Personal

10 posts

Chris Pappas RIP

My father-in-law Chris passed away on April 14, 2021. He was a great guy. 

I had known him since I was 16 years old, some 47 years. Longer than most son-in laws get.

In that time I spent quite a bit of time with him in the early years, and then the later years. To say that he treated me like a prince is a gross understatement. In fact, when I was a teenager he let me drive his new car before his daughter, and my future wife. A memory that still makes us both smile.

If one word were used to describe Chris it would be (as the kids say) chill. Easy-going was, I think, his motto. Accepting of everyone and, in his later years especially, grateful for every kindness. I will miss him.

The Quality of the Man

On September 2, 2020 we lost a very special man. Harold Chapman or “the Chairman” as I used to call him had been in declining health for some time but because of Covid many of us did not find out about his passing until recently.

When I joined the “Y” Harold made me feel welcome in a new place where he had been a member for a very long time. He had no reason to befriend me, we were separated by almost 30 years in age yet it was the quality of the man that he could speak as easily to someone years his junior as he could to his peers. That fact, and his ability to speak fluently on a multitude of subjects, continued to amaze me as the years passed. 

Harold Chapman was my friend. I didn’t know him as well as some, and perhaps better than others, but it was the quality of the man that made you feel that your relationship with him was special and unique. Harold was a true gentleman and will be missed by all, especially his “Y” family.

Death & Choice

Death is hard.

All of us have institutional, cultural, and religious customs regarding death and “after death” and living up to them in a world of ever changing cultural transition can be emotional. The rub of course is when the expectation of others conflicts with your beliefs. In families this can cause conflict, and in my own case sleepless nights.

My own take is that if you do right by people when they are alive then you have fulfilled your humanity.

Since no one can be sure without doubt what the right thing to do is, each person’s opinion and beliefs must be respected equally. Each person will handle death according to their strengths (and weaknesses) and in the end that`s all the any of us can or should hope for.

 

Sixty years and counting.

August 4th 2017 is my sixtieth birthday.

As I reflect on my life, both personal and professional, I am filled with gratitude at my good fortune. I am surrounded by family and friends the high quality of which, I probably don’t deserve.

So on the occasion my of six decades I’d like to pay back some of my good fortune by sharing some of what I think I have learned. Below are a few of the simple “rules” I try to live by. Most are my own and some are borrowed. I hope that you find at least one helpful.

Friendship

It is commonly held that it is hard to make friends as an adult. Despite the 36 years that separated us, Tom and I were friends. On February 16, 2017 at around 5 pm he passed away. He was 95.

Tom and I met as neighbours across the street from one another. He extended a kindness to me on the day we moved in that set the tone for over twenty years.

From the outside it might have appeared that our friendship was unlikely. The difference in our ages notwithstanding, Tom was religious, conservative, with a background in science ( he had been a chemist professionally). I was none of those things. Yet we never seemed to be at a loss for something to talk about. Many’s the time that I would wander across the street ( or visa versa) and share a cup of tea and have a long chat.

As Tom started to get older I admit that I would find some pretense to cross the street to “check” on him. I don’t think he was ever fooled, but he always met me with a smile and an invitation for tea. His family has often thanked me for doing what I could in support of their Dad and for being a good friend. It is always made me feel awkward, because it was no effort. It was the quality of the man that inspired friendship and loyalty, plain and simple.

When Tom moved out a few years ago, I took to visiting with him as often as I could. As a matter of fact we often laughed that I could not visit as often as I wanted to because he was so busy. A testament to the man that so many people wanted to share time with him.

I did not attend Tom’s funeral. On that day another friend, facing the return of his own cancer needed my support. I decided that I needed to be with him. I am sure that Tom ( with his characteristic unselfishness) would have approved.

I have thought of Tom every day since his passing. I suspect that will change over time, but I hope not. People like Tom deserve to be remembered.

Remove Lice

The following treatment for Head lice was developed by Dr. Moishe Ipp research pediatrician at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital.

Mix a 50/50 solution of mineral oil and vinegar. Massage it into the hair and cover for at least two (2) hours with a shower cap. The vinegar detaches the nits from the hair shaft while the oil suffocates any live lice and makes for easy smooth combing out of any detached nits and dead lice.

Dr. Ipp claims a 100% success rate using this treatment. The treatment can be repeated as often as nessessary.

The Man Who Sold Hot Dogs

THE MAN WHO SOLD HOT DOGS

 

There was an old man who lived by the side of the road and sold HOT DOGS.

He worked very hard, was happy in his work, and he made very good hot dogs. He had a big neon sign in front of his place telling how good his hot dogs were. He greeted each customer cheerfully and served them quickly, carefully, and with a smile.

He thanked each one for coming.

And the customers came and brought their friends, and they bought his hotdogs.

The old man increased his wiener and bun orders. He bought a bigger coffee maker and ordered a bigger stove to take care of his growing trade. He was so busy that he could no longer keep his own books, so he hired an accounting service.

And then something happened.

The young CPA was appalled, He said “haven’t you been listening to the radio? Haven’t you been reading the newspaper or the business magazines? The situation overseas is terrible. The Domestic situation is worse. Inflation rages out of control, there is violence in our cities, there is no confidence in the federal government and the war overseas goes poorly. We poise on the brink of a financial crisis. This is no time to expand!”

The old man thought,” Well, this fellow has been to college, he reads the newspaper, he listens to the radio, he talks to other business people and he ought to know.”

So he cut down on his wiener and bun orders,  cancelled the order on his new stove started closing two hours earlier, turned his thermostat down to save on fuel and turned off his neon sign to save energy.

And his hot dog sales fell, ALMOST OVERNIGHT.  By the end of the month his business was off 30%

“You’re right, young fellow,” the old man said to his young CPA, the country is on the brink of economic disaster.

You know you are a Dinosaur when…

1)  Technology is a hindrance, not a help.

2)  You resent learning something new, even if it will save you time in the long run.

3)  You confuse “time served” with experience.

4)  You think experience is a substitute for real achievements.

5)  All new hires seem stupid and you KNOW that they will never make it.

6)  You know no one is indispensible but you are pretty close.

7)  You believe things are worse now than they have ever been.

8)  You are looking more forward to retirement than tomorrow.

 

Frank Bruni