Diplomas, family photos, patent plaques, work papers, etc... Some I remembered hanging the walls of his office, some seem completely unknown to me.
I wasn't expecting to find every letter I'd written him from college. Or his 3 draft cards, his Goldwater in '64 tie pin, or a random Father's Day card I made for him in 1975. All brought tears to my eyes, as I tried to organise 30 years of an impressive career that was cut short at the age of 51.
His desk was the centre of his office and will be the centre of mine. He spent many hours sitting at that desk working on things I can't even wrap my head around.
He graduated with an electrical engineering degree, and a bit later his MBA in the mid '60s and I studied English literature and sociology. As much as our dry humour was a like, our brains worked worlds apart. His work was technical, mine worked on grabbing the reader's interest. I'm left handed for christ's sake, that should say everything.
For all his technical merit, he still understood my need to take a pottery classes in college. He enjoyed the arts. As well he should, he introduced it to me. Art shows in The City, gallery openings, museums around the world, he certainly wasn't a one sided man. He felt every well rounded person should learn a musical instrument and appreciate art. I began piano lessons in the 1st grade. I have no doubt my decision was because he played the piano. I loved to watch him play.
He never discouraged learning. I thought I wanted to be a National Geographic photographer when I was 12. I call my year from 12 to 13 my black and white phase.
Looking at my black and white photos gives me a new appreciation for his faith in me. He always told me I could accomplish anything with hard work and commitment.
I thought every parent said those things...but sadly I now realise that's just not true.
He gave me a gift.
He was my Father.
I hope he was proud of me.