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Tuesday, March 10, 2015


     My father was what you could call a self made man. He dropped out of high school and joined the navy during WWII. He was a member of the Seabees stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines until the end of the war. After the war he got his GED, got married and went to work for the City of Los Angeles as a laborer. By the time he retired over thirty years later he was superintendent in charge of running the Los Angeles Convention Center. He got there by hard work and study.

Milton aka Mel     1943

     Although he did very well for himself, he felt deeply his lack of college education. Because of this it was very important that his three children attend college. He didn't care what we chose to study as long as we got a college education, and we all did.
     He was veracious reader. He mostly read for his personal education. If he didn't know how to do something he would read everything he could on the subject. I always considered him a very intelligent and informed man. There was very little that he couldn't do. He set a positive example for his children when it came to hard work and education.

Mel  1946

     When I was about 12 my father bought a ping pong table for our patio. He then proceeded to teach my younger brother and I how to play the game. Needless to say we weren't very good at first. So of course my father always won. I remember thinking at the time, 'I'm only a kid why doesn't he let me win sometimes?' The more we played the harder I tried to beat him. But I was also getting better at playing the game. Until one day I finally did beat him, just by a couple of points, but I won fair and square. I remember jumping up and down and running around screaming, "I won, I won!" My father just smiled and laughed. A little while later my brother also finally beat him. We continued to play, I lost some and I won some. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized I had learned a very important lesson playing ping pong. When I won it was because I worked hard to improve my game. I earned my win, it wasn't handed to me. Because of that the win was that much sweeter. That's the kind of man my father was, he always tried to set a positive example.  Although he's been gone since 2005, those positive examples are still very much with me.

Mel at the LA convention center (early 1970's)

     Are you wondering what the D.O.S.H.H.D. has to do with this post?  I guess before I end I should explain. It stands for Dear Old Soft Headed Hearted Dad. We got this from a cartoon we watched in the late 50's early 60's, called "Augie Doggie & Doggie Daddy" by Hanna-Barbera. My brother and I started calling our father this in fun.  Our sister took it up as she got older and it continued into our adulthood. We would address his birthday cards with the initials and even had a t-shirt made.

A thought to ponder: "The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."                       Donald Kendall