Happy Birthday, Dad

November 17, 2010


Mom and Dad Cruise

You would love my dad.  Everyone does.  He is, quite frankly, the easiest person to get along with on the planet.  If you are at a dinner party you will want him to sit by you.  Much like his dad, he can talk to anyone, tell a really good joke, and, from what I can tell, really enjoys the art of conversation.

Car dealers should fear him.  Negotiating car deals, be it one or a fleet of seven for the family, is a sport to him.  The guy across the desk is no match as he is the guy who could sell ice to Eskimos and at the end of the discussion they will be friends.  It is the most entertaining thing I’ve ever seen in business.

I’ve learned about the finer things in life from him.  From an early age I tasted every wine he brought home or collected.  I can tell you why Lladro glows incandescently, the history of certain fine motorcars, the intricacies of Versailles and don’t get me started on certain jewelers.  He, like his dad, loves to shop and loves to gift.  And let me make this perfectly clear right now – he is very, very good at it.

But there are the other fine things he taught me as well.  He showed me what it meant to be utterly devoted to your family.  If someone was hurt by life, he was ready to rally.  As an adult it was not often I’d come to him with wounds, but when I did he was a champion.  Unconditionally.

Mom and Dad Disney

My dad does a lot.  He runs a business that supports many people in our family.  He watches out for my mom and her health and happiness.  He was a lone warrior in Little Rock for a year.  I cannot imagine the strength it took to do that.  He watches out for his mother – a widow now for almost 14 years and aging herself.  He wants the best for everyone he knows and loves.  It’s just how he’s wired.

I’ve seen him laugh more times than I can count, but only cry once – at the funeral of his dad.   I’ve seen him angry at life, beaming with pride, fascinated with his grandchildren and roll his eyes at the absurd.

My dad knows me.  He knows what I’m good at and what I am not.  I may not like what he has to say some of the time, but I rarely can argue whether or not it’s true.  The best part is he loves me anyway.  The next best part is that I can say the same about him. 

My dad likes moments.  Experiences are a close second.   I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of a few and they are some of my fondest memories.

My dad is the man by which all others in my life are measured.  He was the first man to love me and I was the second love of his life.  I’m happy to share that category with my mom. 

Dad and Me Graduation

Happy birthday, Dad.  I hope this year brings you everything wonderful – no one deserves it more than you.



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30 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Dad”

  1. elz Says:

    Too sweet Pam. Next time put a kleenex warnign up top. Happy Birthday Pam’s daddy!

  2. jen Says:

    That was the sweetest thing I’ve ever read….Happy Birthday Pam’s dad!

  3. Robert Says:

    Happy Birthday

  4. Pam's Mom Says:

    Everything that Pam wrote is the truth!!! He is one of the absolute most unselfish person I know!!! He will always take care of everyone else’s needs before his own.
    He also knows more trivia than anyone on the face of the planet!!
    I am a very lucky girl….I married Prince Charming!!!
    So, to my darling husband, I wish you a very Happy Birthday and pray that God will bless you for many more fabulous years with great health and laughter!!
    All my love,….s

  5. Janet Aronson Says:

    Happy Birthday wises from all of us at the Myeloma Institute.

  6. phyllis frank Says:

    What a great article about your dad. He truly is one of the nicest people on this planet. He and your mom are great to travel with. Always makes the trips interesting and fun! Happy Birthday. p.f.

  7. Mark Krinsky Says:

    Richard, my man, Happy Birthday! My returning home has been more complete by reconnecting with Susan and you.

    Best wishes for a terrific day and many more years of good health and contentment.

    Your friendship is special and very much appreciated. Will be in touch soon.


  8. Jeanne Beckman Says:

    Happy Birthday to a wonderful person ! We are so fortunate to be able to claim you as our friend..May your day,and years to come be full of all the good things in life.
    BIG HUGS..Jean and Sandy

  9. Sharon Bettis Says:

    Happy Birthday to you, you have become a big part of our lives in the short time we have reconnected. We totally agree with Pam and we are so honored to be part of your family. Roy and I wish you all the best and hope you have a GREAT day. We feel so lucky to have both you and Susan as our very special traveling partners > you both are special and we love you. Have a SUPER day with health, love and happiness and all the good things you deserve. Hugs & kisses, Roy and Sharon

  10. Tony Says:

    Speaking as a father I can tell you that one of the biggest contributors to being a great father is having awesome kids. You reflect each others values all the time.

