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    Re: Your Dad

    Any stories about your Dad?[/quote]

    A million, mostly bad. :x

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  • Zat0pek
    This is Dad's obituary, which I wrote:

    Richard L. (Dick) Murrow, 75, died Sunday, April 13, 2008 surrounded by his loving family in the home he designed and built after a brief battle with a brain tumor. The funeral be at 10:30am, Thursday, April 17 at the First Presbyterian Church, 138 East Shawnee, Gardner, KS 66030. Visitation will be from 9:00am to 10:30am Thursday at the church immediately prior to the funeral. Burial will be at 3:00pm the same day at the Sunny Slope Cemetery in Blue Mound, KS. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the First Presbyterian Church in Gardner, KS.

    Dick was born December 8, 1932 in Blue Mound, KS. He grew up on a farm in a home that was materially poor but spiritually rich. He graduated from Blue Mound High School in 1951. He married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Juanita Townsley, on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1953 in the Blue Mound Methodist Church and he entered into the service of his country through the U.S. Army nine days later. Dick and Juanita celebrated their 55th anniversary with all of their children and grandchildren eight days prior to his death.

    After serving his country for two years overseas, he returned and built on the electronics training he had received in the Army by getting his Associates degree from Central Technical College in 1957. Following graduation, he worked for the Atomic Energy Commission at Bendix in Kansas City.

    In 1960, he went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and became one of the original employees to open the Air Route Traffic Control Center in Olathe, KS. He worked there as an electronics technician until his "retirement" in 1990. Not long after his "retirement", Dick went back to work for various contractors doing much the same work he had done while at FAA, which he continued until his final retirement in 2002. In addition to working full time at FAA, Dick also sold real estate part-time and farmed about seventy acres. Also, he and Juanita operated a small but successful ceramics and craft business together, conducting sales both through craft shows in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma and in various consignment shops in Branson, MO.

    He resided in Lenexa from 1959 to 1967 when he moved his family to a small acreage near Gardner, where he resided until his death. A few years later, he would acquire an additional sixty-five acres which he farmed, fished and hunted.

    Working three or four jobs was only the start of Dick's service to his family and his community. He was a member of the school board for USD 231 in Gardner from 1975 to 1979, including serving as vice-president in 1976-77 and president in 1977-78. A member of the First Presbyterian Church in Gardner since moving there, he also served that faith community as both a deacon and an elder. He was also a member of the local Masonic Lodge.

    A strong advocate for education, both formal and informal, he always insisted that his two children would attend college and worked hard to ensure that it became a reality. They learned well from both his counsel and his example, as one would go on to earn a Masters degree in education and the other became a practicing attorney.

    Dick loved to fish, hunt, camp, read and work in the yard, garden and various orchards that surround their home, but nothing delighted him more than spending time with his four grandchildren and attending their various activities, recitals, sporting events and concerts.

    Dick was preceded in death by his father, Clifford, in 1981. He is survived by his mother, Inez Grogan; his wife, Juanita; one daughter, Robyn McGuire and her husband Mike and two grandsons, Cameron and Cooper; and one son, Rod Murrow and his wife Pat and two granddaughters, Anna and Sarah; and his brother Ronald and his wife Linda.

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  • Zat0pek
    commitment to doing what was right and how that guided every decision he made and every action he took.

    Not long after I realized that I began to get calls from guys that I had grown up with or other buddies of mine. After the third or fourth call, it was almost like they were following a script. In every single instance I was hearing the same thing, "You know, I’ll never forget the time when your Dad helped me do this." It may have been through a particularly difficult time in their life. In one case it was offering support and encouragement that the individual didn’t receive from their own father. He said, "I’ll never forget that. Your dad supported and encouraged me more than my own father."

    Dad never talked about what couldn’t be done. He only talked about what could be done. Dad will long be remembered for his patience, his wisdom, his humor. But I will most remember his very quiet sense of duty and his service to others. That devotion to others extends to the last words that Dad was ever able to speak. The last words that my father was ever able to speak were, "I love you too" to our mother, as she touched his forehead and kissed him and said, "I love you".

