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Remembering My Father…

My father didn’t make it into his sixties as I have, so I don’t know how he would have approached the requirements of age. I know he tried for an early retirement a number of years before he died… selling the Bristol Pharmacy which he had developed and built into a thriving business that put my sister and me through prep school and college. He moved down to Saint Pete with my mother and tried to enjoy the good life. One day he left the house and didn’t come home all day. My worried mother asked him where he had been all day and found out he had taken a pharmacist job in a drugstore. My Dad just couldn’t stop working… he was bored if he couldn’t work.

When the guy he had sold the Bristol Pharmacy let the business almost go bust, my Dad went back to Connecticut, called in his notes on the detail, and took over the store. It took a couple of years, but he built it back to where it had been.

It was hard to do “spare time” things with my father. The one thing he really liked was flying small planes (at different times he owned two classic Stinsons), something my mother found hard to deal with. When he was flying back from our summer house that we had on Cape Cod for three years, he had to make a forced landing due to weather near Willimantic, CT, and rolled down a hill on a small farm ending up crashing into a barbed wire fence that got the propeller all wrapped in sharp-pointed wire. He had to have the plane towed out and repaired and soon thereafter he sold it and never flew planes again.

When I was somewhat younger and, for a few months, took up golf, I went out golfing with my Dad late in the afternoon (don’t gt we wrong… he hardly ever played, but this was something we were attempting to do together.) There was a water hazard on the approach to the first hole and his ball plopped into it. Instead of pulling out another ball, he waded into the small pond and found the ball… and discovered there were lots of others there.  So he decided to recover as may as he could… after all, golf balls cost money. He picked balls until it got dark, and that was the end of our first…and last… golf outing.

There is no one I have missed more than my father over the past 35 or so years, and I am fortunate to have many fond memories.