  11. Dayle Black Says:


    Just remember: “You don’t stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing.”

    Happy Birthday and many, many more.

  12. Amy Says:

    Pam, That was the most beautiful and eloquently written piece, BETTER than any birthday card he could receive and wow, your parents are nice-looking people. Thanks for sharing I feel like I know him and we’ve never met.

    Happy Birthday Pam’s dad, she is pretty spectacular herself and now we know 2 of the reasons why!

  13. hope Says:

    Cheers to Pammer’s Dad! What a beautiful family!
    Wishing you all many blessings!
    Always, Hope

  14. Jonathan Says:

    Happy birthday Pam’s Dad from the other side of the world 🙂

  15. Courtney Says:

    Happy birthday Zayde! Hope you have an amazing day and another blessed year!

  16. Betty Ann/Al Baker Says:

    Pam, A great tribute to a deerving Dad. Richard, Have a very Happy Birthday!! And to you all May you have Good Health, Long Life, And Much Happieness!!
    Betty Ann and Al

  17. Judy Says:

    Happy bday to my favorite brother in law. Everything said is soooooo true. Wishing you years of laughter and great health and a good martini.
    Your loving and devoted sister in law,
    Love, Judy and Rusty

  18. Esther Fox Says:

    Such a beautiful tribute to your Dad. You are a wonderful daughter.
    Woody & I wish you many more happy & healthy btdys. This is a special one & we are so happy that we have remained friends throughout these many years. We have so many wonderful memories filled with laughter & joy. We hope we will continue to share special moments and we wish you & Susan happy days filled with love & laughter. All our love always, Esther

  19. LeslieAronson Says:

    We wish you a Wonderful Happy and Healthy Birthday.
    We love you.
    Leslie and Ellis

  20. Diana Webber Says:

    Well, after reading that glowing and heartfelt (and beautifully written) description of Richard, I am sorry that I moved to Hawaii in 1971. I should have stayed in Houston and gotten to know you. I am very happy that Susan and I have stayed in touch for the past 40 years through email and pictures, and I have gotten to see your family grow up and have families of their own. A very Happy Birthday to you Richard. You are fortunate man to have such a loving family.

    Diana Webber

  21. Barbara & Joe Lenti Says:

    Pam has said it all! Happy Birthday Richard….You are on the top of the “great guy” list!! We wish you all the best today and always….so happy to have you (and your side kick) as our friend!! xo Barbara & Joe

  22. Amelia Ribnick Kleiman Says:

    Dear Ricahrd,

    Yes, all that Pammer says about you is so true. You are and always have been one of the good guys…what a beautiful tribute to you by your #2 gal….May you continue to have a wonderful life and may your blessings be as many as your years, and then some……from your cousin through another cousin…..Amelia

  23. Lindsay Says:

    Happy happy birthday to my FAVORITE uncle!!!!! Pams totally right and I always try to sit near you, at least in ear range!!!! Tons of love hope you are having an amazing birthday!

  24. Cousin Debbie Says:

    Nobody says it better than Pam! How beautiful and how true. Many happy returns of the day, Richard. David and I will look forward to getting together and celebrating with you and I’ll have to make you something chocolate! With love and wishes for all life’s blessings, Debbie and David

  25. Sandy Says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICHARD!! That was a beautiful tribute from Pam-she is quite a penman/woman!
    happy happy birthday
    we’re so glad you’re here
    happy happy birthday
    you made it through another year
    we don’t want to hear you grumble
    we do’t want to see you frown
    this birthday wish comes to you from HaHa the clown!
    Wishing you many more happy, healthy ones!
    Sandy & Don

  26. Judy Salmon Says:

    Wishing you the happiest of birthdays. What a lovely tribute. There is nothing more important in life than being a good husband, good Dad, good friend and, of course a good guy. You obiviously rank at the top in all categories. May there be many more wonderful, healthy, happy birthdays.

  27. Julius Says:

    Beautifully said Pam, and oh so true. Eloquently written but straight from the heart. A mench in every sense of the word, Richard is simply “great” to be around. Happy Birthday and many more…..

    Julius and Minna

  28. Anne T Says:

    What an awesome and special tribute to your dad! Just as you are lucky to have him, he is clearly lucky to have you!


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