    I said we are not here to mourn, but to honor. If we want to honor Dad, then let’s live by his example. Let’s take actions for the benefit of someone else. Let’s find solutions to problems. Let’s correct our children with humor and occasionally reverse and April Fool’s joke. And let the last words on our lips be, "I love you too" to the spouse you shared your life with for 55 years.

    And on that subject of devotion and service to others, Mom gets a lot of credit for all of the things and care that she took of Dad in his final days. Most of us know that love isn’t the googly-eyed feeling we get as a school kid. It’s the actions we take for the benefit of someone else that are inconvenient to us, or difficult. Never have I seen such examples of love for a spouse as I did the care that Mom took of Dad in his last days. Those words, "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part" - the day that those were uttered and Mom said, "I do." - I’m sure she didn’t think it was going to end like this. But she honored those words, spoken 55 years previously.

    I was asked a couple of times this week how I thought I was going to be able to get up and do this for Dad. The answer ... is because I had to. It was my duty to honor Dad one more time. Because Dad would never talk about these things himself and Dad deserves to have his stories told and his character remembered. (END)

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  • Zat0pek
    Dr. Lee said that after Chuck left he turned around to his nurse and said, "You know, I really hope I’m wrong, but I have a feeling he’s not going to make it to his next weekly appointment. I think we are getting very close."

    The next week rolled around and Chuck showed up for his appointment. Not only did he show up, he walked in under his own power, slapped the counter, kidding the nurses. Dr. Lee wasn’t expecting that. He takes Chuck back to examine him and the extremely large tumor that had existed, was gone.

    Dr. Lee got a little visibly shaken up at this point recounting the story many years later.

    He said, "I had to palpate for quite a while before I could find what was left of it. I called the radiation oncologist and I asked what was going on." The radiation oncologist said, "I have no idea, but it has nothing to do with any treatment we’ve done." So Dr. Lee looked at Chuck and he said, "Do you have an explanation for this?" Chuck said, "I might." He said, "Last weekend we knew we were near the end. There was an anointing and a prayer service with the elders at the First Presbyterian Church in Gardner."
    At that point every hair on the back of my head stood up. I had moved away from home, but I remembered being told that service had taken place. I knew none of the other information that Dr. Lee was telling me. I only knew that the service had taken place.

    I looked at Dr. Lee and I said, "Dr. Lee, I insist that you go back into my Dad’s room and tell my parents that story and when you are done I want you to ask my Father if he knows anything about it." So, Dr. Lee goes back in and tells the story. He looks at Dad and says, "Mr. Murrow, do you know anything about that event?". Dad says, "Yeah, I do. I was one of the elders."

    Those of you that had the privilege of knowing both Chuck and my father shouldn’t be surprised that when two men of their character and faiths got together, something like that was possible. For a long time, I thought that incident that night was meant to give us hope. I thought it was meant to give us hope that maybe the same thing could happen to Dad. I was wrong. I know realize that the incident was meant to give us comfort for what was coming. It was meant to remind us of all of the lives that Dad touched and the legacy he is going to leave behind.

    A couple of days ago I was mowing the yard and I was thinking about what I wanted to say here today. And I suddenly realized something. I realized that all of the stories that I was thinking of, that I wanted to use, examples that I wanted to give of Dad’s wisdom, his character, his honesty, his humor. They all had one thing in common. The one thing they had in common was that in every single instance, in every single story, the actions that Dad took were for the benefit of someone other than himself. Everything that Dad did was for someone else. I quote Dad’s wisdom, but I will remember his honor. I will remember his sense of duty, his (Continued)

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  • Zat0pek
    he knew how much she loved it. She’d just gotten it and she wasn’t going to have anything to do with that. So she dusted herself off and no doubt, muttering her under her breath, got back on the horse. Dad kept reassuring her the entire time, "Don’t worry. I’m right here. I’ll help you through it." She gets back on the horse and the horse was facing the road and by the time she got Lady back under control and turned around, Dad was gone. He wanted her to figure it out on her own. Dad was always trying to teach us that you are going to fall down, but you’ve got to get back up.

