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JUNE 2017



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90 Years of Inspiration L ast month I wrote about my mother, Judy, in honor of Mother’s Day. I figured I would devote this month to my father, Arvid. I


recently returned from a trip to his tiny, unincorporated Iowa town of Weston to celebrate his 90th birthday. Even at his age, my dad still lives happily on his own and has no trouble living his days to the fullest. It’s always inspiring to me to see all the hobbies my dad keeps up with to this day. He is an avid reader, always telling me about the latest book he’s read. He tends a robust garden and even raises chickens. His social calendar is packed with more restaurant trips than most people a third of his age. Nearly every day of the week, he’s having breakfast or lunch with friends. Another thing my dad is tremendously passionate about is sports. Growing up in Weston, we obviously didn’t live near any major league teams, but there were plenty of local sports, and my dad took me to games whenever he could. In fact, some of my earliest memories involve going to see the local eight-man football team. I’m

still a big sports fan to this day, and that’s definitely something that got passed down from my father. I remember when the Rockies came to Colorado. I would listen to them on the radio, and people would always ask me, “How can you listen to baseball on the radio?” Well, it’s what I did all those years with my dad, and I still prefer it to watching games on TV. My dad’s team was always, and still is, the Kansas City Royals. Though he vividly remembers the 1985 World Series win, he was starting to think that he would never see another. That is, until, the 2015 season. Throughout the year, the Royals were notorious for late-inning comebacks, and my dad was notorious for falling asleep before the games ended. The day after they finished off the Mets, I called my dad asking if he managed to stay up to see the Royals win the big one. “I stayed up past midnight,” he said, “I watched the congratulatory champagne in the locker

room, the trophy presentation, everything. I didn’t miss a minute.” | 1 – Ann Vanderslice years, and Father’s Day will be another opportunity. I wish everyone could have as good a relationship with their dad as I have with mine. This Father’s Day, don’t forget to call dad and say thanks. I know I won’t! His enthusiasm for the Royals is typical of how my dad approaches life. Growing up, neither of my parents ever limited what my brother or I could achieve. They always encouraged us to pursue our passions, and they instilled in us a belief that we could do anything. Whenever I hear about childhood challenges, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have grown up with my parents. In short, I had the best childhood. My dad’s 90th birthday party was a chance for me to say thanks for everything he’s given me over the

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