I’ve been thinking about the past a lot lately. Today is my adoptive Dad’s 87th birthday. I just called him “Pop”. Because it irked him.
He was born in 1928, dealing with life in the Great Depression for the first decade of his existence. He learned how to hunt, fish, and repair all things mechanical. Despite having little education and difficulty reading and spelling, the man learned to do geometry in his head and was highly adept with physical mechanics!
By the end of his second decade, he had gotten a job as a farm mechanic and married my mom, Meldean. By the time I came along in ’74 he was one of the lead foremen for Cullum Construction. He laid the foundations that many of the buildings in Downtown Dallas, Garland, and Mesquite are built on.
When I was a little kid, I used to sit in his lap on Sunday mornings and help him read the funnies. We’d grill a big steak and potato lunch and in the Summer, he’d take me to the pool. I remember how big a kick he got crankin’ up the AC in that old green LTD so those damned vinyl seats would be nice and cold… I’d shriek, he’d giggle… good times.
He was around for WWII, Korean war, Vietnam war, the Kennedy Assasination, the first moonlanding, and I never once asked him about any of it. I was too busy being a shithead to pay attention to the fact that I had a living breathing history book right there in the house.
He died in 2006. I think back and realize that he is the one that sparked my interest in math and physics. He is also the reason I have never met a stranger. Those are two key parts of who I am today.
You are gone, but you are not forgotten.
Andrew Dean Caldwell 1928 – 2006
Rest in Peace Pop.