    But you know, it wasn’t always serious with Dad. Dad had a sense of humor that was infectious, as my mother found out one April Fools Day. Dad would occasionally take hard-boiled eggs in his lunch. Mom thought she’d be cute once on April Fools Day for his lunch and she sent him an egg that wasn’t hard boiled. It was still raw. Well, Dad figured it out before he cracked it at work. So he goes in the break room at FAA and he boils it. He puts it back in his lunch box and he takes it home. He walks into the house. Mom’s in the kitchen fixing dinner. Dad walks in and sets his lunch box down on the table, opens it, pulls out the egg and says, "Hey Juanita, didn’t eat my egg today. Here, catch!" Mom screams, Dad’s laughing his head off. It was the perfect role reversal for an April Fools joke. If you ever heard Dad laugh, you can just press the play button in your head and that what was going on. He was laughing his head off and Mom was standing there doing this [gestures with hands on side of face].

    Dad always seemed to be doing things that didn’t really seem possible. The night that we got Dad’s diagnosis, the oncologist that broke the news to us visited with some of us separately from Mom and Dad. In the course of that conversation, the question came up about Dad going home. The doctor’s name was a gentleman by the name of Dr. David Lee. Dr. Lee just kind of casually asked, "Where do they live?" I said, "They live on a small farm south of Gardner." Dr. Lee said, "Gardner, huh? What church do they belong to? Do they go to church?" I said, "Yeah, they do. They belong to the First Presbyterian Church in Gardner." Dr. Lee goes, "Really? That was Chuck Ashmore’s church wasn’t it? His wife’s name is Minnie."

    I was taken aback by that because, for those of you that are unfamiliar with this congregation, Chuck Ashmore was the pastor of this Church for many, many years. He was the pastor that I grew up with and Chuck passed away a number of years ago after a very long, difficult battle with cancer. I was very surprised that Dr. Lee would remember somebody that had been gone that long and his wife’s name. I looked at Dr. Lee and I said, "Dr. Lee, how do you know Chuck and Minnie?" And he said, "Because Chuck Ashmore was the only true miracle I ever observed in all of my years in oncology."

    He goes on to tell me the story how he had been Chuck’s treating physician. Chuck had been in the office one day for one of his weekly follow-up appointment and as Dr. Lee said, "We knew we were getting very near the end. Chuck knew it as well." (Continued)

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  • Zat0pek
    absolutes. This is true of nations and this is true of people. There is no middle ground and there are no compromises. The first rule is that you never, ever, under any circumstances throw the first punch. The second rule is that you always, under all circumstances, throw the last on. Son, never start a fight, but always finish it." He walked out of my room and didn’t say another word.

    That kind of leads into the next one. I was getting ready to go out with some of my friends one night. I was probably 16 or 17 I guess. As I was headed towards the door, Dad stopped me and you know, the standard, "Where you going? Who are you going to be with? What are you going to be doing?" And I gave Dad a version of events that might not have been entirely accurate for what my plans were for the evening. And, he didn’t challenge me. He didn’t question it. He just looked at me and said, "You know, if you ever do something stupid enough that you get thrown into jail, don’t call me for two reasons. Would you like to know what the two reasons are?" Given the circumstances, I thought that might be useful information to have. So I said, "Yeah Dad, what are the two reasons?" He said, "The first reason is that if you called me from jail, I would not come and get you and you will have wasted your only phone call. The second reason is that if for some reason I did come and get you, you would wish that I had not and you will still have wasted your own phone call." I never had to find out if Dad was kidding or not, but I don’t think he was.

