Only 8 lessons, not the usual 10… I learned from dad…In no particular order except for #1…

1. Be Honest. NEVER LIE. It’s a family thing. All 6 of us know it to a fault.

2. Always have a bandaid in your pocket or purse. We all know this one, too.

3. Always have phone money. Of course this was long before mobile phones or cell phones. I imagine today he would advise to keep my cell charged.

4. Take care of your appearance. No chipped fingernail polish. No unkempt nails or hair. Piercing never came up but boy, would he be upset with some of today’s “looks.”

5. Inadvertently he let his ego show me his acceptance of the status quo. I asked him once about mom working. I remember his answer as if it was yesterday, “Oh, she can work, but then she won’t be MY wife.” Strangely it was okay for me to work. Maybe not so strange. Once I started working [at 14] it took some financial burden off of him because I started buying my own clothes and stuff.

6. If you’re going to be using cabs in unfamiliar cities  get a map ahead of time and study to and from routes. That way cab drivers can’t scam you by taking longer routes. I didn’t dare ask him if he said this from personal experience, but it stood me in good stead one time as I was returning home late at night from an out of state trip, tired, frustrated by delays, overbooked planes, having to be at work in the morning, and angry my dad was dead and mom just accused my son of doing drugs…yeah at 10 years old…in her bathroom yet!Anyway, the taxi driver started a very circuitous route which quickly became fast and short when I asked him why he didn’t take the GW Parkway.

7. Take the road less traveled. But be aware and cautious. He was teaching me to drive. We were out away from traffic. I started down a road wondering aloud something like where does this go? His answer was he didn’t know, but I had my foot in the right place. It was on the brake.

8. Fun need not be expensive. Some of my best memories are of  drives out to the airport, parking at the boundary fence and watching the planes take off and land.


We chased fire trucks once, but I didn’t like that. He had some reason for that one, but I don’t remember what it was. We also went out to Resthaven Cemetery, I suppose for dad to check in with his relatives, but we always stopped by the pond to watch the swans. They were still there until two years ago. Water Works Park [actually a reservoir for the city] was another favorite-out-doors-run-around-picnic spot.



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