Today is my dad’s birthday. He would’ve been 67. A little while ago my mom let my and I know that she still had some of his writings saved on the computer. We were pleasantly surprised to hear of this bit of information and she sent us each a thumb drive with what she had. I decided that I would post some of what he had to say here on my blog and in honor of his birthday I am posting his birth story along with some family history.
Happy birthday, pops. I miss you.
The Things My Mother Told Me
It is said and I do find this true, as with any journey the most difficult is the first step or the beginning. I have found this very true, even with something which I feel might be interesting to those who might want to hear my story. So, as I try to pull the memories from their storage places and set them to print the complete accuracy of them is only to my reflection and recollection. I am sure that the time spent at this labor will most likely be more rewarding to me than the reader.
I would begin at the basic information which may or may not be known to those of you who know me, I was born on July 12, 1946, which I am sure was a warm day in Bradenton, Florida at the little Manatee Community Hospital at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was told by my mother that … at the time, the first reaction from the hospital staff was that my mother wasn’t pregnant. But she did deliver the proof that she was, especially at 4:30. I was just a little over five pounds [and] was considered rather small. My first crib was a dresser drawer and by my diapers were my father’s handkerchiefs.
It was and still is for the most part that parents naming a male child after the father was reserved for the first-born male. For our family this tradition did not apply. My older brother was named Steven. I am not sure why this was; maybe by dad decided he did not want to have a child named after him. So, when I arrived the name selection began again, but when they first saw me my mother noticed that I was a little duplicate of my father so they named my Don. Usually, Don is only a nickname or the shortened version of Donald. My dad did not want a Junior, he was afraid that, like many families, I would be stuck with Junior as a name. So, to solve this he decided that I would be called Don Irving Becker. Irving was his father’s name.
So begins the journey of Don Irving Becker, son of Donald Irving and Mildred Mardean Becker, brother of Steven Allen Becker and Gary Paul Becker. Grandson of Irving and Lillian Becker and George and Kathryn Eyer. The Becker grandparents resided in Fond du Lac and Sheboygan Wisconsin and are of German Ancestry, while the Eyers lived in the south part of Indiana in a small town of Oakland City. I do not, unfortunately, have any recollection of my grandfather Eyer who I understand died shortly after I was born. I was told that he was an accomplished cornet player and did, at one time, play for the Indianapolis Philomophic Orchestra. I believe he died from a long battle with cancer. Now, I do recall many visit with my grandmother Eyer and the Becker grandparents, for it was an annual family vacation to visit each of the grandparents.
My father was a Hotel Clerk in Bradenton, Florida after he was discharged from the Army Air Corp at the close of World War II. For some reason this did not provide what he and mom needed to live so he re-enlisted into the United States Air Force, the name did change from the Army Air Corp around that time. He then became a carrier Airman. Now for the next twenty years he would serve his country during several times of conflict and unrest. He began with World War II, and then was serving during the Korean Conflict, and he finally finished his career when he retired as the Vietnam Conflict was just beginning.
Well, lest I bore anyone I’ll end it there. #CLIFFHANGER (And yes, I did just use a hashtag. My blog. My rules!) I will go through more of my dad’s stuff and post some more at some later date.
*nerd alert* Last night as I was reading a comic book to the Extroverted Ones the Elder Extroverted One decided to tell me that she likes Superman more than she likes Batman. This was a serious blow to me. I am a Batman guy and have been since my early teens. I dig mostly comic book Batman but I do enjoy other incarnations of the Dark Knight as well. Well, this declaration from my eldest daughter was like a dagger to my heart. I had no idea she felt this way. Under my own roof! It, certainly, evoked feelings of disowning her. To me, Superman is too easy. He’s good at everything and vulnerable to very few things. Boring. Batman on the other hand doesn’t have super powers and must use his brains, his body and huge amounts of wealth to become a super hero. That and dead parents. All Superman had to do was show up under our yellow sun and he’s set.
As we continued to read the Elder Extroverted One says, “I like Ace.” You know . . . the Bat-hound? As in Batman’s dog. I respond by saying, “Wait. You’re telling me that you like Ace but not Batman?” It doesn’t make sense to me. But I have to love her no matter what and we will make it through this hardship. Imagine, her rebelling at age ten. I’m not sure I want to see what she rebels against when she’s older. Next thing she’ll tell me is that she likes Marvel more than DC! I shudder at the thought.