    But you know, Dad was always trying to teach us. Dad was very insistent that we learn how to solve our own problems because I don’t think Dad ever met a problem he couldn’t find a solution to. His ingenuity was just incredible. The ice storm back in 2002 when the power was all knocked out. Dad had gotten together a number of the neighbors and they had punched a gas well many years ago and several of the houses out there were all on natural gas. When the power went out, Dad called KCP&L and they said it would be quite a while before we can get you back on. So Dad went out in the workshop. He had a generator. He had a piece of electrical cord with nail on both ends. He plugged one end to the generator and the other end was arc welder. He had a 220 line that ran from the house out to the arc welder. He fired up the generator, sent the power the opposite direction back into the house. They had enough power to run their furnace, their refrigerators and freezers and the lights for the room they were in. Dad called KCP&L back and said, "No hurry. We got gas. We got power. We’re good."

    Dad found a way to solve his own problems and he was insistent that we find a way to solve ours, as my sister found out one day. She had acquired her first real horse. We’d always had horses and ponies growing up and she had acquired her first real horse. This horse named Lady. She was 12, 13, something like that. She was riding and she was up in the peach orchard and Lady decided she was tired of Robyn, so she threw her off. After my sister hit the ground, she got up fussing and stomping and swore she was never going to get back on the horse again. Dad said, "That’s all right. I’ll just sell it. If you aren’t going to ride it, I’ll just sell it." Well, (Continued)

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  • Zat0pek
    My dad died April 13 this year from a brain tumor. Here's what I said about Dad in my eulogy at his funeral. This is actually a transcript that my assistant typed from an audio recording of the funeral that the church did because I had no prepared text or notes. I spoke for about 20-25 minutes, so this is fairly long, and to be fair I haven't even proofread it yet. Here it is:

    The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes was said to have wandered the streets of Athens with a lantern, looking for an honest man. Too bad he wasn’t around the last 75 years. It would have been a short search. Diogenes claimed he never found that man, but we are here to honor him today. We’re not here to mourn Dad, we are here to honor him.

    Dad’s honesty was but one of the many traits he would be remembered for. Dad was gentle and strong. He was patient, thoughtful, had a fantastic sense of humor, which you’ll hear about in a minute. He had a great twinkle in his eye which flared up when you knew something was coming. But you know, for everything Dad did, the one thing that he was, was humble. If you stop and think about it, how many times did anybody ever hear Dad talk about himself? He didn’t. That is why I’m here today. I’m going to do it for him.

    You know, Reverend Lavoie just mentioned that Dad grew up in a home that was "materially poor and spiritually rich." We know that for two reasons. We know about the materially poor part because of some of the stories that persist from that time. We know about the spiritually rich part because of the man he grew up to become. When we talk about being materially poor, I’m not talking about being materially poor by today’s standards. I’m talking about being materially poor by Depression standards. Dad told me this story only once, about the Christmas that his only gift was a used pocket comb from his father because that was all they could afford. We aren’t talking about being materially poor in the sense that you didn’t have enough money to buy something you wanted. We are talking about not having enough food.

    Dad used to tell me the story of when he’d go out to check the cattle in the morning, he’d get on a tractor and he would take this old $12 Montgomery Wards blunderbuss of a shotgun with him, this old double barrel and exactly two shells because that’s all they had. And there was a hill that when Dad got to the top, you could see three ponds. From those three ponds he would pick out the one that had the most ducks on it, to better enhance the chances that they would eat that day. If you look out there in the medals case, one of the medals you will see from Dad is a sharp-shooter medal. You learn to shoot like that when you’ve got two shells and that is the only thing you’re going to eat that day.

    Grandma, I’m sure this was no reflection on your cooking, but Dad to this day can not eat duck.

    Dad also was guided by, I think, one principal in his life and that was doing what was right. The flag-draped coffin today and the military honors that he will receive are because of his service to his country. Dad was a very loyal supporter of our Armed Forces and a very proud veteran. But, when he went to work for the Atomic Energy Commission at Bendix, he quit that job for reasons that very few people know. You see, Dad’s job at Bendix was to build the firing mechanisms for nuclear warheads. And driving home one night to his new wife and his newborn daughter, it dawned on him that he was helping to build something that he thought could end the world. So he left that job and he went to work for FAA. And that is just one example of how Dad’s values infused everything he did.

