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  • Writer's pictureGerald Tindal

Day 99: Show your dad

KT Man,

‘Sometimes you just have to show your dad what to do. He’ll get it eventually. Or not.’

This last attribute of yours may be the most compelling if only because it reflected your patience and perseverance. It grew over time and it wasn’t until later in life that I saw it. It’s a funny notion that, while parents often think they’re raising a child, what’s really happening is the child is teaching parents how to live. Perhaps that explains it. Or maybe it was a blind spot of mine that only came about in the later years of your life.

You could see it particularly well while building our monument forest yard. After days and weeks of hauling three-quarter minus with a wheel barrow, we bought a power wheel barrow. KT: ‘Sigh. I told you so. Thanks.’ It came about when all was said and done and the chore of sweeping changed from a broom to a blower. KT: ‘Duh.’

But the most famous lessons was in the building of the Kubb Court below the forest yard patios. The way we worked at hauling 100 pound blocks in a wheel barrow, powered by gas or not. The haul was unpredictable given the pitch of the descent leading to a run-away wheel barrow the entire way. And only 2 blocks per load. Your analysis was striking and centered on one word: ‘Gravity.’ The eventual solution was all you: Hook a cable to the garage and run it down to a tree that was girdled and wrapped with the cable, using U bolts and nuts. Use a gear winch to tighten it. Game over: The equivalent of a ski lift and the effect was remarkable. Three of us hauled 6 ton of blocks in 3 hours down a hill that measured the equivalent of 3 miles. That was all you: Sometimes you just have to show your dad what to do. He’ll get it eventually. Or not.

By the way: Your lessons on the camera still escape me on capturing slow motion blurred pictures of water falls and fast streams . I’ll work on it.

So it’s the last of your attributes and it’s time to write only one more letter tomorrow. The days are still long with only the nights longer and no difference as they blend together with you everywhere throughout. We think of you endlessly and will remember the lessons you taught us in the far too brief 28 years we lived with you.

You taught us so much. To listen and show respect. To move forward with definition and be in the game. And don’t forget to smile.

We love you buddy. Always will.

JT Man

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