Monday, August 15, 2011

Today's fortune: August 15, 2011

Today's fortune: Place special emphasis on old friendship.

The wall of bookshelves in my new study is beginning to fill up.

If you're anything like my wife, you'll point out that the bookcases don't match one another. Look closely and you'll see the bookshelves on the ends are black, while the bookshelf in the middle is dark brown. But when we moved our office belongings into this new study, it was important to me that the brown bookshelf be the centerpiece of the room.

See, that bookshelf was built by my oldest friend. My dad. In fact, my dad made the bookshelf with his dad, a great man who died before I was born.

Today is my dad's birthday, and we just returned from dinner with my parents to celebrate.

I say my dad is my oldest friend, but I guess it's a three-way tie between him, my mom and my older brother Marty, all of whom had an immeasurable positive impact on my life. Dad was the one I woke up at 6 a.m. on Saturday mornings asking what we were gonna do that day. Dad was the one who gave me my love of books - and the need for a wall of bookshelves in my house.

Back around the time I was born, my parents bought a new pickup, a 1980 Chevrolet, a beautiful red truck that's now lost to the junk heap. Shortly after I popped out, Dad had a sign hand-painted on the sides of the truck, proclaiming to everybody who saw us out driving around on a Saturday afternoon: This is me. And these are my boys. A couple years ago, I had that sign re-created by a graphic designer and made a poster out of it. The sign now hangs above my dad's handmade bookcase.

Soon my dad will be a grandpa and my mom will be a grandma, and a new generation of Kelsey kids will feel the love and warmth my brother and I grew up with.

Happy birthday, Dad.