    I remember once when I was in college, I was struggling with what I wanted to be when I grew up. I can remember vividly, I can remember where we were in the car. We were driving along and I was kind of chatting with Dad about what I wanted to do and which direction I thought I wanted to go in. He was just shaking his head and kind of smiling. It was like "You don’t get it kid." He was kind of waiting for me to figure something out. Finally, he said, "Do you have any idea what the definition of career success is?" I said, "No, apparently not." He said, "It’s not awards. It’s not accolades. It’s not fame. It’s none of that. Here is when you’ll know you’ve had a successful career. You will know you have had a successful career when you get paid to do something that you love so much that you would pay for the privilege of being able to do it."

    Dad had a way of taking complicated problems like that and in just one or two sentences suddenly making everything clear. I’m going to give you a few examples of that. I think my Dad may have been one of the wisest people I’ve ever known. You are going to notice something in common about these examples. They all involve severe character defects or poor judgement on the part of his son and Dad’s very succinct correction of same.

    I had gotten in trouble with some, well let’s say, shall we say, some authority figures on one occasion. And as Dad was reading me the riot act, I tried to use the "But everyone was doing it Dad" defense. You know what Dad’s response to that was? "Son, just because you are in a pig pen doesn’t mean to you have to wallow." Took me a second to get that one, but I figured it out pretty quick.

    On another occasion, I had gotten frustrated with something I was having to wait on. I don’t even remember what it was now. I lipped off and said something about, "Well, I guess I just need to pray for more patience." And Dad laughed and said, "No you don’t. In fact, never pray for patience." And I said, "Why not Dad?" And he said, "Because you won’t like how you’ll be taught."

    There was another occasion when I came home from school and I’d gotten into a fight with a kid. And I’m waiting up in my room for Dad to come home. Dad comes home and Mom tells him what happened downstairs. He comes in and sticks his head in my room and he says, "I just got two questions for you. Mom told me what happened and I just got two questions for you." And I said, "What’s that Dad?" He said, "Who threw the first punch?" I said, "He did." He said, "Okay, my second question is who won?" I said, "I did." He said, "Son, I’m going to give you two


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  • mojo
    Great stories everyone.

    cman- your father was a truly amazing person. What a life! 8-)

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  • Got Lapped by Kevin Byrne
    deeply moving stories

    thanks for sharing

    my dad is 81, a retired scientist, brilliant guy, and i give thanks every day that he's still healthy and going strong. he walks two miles a day, is involved in many political activities and keeps busy, as does my mom. they live only 45 minutes or so away so get to spend time with their grandkids regularly. we speak almost every day.

    i am truly blessed.

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  • lonewolf
    After a succession of strokes/heart attacks, my dad was repeatedly hospitalized the last year of his life.. .He could be pretty feisty and plain spoken. His last campaign was to successfully demand the removal of hundreds of dollars for "occupational therapy", in addition to physical therapy, from his hospital bill. His argument (bowlderized) was, " I am 89 *****years old and dying, what ****occupation are the ******** preparing me for?"

    Mostly, I remember his encouragement and absolute faith and conviction that I could do anything he set his mind to, which sometimes led to his making promises on my behalf that I had difficulty fulfilling.
    In the early days of WWII, I was about 12-13 years old and enjoying some notoreity in Golden Glove boxing. In the state tournament, I came up against an 18 year old sailor home on leave. I managed. arguably unfortunately, to hit him early in the bout, dislocating the thumb on my right hand. Not that it mattered, I was reduced to fighting the last two rounds essentially one-handed. That swabbie never knocked me down he but he pounded me from "pillar to post" unmercifully. When the carnage ended, my dad demanded an immediate re-match.. I told him, "Dad, you can fight him if you want to but he has convinced me."

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  • cullman
    My Dad was a fisherman who did intelligence for the West in his spare time...or was it the other way around? He was pretty old school but progressive at the same time and had a knack of seeing the big picture regardless of the circumstances.

