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.