Billy (NMI) Calvert 1927-2009

My father died of pneumonia on December 22, 2009. He was (just barely) 82 years old. He was a man who struggled with alcohol, the early loss of his own father and step-father, a man who loved to dance, loved sports. He taught me to play baseball and football, to be an inquisitive person, to read anything and everything, to enjoy life, to think on my feet and to question authority. He played the guitar in high school and college...music that sounded like Texas...Hank Williams, Chet Atkins, Sons of the Pioneers. He gave away his black and white guitar when we moved from Ohio back to CA.
He also taught me to choose with my heart, to assume that I could solve my own problems, to go after what I want and to never let anyone get the best of me.
He taught me to be a competitor, a leader and a challenger. I am afraid that he also taught me to set high standards, and to jettison those who do not measure up. His approval was difficult to achieve, although later in life he assured me that I was well loved.

He was a reader, argumentative, challenging, a discusser, talker, storyteller.

At various times of my life I loved him, feared him, resented him, worried about him, was angry with him, removed myself from his influence and wanted him to stop telling me what to do and how to do things.

I spent time with him in April, little dreaming that he would not live to see Christmas, a particularly tough time for our family and my father. While visiting him in Kentucky in April he gave my brother and I some old photos of my mom, my Aunt Ruth and some of him when he was a boy. I include one of my favorites here.

I do not know how you say good-bye to your father. The best I can do is to say thank you for giving what you could, I forgive you, and I love you. I will miss you.