    Link to Cman's Dad

    Dad was among other things in British Intelligence during WWII and the first Canadian volunteer of Japanese heritage to fight for the Allies. Unfortunately he contracted malaria and dysentry while in Burma which was disabling as he was also born with syringomyelia. (The late golfer Bobby Jones is probably the most famous person with this neurological condition.)

    A quote by my Dad from: Japanese Internment Camps in Canada

    "Many of us had volunteered for the Canadian Army. But we had been refused till finally the British got desperate and sent a man out from England to see if they could recruit Nisei (Young Canadian Japanese). So thats fine, if we can't go as a Canadian we'll go in British uniform. So we joined up in the British Pioneer Corps as corporals. We were going to go overseas, and dammit, we waited and waited and nothing happened! We found out there was a terrific wrangle in Parliament that says we can't-they can't go overseas in foriegn uniforms!... And apparently during the debate somebody got the bright idea, if they're going to go, they're going in Canadian uniforms. So at the last minute they changed their mind and demoted us to privates in Canadian Intellegence and we went over-seas. They said, what's the matter with you, are you crazy? They've taken away everything you own, moved you by force out of the place you lived at and insulted you in every way possible-and you're going to go and take some more of it?"


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  • Al in NYC
    Nice subject. Just spoke to my 82 year old dad this afternoon. He was all excited that he'd received some of his Olympic tickets today. I'll be joining him (and my mother) in Beijing on August 13th.

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  • zzbottom
    When I think of my father, this is one thing that comes to mind...

    And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
    And you may find yourself in another part of the world
    And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
    And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
    And you may ask yourself -- did I get here?
    Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime"

    I'm not sure he ever really figured out how he got there......and I'm not at all certain that he was there in terms of perhaps possessing a preference for excursions of the imagination to extricate himself from where he was...just a guess...

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  • Marlow
    My dad died 22 years ago at age 66, sitting at his desk, writing letters, after a morning 18 (shot 78 that day) and two sets of tennis also. It was the perfect way to go - the heart just stopped and he looked like he had fallen asleep at his desk.

    Of all the great memories I have of him, one has always stuck in my mind. I was about 8 and out sledding on the big neighborhood hill. Two unfamiliar bullies came by, took my sled, and pushed my face down in the snow. I ran home and told my dad. He said to go back and get my sled back (the bullies were about 12). I said I couldn't and he said, 'then you won't have a sled, I guess." I went back out, too scared to confront them. and waited for them to leave. They took my sled with them, so I followed them (probably a mile, seemed farther) and 'stole' it back when they went inside. The next day, I saw a 6-year-old with a better sled than I, pushed him down, took his sled and sledded with it. He ran home, got his dad, who came out, spanked me (!!), took me to my home and told my mom. When my dad came home, he spanked me, and sent me to my room for the rest of the day, without supper. I asked him why he hadn't stuck up for me like the other dad did, and why he punished me, when those other kids had gotten off scott-free. He answer has always stuck with me (though not verbatim, of course). The message was:

    "There are many 'unfair' things that happen in our lives. We need to learn to deal with them as soon as possible. Other people may be 'bad', but we (our family) may never be bad in return. We cannot control all the things that happen to us in our lives, but we can control how we deal with them. No matter what happens, you must be nice to other people. Otherwise you no better than they are."

    That has been a very hard lesson in my life - the metaphorical turning of the cheek. When others hurt us, we want them to feel how it felt. But I have always TRIED to do the right thing (esp. for 20 years in the Navy with some real JERKS.)

    P.S. Yeah, I still miss my dad (and mom) too.

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  • dukehjsteve
    My father taught me a love of all sports, as he was a former basketball and baseball player. But of even greater importance he taught me integrity. He's the most honest person I have ever known.
    The last time I saw him, about 3 weeks before he quickly died of pneumonia at age 86, I had said good bye, and had turned around and was walking away from him, feeling darn sad about it. I then overheard him saying to another Retirement Home resident, " He's a good boy." ( I was 53 at the time.)

    So to the very end, I was " his boy." A very nice memory for me.

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