Has anyone seen my motivation? And not just a specific motivation to write here, but to do the laundry or clean the house. I seem to have lost motivation for general life. I would like to just sit here in front of the computer and look at cat pictures, read twitter or just sack out on the couch and watch TV shows or movies. What’s up with that? Is it my depression rearing its ugly head again? Damn, I hope not.
There was a time that I had a decent run (pun inteneded) when I had cut down on drinking of the beers and was actually running(?). I know, right? My joke to people who ran was always, “Were you being chased?” But besides that, though, I’m not sure I did anything else productive. I’m a stay at home dad (who actually needs a part time job…anyone?) fer Pete’s sake! When the older is at school and the younger one is at pre-school I should be doing stuff, right? Not only my Domestic Goddessly duties but something creative with my time. Alas, the motivation to do so is not there. I feel like a failure in the Stay at Home Dad area. Unless, the job description is to be a slug and get stuff done only when there is a dire need for clean clothes or someone is coming over to the house. In that case, NAILED IT.
All right, I’m going to go look under the couch cushions for this motivation . . . [C’MON BRAIN! NOT. HELPING.]
Here is something that is near and dear to my heart. I haven’t done a whole lot of outside stuff with the Young Extroverted One (and more recently the Mullethead) since we’ve moved away from the Black Mountain/Montreat, North Carolina area. However, Chattanooga may lend itself to more outdoor fun for me to experience with my kids this summer.
So, check out the link. Find out what you can do with your kids (or neighbors’ kids | with permission of course) outside! Cool video after the jump!
Please join us in this national effort to highlight the importance of environmental education. As part of the NCLI Days campaign we are urging environmental, education, conservation, and all other interested organizations to work with schools in your community to showcase engaging, environmental education activities. Use the “No Child Left Inside Days Action Packet” to work with teachers to develop a lesson plan, generate press coverage, and educate Members of Congress about the benefits of outdoor environmental education in your area.
Holy cow! I believe my wordpress.com page has changed three or four time since I last posted something of unimportance. I am a huge slacker in the blog world. My Twitter account is seeing all the action these days. Maybe I should look back on my ‘tweets’ and consolidate them into some sort of narrative longer than 140 characters.
Here’s the update: The Elder Extroverted Holy One is now the Reverend Elder Extroverted Holy One. Damn, her alias is getting longer. Maybe I’ll just call her “The Chosen”, or “The Truly Better Half.” How about “The Reverend Extroverted One?” That works for now…Well, The REO (awesome! “I can’t fight this feeling anymoooooorrrrrrrre”) was called to a church in Chattanooga and has since been ordained in the Presbyterian Church(USA) and is now serving that church. It’s a pretty cool small thang but with some great potential and I do believe that The REO is the youngest person there. tee hee
The Young Extroverted One is now firmly planted in a new school which is near our new house. It was a totally different experience dropping her off for her first day than her first day at the old school in east Nashville. But that’s for another post I suppose.
The Mullethead is now one year old and is doing great. Cruising around and standing on her own. We’re waiting for her to take some steps any day now. Look out world! When she can walk by herself I’m getting her a job! She needs to start earning her keep around here.
Speaking of earning one’s keep, I am no longer earning mine. I am back to being a full-time stay-at-home dad. My frequent tweets have changed dramatically from ‘doom and gloom’ to ‘rainbows and unicorns’. Sort of . . . those of you who follow me either on Facebook or Twitter would understand.
Selling our house in Nashville has been another issue entirely. The economy bit the big one right around the time we were getting our house on the market. And there it sits. All alone and empty. Waiting for someone to move in. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Something-d-o-o economics…anyone?
We are in a house that we really like in Ooltewah, TN but it’s only under a lease/purchase agreement. Basically, we’re renting it until someone buys our house and than we can buy this house. But since we’re renting the owners didn’t want us to have our pets here. So, Bosco, Maya and Aine (pronounced “anya” yeah, we’re weird) are living the good life at grandma Lucy’s house until we can buy this house. I don’t care much about the cats but I miss my dog. Sigh . . .
