the city, we have many wonderful fathers who deserve all the accolades they will receive on Sunday. I won't try to mention them all, but will tell you a little about a few of them.

In no particular order, we'll start with my friend, Jim, the proud father of three wonderful sons. The eldest graduated from college a year ago and is busily launching a career in a city far away. The middle son begins his junior year at Notre Dame and is having a ball even though they don't have much of a football team. The youngest just graduated from high school this year and will start his grand college adventure in the fall. Each of these young men reflect the strong moral values of their parents and the wise and steady hand of their father as he has guided them through this point in their lives.

On the same section of street li
ve Bob and Stan - across-the-street neighbors from each other for more than two decades. Both have two adult children - a son and daughter each - who have long flown the coop and are leading happy, successful lives with their own children. Bob and Stan, retired guys who enjoy each other's company at lunch frequently, continue to show love and support for their kids, as they have for more than 40 years.

Closer to home is my neighbor, Phil - the father of two great sons. The eldest just finished his freshman year in college and the younger his freshman year in high school. Both young men reflect their father's work ethic and his joy of sport. Both give Phil many reasons to be proud of them, and his leadership and guidance in their lives. Both boys seem to have their father's engineering instincts and both will be successful men.


Looking directly out my window I can see the roof line of my friend and neighbor, Craig's, house. Almost any time now I expect to see two or three of his six wonderful children burst forth to play in the street - riding bikes, scooters, roller blades or just tossing the ball for their dog. Craig's three boys and three girls range from college age to six years old. The two eldest children have been away at college, but are home now. The middle three
- two daughters and a son - are in school and the just-turned-six-year-old continues to brighten our street during the day with his laughter. Craig has a half dozen reasons to be filled with joy this Sunday because his children are the happiest, most polite group of urchins I've ever seen. We're glad to have them as our neighbors.


Around the corner at the end of the street we find my friend, Joe, the father of four of the best kids you'll find anywhere. They were raised while Joe and his lovely and patient wife juggled very active business lives, family demands and still found time to be community activists and civic leaders.The three eldest have finished college and have launched themselves into careers. Each of them show signs of their parent's inclination for community involvement - a great thing for us all. The youngest, a charming, bright and mature daughter in her early teens, demonstrates to us one more time the true value of caring parents. Joe is proud of every one of his children - a feeling that is reciprocated.


Our friend, Kurt, has three wonderful children - two boys in college and a daughter who may be the best athlete of the three of th
em. All three of them perform at a high level, combining a great work ethic and very special personalities. Kurt beams with pride when we talk about each of them.

Across the street is Taras, father of two terrific kids. The son, a multi-sport star in high school - is in the home stretch of his college career and the daughter is about to begin hers. Both were star athletes in high school, in great part because of the loving support and encouragement their father gave them.

Just down the street we find my pal, Barry - father of two grown kids and grandfather of two grandchildren. His children were just tykes when we moved into the neighborhood almost 36 years ago - two of only a half dozen rug rats in this little enclave at the time. We watched them grow into confident, successful adults and can see the results of Barry's guidance every time they come to visit.

Across the street from Barry is Mike, the perpetually patient and loving father of an extremely active, developmentally disabled teenage son. Mike is his father and friend, and tries to make his son's life in our neighborhood as normal, nurturing and meaningful as is possible - and does so very successfully.

I cannot close this without a mention of my dear friend and neighbor, Wayne. He's mentioned in the previous entry, linked above, but he deserves special recognition here today. Although Wayne's actually about the age of an older brother to me, EVERYONE refers to him as "father". He is, in fact, a surrogate for my own father - a man to whom I look for guidance and the example of a life well-lived. The father of two, grandfather of four and great-grandfather of 7, he continues to spread his love, wisdom and guidance over four generations of his family. An uncomplicated man, he lives the best example of a "Christian life" that I've ever seen. Without preaching to you he just shows you the way...

I know I've missed some other fathers here in the neighborhood - some of the newer ones with small children. For that I apologize, but will comment that those overlooked also have flocks of great children who are growing and thriving by the touch of their father's hands. I love this neighborhood...


So, a very Happy Father's Day to all of my neighborhood fathers and the rest of you fathers out there. Thanks for all you do for your kids as you love and guide them to becoming successful, caring, responsible adults and the framers of the future of our community.



Blogger mesa verde madman said...

wow - that's some good stuff, Cauldron... makes me proud to be a father of two boys, 1 and 3 - i just hope my neighbors say such wonderful things about us on their blogs or whatever the people are doing 15 years from now... keep up the great work!

and i'm choosing to settle down and take the high road in most things in life these days, so i'll refrain from any commentary about the city council and decisions they make that impact kids... but talking to some of the younger generation of fathers out and about town, the natives are getting restless and missing the way it used to be in Costa Mesa and why we chose to settle here after being raised here, leaving to get an education and and start a career and whatnot, buying homes, and getting this nonsense...

6/19/2009 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

mvm, thanks for the kind words.... I live in a terrific neighborhood, surrounded by wonderful, caring people. At Mike's house for example, there are two generations of Golden Retrievers - mom, daughter and son (from a second litter) Dad is from across the street. His mom - a champion Golden, was in LA for a big dog show recently so Mike's family rounded up all the pups from the first litter - now a couple years old - for a "meet grandma" day! The block was crawling with romping Goldens... What a hoot! :-)

I hope that, even though you're choosing to "settle down", you won't ignore the important issues in this city. You are precisely the demographic that is going to be negatively impacted by the slashing of youth sports programs. Stay in touch, write the occasional letter to the Pilot, encourage your neighbors and school friends to do the same. You're always welcome to post here when you're moved.

Have a great Father's Day...

6/19/2009 09:54:00 PM  

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