Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jack! (one day late...)

He was born to Stanley Heald and Marjorie McBride Heald on July 14, 1920 in South Weymouth, Massachusetts.

And this is why I love my father (in random order...):

He liked to eat and drink, liberally, and with great gusto.
He had a daily practice of prayer and meditation.
He was a devoted follower of the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.
He loved the pipe organ, especially when played by E. Power Biggs.
He was a keen observer of politics and world events.
He served on a destroyer, the USS Converse, during World War 2.
He loved to sing in church (and elsewhere).
He handed out presents to his children on Christmas Day.
He became more liberal and politically progressive as he aged.
He loved Sukie and Bekah and Anna.
He loved the outdoors.
He felt that how one behaved was more important than what one believed.
He was inept as a handyman and adept at jerry-rigging of all kinds.
He went for a long walk every day.
He was a lay leader in the Congregational Church.
He sang "Lord Jeffrey Amherst" under a bed with his best friend, Alvin Bicknell.
He fed the birds in his backyard.
He was a master carver of roast beef and other bloody red meats.
He ate half the meat in the act of carving it.
He said: "Just be yourself. You'll be fine."
He collected fine Christmas music.
He played King's College Choir, Cambridge, records.
He fried fish balls on Christmas morning.
He largely ignored my teenage excesses.
He loved Johnny Most and the Boston Celtics and took me to the Boston Garden.
He forgave my children for dumping hot chocolate on the back seat of his car.
He would fart and belch with abandon, much to the consternation of my mother.
He jumped up and went wild while watching football on TV.
He loved to drink beer and eat cheese.
He blasted Bach Toccata and Fugue on Sunday mornings.
He loved super gross-burgers--cheese, bacon, letttuce, and tomato.
He was a friend to humanity.
He was a true gentleman--a fast dying-out breed.
He was a fine vegetable gardener.
He was one of the first mediators in the state of Maine.
He carried on the family tradition of making fine shoes.
He was proud that I became an Episcopal priest.
He voted for Bill Clinton.
He wore red suspenders when he worked outdoors in winter.
He loved to build fires.
He set-off fireworks illegally.
He was a master clambake chef.
He loved my friends, especially Nat Bowditch.

He died and yet he lives on...

Image Source: DSH Photo Jack Rowing in Newagen Harbor


Sukie Curtis said...

That's a great collection of "Jack Heald things". Hard to say which is m favorite (of the ones I actually remember). But writing his name just then, I remembered another:

He answered the telephone by saying: "Jack Heald."

And once I think I caught him off guard (before David and I were even married) by responding, "Hello, Jack Heald. This is Sukie Curtis."

Geoff said...

I didn't have the slightest idea that my father was not a gifted handy man. He had tools and power equipment galore. He had a whole SHED of tools--each one on its own hook. How could a person with so many tools not be good at fixing things? Mind you, I'm not sure I can recall him actually fixing ANYTHING in particular. Maybe I thought that all happened out of my view, like magic. And then there were the occasional clear blunders. Even I wondered how he could put an axe into his leg. I was so completely convinced of his competence, and so awed by it, that I determined to be the same way. I wanted to be a guy who could fix anything, just like my dad. Strange how you can build your life on flat out delusion. I have to say, in all those many years, he SEEMED to know what he was doing--always. It was that AIR of competence he had that won me as a child. He had that gift.

Bekah said...

Great list, Daddy.

Also he let me and Anna take all the spices out of their drawer in the kitchen and pile them all onto his lap. I also remember him setting up a tent on that hill next to their garage, I think it was kind of in a blueberry patch or something, for me and Anna.

David Heald said...

Thanks to you all for your additional thoughts!