For those who know me, they know my Dad is my hero – he was a compassionate man who loved to make people laugh. But he was also tough – a Marine who later worked in the Foreign Service, in posts from West Africa to Japan, where he met my mom who was also working at the Embassy.
He was someone I could talk to about everything and anything. History, war, current political climate, the stars and planets, and crazy stories from his childhood. He has traveled to over 70 countries, more than half of those on a motorcycle with a side car, traveling from Munich to Melbourne. His travel buddy was a Green Beret, and he tells this story that they were still competitive during their travels.
When they returned from this 11-thousand mile trip around the world, the local papers did stories on him.
He later wrote a book on his travels, called The Manual for Travel Counsellors, which sold out immediately! This became the most popular textbook for people who wanted to be travel agents – which back in the day, was a very desirable job. He published a multitude of editions.
But before this happened, he worked for the State Department in the Foreign Service, living in Liberia, Portugal and, finally, Japan. It was at the American Embassy when he met my mom – he says he sat down and took one look at her and said, “That’s the most beautiful woman in the world, and I’m going to marry her.”
Before his passing, he had four children he gave my mom 53 years of happiness. He was always my favorite man in the whole wide world. Right now, I’m sitting in his spot on the couch in my brother’s house in the Houston area… the last place I saw him alive.
I don’t know if I feel his presence, or his absence. But what I do know is, he was always my protector, my confidant and my heart.