As far back as I can remember, Dad and I always had a test of wills.  We both enjoyed it.  The earliest example I can remember was when the family was at the beach when we lived in L.A.  I came up to Dad covered with sand and he told me to brush myself off.  I still wanted to go back in the water and didn't feel like taking the time to brush off, so I said "No".  He replied, "Brush yourself off or we're going home".  I refused and we went home.

One day, when I was young, Dad and I were at our pool, behind our house in Walnut Creek, CA.  I was talking to him while he was brushing the sides of the pool.  I started walking around the pool while I was looking back at him and walked right into the pool.  He laughed so hard he could barely catch his breath.

Dad was helping me with my spelling lessons.  He asked me to spell "been", and I said "BIN".  He said, "Not that kind of "been".  I was completely confused, so he added, "like in the song, 'where have you been, Billy Boy'".  I guess I was pretty surprised to hear him singing, although it didn't help and he had to spell it for me.

When Dad finally became the vice-president at Bankers Capital Life, he was so pleased.  He said to me "Life begins at 40".

One thing that Dad and I had in common was our mathematical ability.  Dad would constantly try to talk me into becoming an actuary.

One of the most amazing and selfless things that Dad did for me occurred after my junior year in high school.  I wanted to be an architect and the best place to learn architecture was at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA.  I found that it was easier to get into Cal Poly if I was a resident of California.  Dad was recently unemployed and divorced, but he packed up the apartment and moved us to Walnut Creek, CA, where we used to live when I was young.

I decided to go into the Army, so Dad said that he'd like to move to Marin, so that he wouldn't have such a long commute.  He found an apartment very close to where he would be working when his company moved from the city to Marin.  On the day of the move it rained so hard that everything got completely soaked.  We would always talk about that day when we were reminiscing.

When I returned from the Army, I stayed at Dad's place for a while.  He worked for Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. and I got a job there, as well.  I would go to his office and visit once in a while until he decided to take early retirement.

Dad took a trip to Naples to stay at a friends house.  When he returned he said that he liked the area so much he bought a condo.  He was so pleased.  He had always loved tropics for as long as I can remember and now he had finally been able to buy a home in a place with tropical weather.

I flew to Naples for Thanksgiving, 1989.  Dad picked me up at the airport and we drove to a park in Naples.  We sat on one of the benches and watched a dolphin swimming around in the water near the park.  Dinner was at Grandma and Grandpa's condo.  Later, after dinner, I asked Grandpa how he liked Florida.  He said that he didn't care much for it - it never rained and the bugs were big and their bites didn't heal.  I remember Dad saying to me later that he was so surprised and hurt that his father didn't like what Dad considered a paradise.

Dad was never much on learning about new technology.  One year, while I was visiting around the holidays, I told him that I was going to get him a VCR for his Christmas present.  We went to an electronics store and I found a nice VCR and hooked it up and showed him how it worked.  He was so happy that he started recording all of the football games.  He joined a video club and started buying movies.

Every time I visited Dad in Naples, he would take me to his favorite restaurant, "La Playa", which was a restaurant in a beautiful hotel on the beach near his condo.

One year, I decided to give Dad a trip to Disney World in Orlando for his birthday present.  I made the arrangements to fly him to the Orlando airport where we would meet him and then take a shuttle to our hotel.  We spent most of the time at Epcot Center, as the rest of the park is more family oriented.  Unfortunately, July in Orlando is extremely hot and humid and the lines for all of the rides were extremely long.  I think we had the best time when we were in the country pavilions.  Dad especially liked the Mexican, German and English pavilions.

As I said earlier, Dad was never up on new technology.  When I got him his first CD player, he was surprised at how easy it was and how clear the music sounded.  He had the same reaction with DVDs.  I enjoyed getting him these things primarily to see his reaction.

Dad and I would constantly tease each other about our political beliefs.  With the last presidential election there was plenty of ammunition.  The fact that Florida had made such a mess out of their election was lots of fun for both of us.