Archive for June, 2015

Fathers Day

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Fathers day

Fathers day is soon upon us. I’m away this year, and wont be able to be with my daughters which is not so much fun, but knowing they’re safe and building their lives is some comfort.

On fathers day i think about my dad, mostly because the last few of his fathers days we spent together up at the lake. Sometimes we’d golf in Bigfork, a little golf course without many challenges beyond chipmunk holes, occasional mosquito clouds, and a persistent 20 mph wind from the north. We’d play golf on windy days because it was too rough to fish, the upwind drives turned into chip shots and the downwind drives would usually blow past the greens. Dad wouldn’t keep score other than by counting how many balls i hit in the water…he usually kept his in play. The little clubhouse shack had a few microwaveable burritos and coke, and the last year we golfed they had a cart working so we could ride instead of walk.

We’d have had breakfast at the laundromat/cafe in Marcel, Dad would get his eggs over, i’d get mine scrambled. The bacon was always good, the pies and cinnamon rolls always tempting, and the thrum of the machines was never drowned out by local conversation.

After golf we’d sometimes make the run to the rapids for parts or to pick up a motor found not working after winter storage, i think most years i’d get Dad a deep cycle trolling battery, the seemed to not take the winters well up there, and not hold charge very long.

All this started around 5:30 in the morning, there was no sleeping in on vacation! So by the time breakfast, golf and the drive to the rapids happened,it would be time for a late lunch at the diner. Last stop was the IGA store for groceries, then back home for evening fishing.

The next day was usually a workday, fixing, charging, framing, trimming, mowing, splitting or rearranging the parking order of the tractors, which involved more charging, changing gas filters, jumpstarting, tire filling and sometimes hydraulic surprises. I think the point was to get every bit of equipment up and running, just in case we needed three tractors… I never questioned, just got the tools and went to work. We had an unwritten rule that only one of us at a time could get frustrated with a bolt or clamp to the point of cussing. The other persons job was to be heads up for where the wrench would land after being flung, fetch it, and enter the fray with the machine until it was wrench flinging time, then the other person had to be standing by with cold rootbeers to sip on and regroup.

Evenings would usually be playing cards after fishing (if the wind was right) until the sun set, the frogs croaked and the mosquitos massed for attack. Then we’d do it all again…

I know that lake pretty well, but without dad its not the same.

Being away on fathers day took something from my daughters, i know that, and the world has changed now, but i think of them daily, i see the sparkle in their eyes, the looks that speak volumes, and the groans that come along after a good bad pun.

Heard another few ggod ones from the one who holds my heart’s son….what do you call a fish with no eyes? “Fsh”…and what does a fish say when it swims into a wall?

Think about it, think of your dad wherever they are, thats all we want for fathers day.

Mr. Greer

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

A pillar of the architecture community of Texas is being laid to rest this week. Mr. Greer was long established in practice, education, administration, and as the historian of our community of educators at Texas A&M.

I only knew him a few years, i remeber him as one of the stern faces in the front row when i interviewd at A&M, i couldn’t read his face, and didnt know if my talk was doing well or failing.

It turned out well, and a few months after i settled in he mentioned that he thought hiring more licensed architects to teach was a good thing. As an administrator trying to learn the system there, i could see he had been slowly marginalized by succeeding generations of faculty, we restored his courses, but weren’t completely successful. He retired not completely happy, but fully committed to the university and its future.

I probably see a bit of myself in his last years and wonder if i will accept the little indignitites of aging in the university as well as he did.

I’m a few thousand miles away today, trying to update my knowledge, to have some quiet moments in beautiful gardens with the one who holds my heart, so i wont be at the service to say goodbye, but have him in my thoughts as he is laid to rest.

Amid cathedrals and palaces that have endured hundreds of years, Mr. Greer stands out as a maker of architects, and a shaper of our profession, something harder to take pictures of, but maybe more enduring.

Remember your teachers today, they helped make you what you are.