Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life is a Race Track

(Vickie and Dad at Santa Anita Race Track)

This is Dad's troubled look. He always said,

"every man has a cup of worry in his heart. It doesn't matter what the worry is; it's always the same amount."

In dad's final days, I told him it was time to pour out his "cup of worry."

His eyes shone so brightly that day; like a delighted infant just waking up to the world.

I'm "acting as if" he was and is awakening to another unimaginable reality. The scientific part of me has always balked at this even though my best friend continues to press upon me how afterlife and quantum physics are closer than my Newtonian reality and the absence of life after this one.

A Couple of Dad's letters -- classics on making money as his life's favorite game.

Accumulation of wealth. I know that is an unpopular goal in your house [I think I'd just graduated from law school and my husband was working as a social worker at a local children's home]

I find it [accumulation of wealth] to be the only adult game aside from bridge or chess and I can't get serious about the former or win at the latter. Why haven't you looked at bigger newer more attractive housing? Owning a sports car -- You could be driving a 280ZX. You know it gives the the spirit a lift. There surely has to be some reward for beauty, talent, skill and hard work. A yachut. Learn to fly. Own your own airplane to fly to Auburn etc. You might be the first skirted lawyer to do so. Lucy told charlie Brown "life is a supermarket. Fill up your cart and push it up to the check out counter." He says, "I would be in the line '6 items or less!'"

AND THE NEXT ONE, written before I went to law school. '75?

"I am not sure why people accumulate capital. Lolly [my then step-mother, now deceased] and I do because we can't help it. We can't let a day go by without accomplishment. We can't go boating without catching fish so we feel
that need fulfilled. The great depression just won't leave us alone and I suppose we are hyperactive. I suspect in 13 years (age 65) I will be a millionaire [yes he was]. Inflation will take care of it and a million won't be the same as it was 20 years ago. I still won't be able to spend it.

"Should I feel guilty? I did it with Lolly's help by cleaning dirty houses, painting, plumbing, spending less than I earn and increasing my ability to earn.

We have offered to send Lolly's oldest son back to school and the same to all of
you. It pleasures us to see our kids get good educations.

"I hope you will accept our offer and keep your money in the bank. Poor people need government subsidies, not you. I promise not to demand, pressure for or encourage conservatism, excellance, super success.

"I enclose a clipping about USC just because you might be interested [I was living in New York and he in Los Angeles at this time]. No pressure. I don't really care where you go. If you go to a less expensive school I can make your life easier. I would love to see you often if you were closer but I love you all the time anyway.

Love, Dad"

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