March 17th, 2009

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Meet Keeperdad

Before I leave California this weekend, I made sure to pay a visit to my 72-year-old father. It is from him that I got my sense of humor.

He agreed to be interviewed on camera, to tell some of his old stories. People have told him that he should have written a book about his life experiences (alas, spinal meningitis as a child erased his language skills and he never regained full literacy). This is the next best thing.

The first video just talks about growing up during World War II. It isn't as interesting as some of the later videos, but it's the start, so ... there it is.

Future part topics:

  • Playing stickball as a kid; getting Babe Ruth's autograph; learning how to hit from Roger Maris; ditching school to see games; how he was nearly drafted by the Yankees; Casey Stengel

  • Making deliveries for Alfred Hitchcock

  • Meeting Sophie Tucker

  • Pranks he inspired, and pranks he did as a kid; beating the odds set by doctors

  • More pranks as a kid; being a cross-country trucker; trucker story

  • His big accident, and the woman who saved his life; surviving downhill with no brakes in a tanker carrying 8600 gallons of fuel; more trucking stories

  • Making deliveries for "the family"

  • Cars; driving in every state but Hawaii
  • Default

    Packing, packing, packing!

    Down to just my computer, scanner, desk, steering wheel, and a few difficult-to-pack sundries like a little vacuum cleaner, my toony decorations (Animaniacs store display and stuff!), and a crapload of little papers and plastic things I still haven't cleared out but have determined they are tossable. Cleaning that stuff is practically a whole-day job but I really don't wanna do it until everything else is outta here, considering there's a bunch of crud behind my dresser anyway.

    When cleaning out my dresser (which has been used for storage rather than clothes), I was grabbing a pile of papers to throw out when something dropped out of it. It was the oldest thing yet found (other than some sheet music I own which is more than 100 years old): a newspaper clipping from 1959 announcing the marriage of my mom to my dad, complete with photo of teenaged Mom in her wedding dress.

    Previously the oldest thing found was the instruction booklet for Mattel Electronic Football, dated 1977. I loved that game!

    Oh wait! We also found some MadLibs books from third and fourth grade -- the same time period. Linda got a kick out of reading through those.

    Over the past couple weeks, digging through stuff, I also found an old birthday card from vakkotaur before he was a taur, and Animaniacs Valentine's Day cards from icecat (when she was just Natasha) and pokernose (signed, as I recall "pokernose a.k.a. Molly"). Yay friends!

    I even found the last letter I ever got from an old friend when I was a teenager in Santa Cruz in the mid-1980s. She was a fellow BBS user but moved a few times in rapid succession and we lost touch (that I'm a horrible person who never gets round to writing paper letters didn't help matters). She was a fan of the Oversoul Seven books, thus called herself OS7. Her name was Molly Sanderson, but the last time we "spoke" online, the last thing she said was that her name actually wasn't Molly; it was Mara.

    I also found what's probably the first birthday card ever from penelopecat, from 1997. While we had met by my birthday (September 28) in 1996, we didn't become a couple until October of that year. And just a moment ago, I found a big Babs drawing she drew around that time as well, marked "To Ron; Love, Linda." Awwww.

    I guess I'll pack up my computer tomorrow, so any future online sightings of me will be from my work PC, until probably Sunday at the very earliest, since we won't arrive in Reno until maybe 6 p.m., thus will do most unloading of the trucks on Sunday. The cable internet will be active, but whether the rooms all have an ethernet connection is another matter. The house was built in 2005, so here's hoping they were sensible about it.

    I guess I'll carry my camera with me during the trip. Hopefully the battery isn't too low after all the Dad interviews, watching Cindy (Dad's girlfriend) hand-feed a wild squirrel, waiting in hopes that a squirrel would come up to the camera in front of which was some bread, and recording video of a banana slug eating bread (who knew?).