Niks is a hell of a guy. Sweet, loyal, a good husband, good father, good grandfather. An all-round good guy. Thursday, September 22, is his 77th birthday. I've had him a long time, and I hope to have him a long time to come.
I was going to have a big birthday cake for him and have 77 candles on it. But I checked with our insurance company, and the firm of Grump and Crotchety says that fire or smoke damage from birthday cakes is not covered by our policy. So, I'm gonna see about gettin' that covered for next year. Maybe wait until his 80th. That would make an impressive light.
He's a cutie too. But, hell, if I were any cuter myself, I'd have to find a cuter guy. But I think we're probably matched bookends that way. Works out nicely.
He's a bit of an absent-minded professor. In fact for a while he actually was a professor of Philosophy. His students loved him. But totally unlike myself, I got off the absent-minded track there. Back to his absent-mindedness.
Once he was out in the yard mowing the grass. Aral was a youngster. She and I got into the car which was parked in the garage, backed out and started down the street. Less than half-way down our block we heard a funny sorta scraping noise. We both said, "what?" but we figured it was a branch scratching the top of the car. We got groceries, came back home, and there in the middle of our street were Niks' glasses. He had taken them off to mow the yard, and put them on top of the car. He saw us get into the car, but had forgotten the glasses were on it. But they were fine. This street block doesn't go anywhere. Just the one block by itself, so it actually doesn't get that much traffic.
The glasses are a theme with him. Once he left home in the morning, drove to work, immediately called home and asked me to go out and look for his glasses on the side street. He had put them on top of the car to do something or other, forgotten them, and driven to work. He figured they probably fell off pretty quickly and that I might find them. I didn't. Find them that is. I did go look.
When he was in Washington on a business trip, someone stole his glasses right out of the car. Those guys. You believe him don't you? He didn't put them on top of the car, you think? Those crooks were clever. Didn't break the window or anything. Hafta wonder why they wanted his glasses though.
One day Niks arrived home from work after a big snow storm. Before he even got home, a man called me to say that he had found a briefcase in the parking lot next to a parking slot where a car had obviously been. He opened it and found Niks' business card and called. I asked him to leave the briefcase with the receptionist in the office building, which he did. Niks had put the briefcase down, cleared the windows, got into the car, and drove off. Minus briefcase.
Then there was the time....well, no point going on. You get the picture.
When Acton Bell was about five, she showed an interest in classical music. Niks got tickets to a big concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in L.A., and just the two of them went. We couldn't really afford those tickets then, but he wanted her to experience the music. He was that kind of dad.
He researched colleges for our oldest, Dddragon, and took her on visits to them. He made me believe that we could put our four kids through college, and he made it happen.
Once when Aral was a freshman at Cornell her book bag with all her books and notes was taken from the bookstore, accidentally. A young man who had funked out of school and whose parents had picked him up and driven him home to Indiana took her book bag and left his own instead. Aral was distraught. Her physics mid-term was happening in days and she was missing her stuff. She called us in the afternoon, crying. We were having a terrible snowstorm. Niks didn't think twice. He got in the car and drove the five-hour trip in the snow. Only it took eight hours because the snow was so bad and it was dark. He did it to comfort her. Just to be there for her. He couldn't produce the books or the notes. That guy. He's the best.
Then there was the time…..well, I won't go on. You get the true picture.
He has been a wonderful Poppa to the grandtwins. He loves us all so much. Just a wonderful guy.