A Personal Little Office Shrine

My Dad.  He was the executive director for the local Heart Association for many years and did his job well.  In 1970 he was awarded this plaque (complete with a very accurate thermometer), for raising more money for the Heart Fund than any previous year.  He was very involved in local programs to educate and train people in heart-related issues such as rehabilitation, CPR and cardiac telemetry.  He took a lot of pride in his accomplishments, and as a kid, I was very proud of him.


I used his plaque to hang my “One Day Rider” patch from the 2005 STP Ride, biking from Seattle to Portland.   I rode in it the year I turned 50.  I was living in Portland at the time and took the shuttle bus to Seattle with my bike.  I spent he night at the Aurora Hotel, the last night before it closed it’s doors forever.  I woke up and rode in the dark through Seattle at 4:00 AM to arrive at Husky Stadium for the 4:45 AM start.

After the starting gun, I literally rode all the way through Seattle before bikes had thinned out enough to settle into a pace line.  Typically, about 2,700 riders out of the 10,000 starters make it in one day.  Many riders plan ahead to stay in motels or to camp somewhere in-between; some riders have to make that humiliating “Come get me!” call.  I had joined a bike club that year specifically to train for this annual ride and do it all in one day.  I wasn’t really sure I’d make it until the last 15 miles.

I still meet “One-Day-Riders” occasionally; it’s always fun to share stories about our day of self-inflicted torture, stooped over our uncomfortable mechanical contraptions on very tiny seats.


I also adorned my Adam Ant VIP pass from a concert we attended in Vancouver, B.C.  I think anyone who had bought tickets ahead of time got a VIP pass and T-shirt.  My dad would not have liked Adam Ant, either in his heyday or even now.  But this was the Kings Of The Wild Frontier tour, where the band played his same-titled iconic album…in it’s entirety!  I love this review from Wikipedia by Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic:  

“one of the great defining albums of its time. There’s simply nothing else like it, nothing else that has the same bravado, the same swagger, the same gleeful self-aggrandizement and sense of camp

I’ve always thought the album was so creative and a little surreal.  The theater was filled with young and old, fans who obviously loved Adam Ant and knew every word to every song. People of all ages were dressed up and painted up for the event. It was a lot of fun for my wife and I and one of the most interesting and entertaining concerts I’ve ever attended.

So my dad’s poor thermometer plaque from 1970 sits in this little corner of my office. It serves a functional purpose, to hang stuff on that I don’t want to stash away in a drawer.  Could it be a search for validation or maybe an even an affront to his personal taste?  Nah….  But it would be fun to see the look on his face as he stared, thinking of something clever and sarcastic to say.

Everyone I care about in my family deserves a little wall space.  This corner belongs to Dad.  I have no doubt that my he’d smile when I told him these are just a couple of adornments to honor his little plaque.



11 thoughts on “A Personal Little Office Shrine

  1. I pulled up a few Adam Ant videos on Y.ouTube. It is important to realize that one must have grown into this kind of music to be able to appreciate it. Or make an effort to develop a feel for it. Much of our likes and dislikes is driven by a nostalgic feeling for certain events of the past. Over ten years our youngest son started following the Pearl Jam band and attended almost every concert. Once he travelled with a group all the way across Canada to attend a concert in Newfoundland. I prepared a video out of his hundreds of photos and added the band music. And by association to my son’s enthusiasm for this music I began to like their songs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter, I think that’s great that you at least gave old Adam Ant a shot! I laughed when I read your comment. I started listening to their music in the 80’s, and I really like the whole mix of American Indian/punk/new wave and whatever else. It definitely an acquired taste and I don’t expect another soul who didn’t listen to them in the 80’s (and even most of these people) to like this music. I do think you’d have had a better chance of liking it though, without seeing the videos! By the way, I also really like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and other “Seattle Sound” bands from the 90’s. Thanks Peter!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Neil, You’re right, not having been a real cycle rider until that year, the Seattle-To-Portland ride was a big challenge, but what an experience! I do still ride on a regular basis, but I don’t get to ride often enough in the coldest winter months. Are you a biker Neil? Thanks much for reading!


  2. Hi, I love this post, so real and detailed re life and what it means. Seattle and Portland are by reputation to us Brits such cool cities. I was a big fan of Nirvana, Mudhoney etc in the 90s. And tonight I had dinner in Varkala, India with a really cool woman, in her 70s, born in Germany but American resident since her teens, now living in India for past 25 years but soon to return to Portland, and it sounds every bit as cool as I imagined. We intend to go visit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you for reading and liking my post, I so much appreciate it, Rachel! In my previous life (and blog) I wrote about both Nirvana and Seattle quite a bit, and I probably should again. Although I wouln’t want to live there now, I love visiting. Portland and Seattle are both interesting and beautiful cities, and well worth seeing!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. If you ever go to Portland, I really hope you check out McMenamin’s at Edgefield. It’s the old “Multnomah County Poor Farm” that was turned into a brewery/hotel, complete with a restaurant, theater and remote little pubs on the grounds. And, it’s fairly reasonably priced.
      If you get some downtime in your travels, you should check out their website. It’s an interesting place!

      Liked by 1 person

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