5 – “The best sandwich is one that somebody makes for you.” On another occasion he admired a sandwich I was making and noted that “when you’re adding sprouts, you’re making a serious sandwich.”
4 – Everyone has a family. And most people like to talk about theirs. That was what I learned when he took me to see where he worked, a power co-operative in Colorado which he had co-founded. He not only knew everyone’s name but also the names of their kids, and how they were all doing. People loved him because he cared and listened.
3 – We’re going to have fun together even if it kills us all. My father-in-law’s three children tell vacation stories like the men in my mother’s family tell war stories. He was the only person I’ve ever met in real life you could compare to Clark Griswold.
Stories include forced board game playing, make-your-own pizza disasters and – I was there for this one – driving the mountain roads to Aspen in a snowstorm just to say we went there, and then driving back down the mountain.
“It’s not that bad and we’ll be there any minute – why turn around now?”
He loved his family with all his heart and he was going to give them that precious memory to treasure even if it was their very last.
(“Happy Together” by the Turtles)
This was recorded from one of his 45s, which he gave to me a couple of years ago. His initials are written on the A side. This seemed like a fitting song because he was so deeply devoted to his wife of 28 years.
These last two are more serious, because they’re things that have had a lot of influence over the way we’ve run our record shop for the past three and a half years.
2 - “Surround yourself with good people and you will do well.”
1 - “Let people do what they’re good at.”
We’re very fortunate to have been given these last two pieces of advice, and to have benefited from the skills and experiences of the people who help us keep this record shop together, even during periods of crisis. People often tell us what a great job we’re doing, and I always add that we didn’t do any of it alone.
If in-laws were given out by a lottery I won the father round – what’s been really heartbreaking for me is that a man with so much love in his heart lived a life so short. I feel like there is a lot of him here in this shop, courtesy of his daughter, who has always taken the attitude that if we want to do it, we can. It’s just a matter of how hard you’re willing to work and how much you believe in yourself. That’s what I learned from my father-in-law, Bob.