Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Dad

Today is 09/17/2009

My father passed away on this day 6 years ago.
Pardon me while I remember him.

Richard Lee Thomas was a pretty great dad.
James Garner and Clint Eastwood both remind me of my dad. Great guy.
He taught me that there is nothing that you can envision that you cannot create.
He was a Macguyver among Macguyvers.
When we moved to Kansas back in 1980 I was 10ish and we ended up buying a lemon of a house. The main reason was that there was this huge 10 car garage on the acre property. ½ of that became my dad’s shop.
It would get cold in their in the winter so my dad collected some old hot water tanks and used them to build a wood burning fireplace. Scratch that, this monster was huge. It was a furnace and boy it did the job in spades!

Then, since the building was steel, he used Styrofoam sheets to insulate the walls. He framed the walls and bolted these sheets into his ½ of the garage. Cheap insulation at it’s best.

He was always interested in hydroponics. He built his own hydroponic system out of tubing and PVC and used it successfully to grow tomatoes without any soil at all. Why? Because it interested him.

He loved playing blackjack and loved going to Vegas to use his system to pay for the trip. He had a card system that he combined with a betting strategy that always brought him home with at least breaking even. For my dad breaking even meant that the trip paid for itself.

He was an excellent wood worker. He saw this really intricate wooden jewelry box in a magazine. It was a pretty tree where the tree limbs slid out for the drawers. Using that picture he recreated the jewelry box and improved on it. He made 3 or 4 and gave them as presents. The owners were offered as much as $1500.00 for their jewelry boxes but no one would sell.

I remember once telling my dad that I wanted to grow up and be just like him.
He said that was nice but no. He didn’t want me to.
He wanted me to be better then he ever was.

I didn’t understand what he meant at the time but I do now.
I have since told my son the exact same thing.

I just hope, for my son, that I can be 1/2 the dad that mine was to me.

My mentor.
My hero.
My dad.

I love you dad and I miss you.

Your Son.


  1. Reading through tears, this is such a beautiful, heartfelt tribute.

  2. Thank you.
    I dont think. I dont edit and I dont rewrite.
    I just type.
    and I love it when I can touch others when I do.


Thrill me...dripsome brain droppings here.