He's a retired chemical engineer, able to build and fix anything. In fact he spent yesterday afternoon re-engineering croquet hoops with a blow torch and sander so the grandchildren could play a game when they came over for his party. He's put up more shelving and cup hooks for us than any man should have to in a lifetime. He dug up and leveled our entire quarter-acre lawn at the house in England. I do not know why, but I'm sure his engineer brain drove him to it.
The above photo of the half-completed job was taken (in the late 70s) from the roof, which he was wont to climb on occasion to fix the tiling. No small task on a three-storey home. He climbed all the way up on a very long, narrow, scary ladder.
He's also an artist, lately expressed through photography, but he sculpted and painted when he was younger. When my sister, at a very young age, painted a face on the bathroom chair, he had to be angry, of course, but took a photo of it for posterity.
I dedicated my first book to him because of his willingness to answer any question -- a child's curiosity and a parent's patient indulgence help imaginations to grow. If he didn't know the answer, he took a stab anyway using logic (working it out from first principles) and common sense (drawing on his vast engineering knowledge).
He's had a huge influence on my life, which becomes more and more apparent to me as I get older.
Happy birthday, daddy!
Me and my dad, on a beach in England with "Black Cindy"