It is my privilege and honor to have known you even before your own children. I suspect that you may have begun honing your fathering skills on me, even as you and Aunt Sue were preparing to welcome Tom into this world…
I have so many fond memories;
The wonderful Marklin HO train set you guys brought back from your tour in Deutchland… if I hadn’t foolishly lost it in my misspent youth, I’m sure it would be worth a pretty penny now; but the exerience of tinkering with it is certainly worth far more…
I remember you showing me how to make darts out of matchsticks, needles, and paper.
Sitting in your apartment in Connecticut; Aunt Sue large with Tom on the way; you would quiz me on science topics: “Dann, if we were in space and I put you, weightless, right here in the middle of the room, could you move to the side?” “Yes” I replied in my ignorance. “No, you couldn’t, because you would have nothing to push against!” Thus opening my mind to one more of the wonders of physics.
Sleeping in your scratchy army sleeping bag on Christmas Eve, upstairs in the new house in Connecticut. Truth be told, NOT sleeping much, tossing and turning in impatient anticipation of Christmas morning. Out in the snowy front yard the next morning with you and my Dad, shooting water rockets into the stratosphere!
You walking me through the building of a putt-putt steamboat, from scratch, down in the basement of our house in Long Island…
Building a stick-and-tissue rubber-band powered airplane in the playroom of that house; finally launching it, only to have it revert to sticks and tissue once again! And then going on to the firecrackers with the balsa wood wings glued on – true “one-shots,” light them, throw them, watch them soar through the air for a few moments and then go out in a blaze of glory! :):)
Uncle Gene, you were and will always continue to be, one of the primary guiding lights of my life! I attribute a large portion of any success I have so far had in my career to your constant encouragement and example of resourcefulness.
I’ve tried to tell you some of these things on the unfortunately rare occasions during which I’ve been able to see you or talk with you during the last decade or so, and I hope I made myself clear while you were still able to hear me!
I trust that in God’s kindness, you might even now be aware of this heartfelt beginning of a tribute to you and to the marvelous influence you had on my life – and by extension, on all of my own heirs, successors, and assigns…
With the most profound love, honor, and respect,