A toast to Dick K.
Two years ago today, on October 3, 2002, my Dad, Dick, passed away from complications of diabetes. I will always remember him as the life of the party, a man who became friends with everyone he met, and who always had a story to share. I remember how he used to go fishing early in the morning during summers in Three Lakes so we could have fresh fish sandwiches for lunch. I remember how, as kids, when we went on family vacations to other parts of the country, (always in the car, never flying) he would get up early in the morning to explore whatever city or town we were staying in to discover the best bakery in town. I remember how he made the best steak and grilled onions on the Weber, and how he loved to fix a big pancake breakfast on special occasions (the pancakes would be filled with fresh fruit such as bananas, blueberries, nectarines, and peaches). I remember how at Christmas, when giving my Mom a gift that could have been wrapped in a very small box, perhaps jewelry, he would have so much fun disguising it in a really big box that he would fill with ridiculous junk, such as pinecones and rocks, just to make my Mom laugh. I remember how he took me to Badger football games and taught me how to sing "If You Want to Be a Badger". My Dad was practically famous for his Old-Fashioned recipe, serving them at every party and also special times when our family would get together such as Christmas, etc. I'm so glad that many of our friends had the opportunity try this traditional Wisconsin drink at my parents house the night before our wedding in 1998. Although I don't have the fixins' for Old-Fashioneds here in Basel, I plan to raise my glass (of wine or beer or something) in a toast to Dick tonight. I hope you will join me today in remembering my Dad, a great man.