It isn't everyday that a person turns 80 years old!
Annie asked me at the beginning of the summer what I thought we should do for dad's special day.
We thought about a large party---but he likes to be at home.
Annie said, "What about his history? We could have it printed."
It was the perfect idea!
Everyone was on board.
We printed his life-history that my dad had created in a digital/web form.
To mark the occasion---the out of towners (Annie + Mike and family) decided to fly in and surprise him. We planned a regular Sunday dinner. All of his kids and their families gathered at the corner of the street and drove up together. Dede and I walked in with our families (as expected). Right behind us was cute Braden, Mike's son. He walked in casually and said, "Hi Papa!" My dad nearly jumped out of his chair. The remainder of the "surprise" guests walked in...and his evening was already made!
One of my favorite quotes from the book regarding his childhood:
"Mama was able to get a job at the local sewing room and I think she was paid about 20 to 30 dollars a month. She had to work long hours and she was always tired and her fingers were sore. Mildred worked at a new business model called a 'drive-in' restaurant and the money she brought home helped out some. Harry worked at a bakery at night and made a little money. Joyce watched the younger kids and did some babysitting. I stayed busy being incorrigible."
On the back of the book we printed our own "book reviews" of his history.
"A life filled with fun, adventures, loving, caring and sharing. There's not much he hasn't experienced and it's been my great joy to be a part of 'his wonderful life'...then, now and forever. I'm so thankful he has written this memoir for our posterity to enjoy all the years to come."
"Tom Sawyer meets John Wayne but neither hold a candle to the tales of Bobby Gene. This memoir explains why he knew to be strict as a parent and why his kids know that they are lucky to have him as a dad."
"This is one of my greatest treasures. I am so grateful to have in print, the stories I have loved to listen to my whole life. It's beautifully written from a loving father."
"Pretty cool reading a life story that culminates with me, his pride and joy. I consider his life a good start."
Mike (his legacy, buddy & pal, Mikey)
"This is a brilliant story that also serves as a guidebook that life should be lived with adventure, wit, tenacity, optimism, charity, spirited passion and love. I will read it often and treasure him always."
Top (left to right): Danny, Carin, Annie, Dad, Cameron, Bill, Connie, Dede, Mike, Reagan, Annie Lee
Bottom (left to right): Chase, Sophie, Ellie, Wesley, Kate, Brade, Grace, Sara
Happy birthday Dad!
We "LOVE you BIG much!"