So, that’s us in a nutshell. Boring I know but that’s all I got for now. I would like to write more regularly on things that interest me in the future and hopefully I will. Until then? Just read this over and over again.
Twitter is really eating into my intermittent blogging ideas. I suppose it’s that I figure it’s already ‘out there’ I don’t have to put anything ‘out here.’ So, I’m going to bullet some stuff to catch my trusty reader(s) up on what has been going on lately.
I’m not sure I’ve described my office here but it is a combination equipment store room/office. Oddly shaped with some of the walls being exterior walls. It has one vent that is approximately 6″ in diameter and I believe it is connected to the vent in the rest rooms. So, I keep it closed. In the summer it gets rain forest hot and the winter it gets arctic cold. I have done without the suit and tie at work and have been wearing a polo shirt. I am getting used to it.
My DirecTV was acting erratically last week and there was fear that we’d miss the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus 3-D movie on the Disney Channel on Saturday. When I called DirecTV the earliest time I could have gotten a service call was today. Not good. But the digital satellite gods smiled upon us and blessed us with uninterrupted ‘tween pop star goodness. And that was 2 hours that I can’t get back.
The Introvert/Extrovert family had a wonderful time being back in Montreat/Black Mountain, NC. Sigh, it was very nice catching up with that community. I miss it so.
The Elder Extroverted Holy One has an interview with a church that is located in the eastern part of Tennessee (vague enough?). I’m excited for her and the potential of this church.
The Young Extroverted One starts kindergarten in a couple of weeks!?!?!? Holy crap! We are so not ready for that and at the same time we are so ready for that.
Contemplating stuff to do to the house to make it look better is overwhelming. My head is going to explode.
As a father of two beautiful daughters I find this organization very important. It seems more geared for dads and step-dads of girls that are a little older than the Young Extroverted One, but, at least I’m getting as prepared as I can. I know that we’re all in for a very bumpy ride as she gets older I’m just gonna strap in, enjoy the ride and love both my girls no matter what happens. Wheeeeeee…
You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
—Commencement address by Steve Jobs, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University.
The only time I have felt like I have been doing “great work” or at least meaningful work, to me, was working for the Montreat Conference Center. And that was in any capacity. I’ve been a wilderness ranger taking care of their 2,500 acres of wilderness, a bellman in the Assembly Inn, a night auditor in the Inn (3rd shift one winter and read The Shining. Awesome.), AV Technician on up to Director of Production. I, also, felt like I was doing good work as a sound guy and sometimes bartender at the originalGrey Eagle in Black Mountain working for beers instead of money. In each of those positions I have felt like I was doing something I loved. Maybe it was being surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Maybe it was the folks I was working with or the people I was serving. Maybe, in Montreat, it was working for the “Dear Lord baby Jesus, lyin’ there in [his] ghost manger, just lookin’ at [his] Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin’ ’bout shapes and colors.” It just might be a combination of all of those things. While I’m in an industry that I enjoy I just can’t get behind what I’m doing here. Sure, it’s putting food on the table and insurance for the family, but, ugh. I just can’t stand being here wearing a tie and pushing for the almighty dollar instead of the Almighty.
I suppose I’m having some employment angst. It’s come up more so since I have been the new director of event technology at my current location. Also, with the Elder Extroverted Holy One’s graduation from Vanderbilt Divinity School and her current church search (that’s sounds kinda cool, “Church Search ’08” should be a t-shirt). There is a possibility that depending on the call she gets I might be able to be a stay-at-home dad. With the Young Extroverted One going to public school I could stay with the Bobblehead to save on childcare costs. We’ve even had a short discussion of possibly just owning one car.
With all of the possibilities of being able to be more of the domestic goddess that I could be I am certainly finding it difficult to get motivated to get up in the morning and put on that tie and coat. Thankfully, my work ethic kicks in and I continue to do the best I can no matter what I’m doing. . . . Stupid ethic . . .
Yeah . . . so . . . um . . . a lot has happened since I first wrote my about page in January of 2007. Yikes. So, I had some time this morning to make an update. Check it out. If I had a mac at work I would update my family’s newsletter page. Wow, December 2007. No excuse other than I blog more than update the newsletter page and Twitter more than blog. I have some sort of hierarchy going on here. Considering that I don’t call my parents and brother very often at least they can follow me virtually like everyone else. So there!