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Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Dad

Here's my dad, Aaron Garfield, when he worked at General Electric Aircraft Engine Group in Lynn, Massachusetts as a technical writer and editor.

Aaron Garfield with Pen and Paper
Image: Aaron Garfield at GE

He worked at General Electric for ever. As long as I can remember, until he retired. He worked with engineers and photographers on jet engine manuals. It's funny, as I write this, I don't ever remember seeing one of the manuals that he worked on. He never took work home.

He loved working with people. He loved working with words. He would always correct me at home, when ever I said, "Yeah, but..." He'd jump in and say, "NO BUT!" I guess he took that part of work home.

Here he is in the office with his clean desk. It was the same way at home. Everything had to be in order. Every tool on the workbench had it's place. If you removed a tool to use it, you had to put it back exactly where you found it, so you'd know where it would be the next time you needed it.

I'm like that now. ;-)

Dad at Work. GE.
Image: Dad at work. Clean desk.

Dad in Office
Image: Dad, Mad Men style.

My dad was great for taking trips. A big one was to the World's Fair, but many other where day trips throughout New England.

NY World's Fair 1964 024
Image: With Dad at NY World's Fair 1964 024

We'd travel to see all types of interesting places and have a picnic by the side of the road at a rest stop. In later years I found out one of the reasons for all those trips. My mom loved the beach, but my dad did not. So when it was time to do something on the weekend, my dad would say, "Let's go on a road trip!" We didn't go to the beach much.

My dad also had hobbies. One was magic. He bought tricks at a local magic store and joined the Society of American Magicians. Then he'd do shows at birthday parties. One time he did a show for my school. He called me up to make a glass of milk disappear, and I drank it. ;-)

He started doing shows at hospitals, but it became too stressful for him so he stopped doing that.

Aaron Garfield Doing Magic Tricks
Image: Aaron Garfield doing Magic For Children

His other passion was gardening. We spent a lot of time in the yard together, taking care of the plants and vegetable garden. I loved working in the yard with my dad. He showed me how to cut the lawn with our electric mower, making sure that I did not cut the cord by running it over.

Dad working in the yard
Image: Dad in the garden

In later years, my mom and dad spent winters in Florida. One time my wife Carol asked if my dad could swim, so he went into the pool and showed her that he could swim. As far back as I can remember, he never swam. My mom told me that he got chest pains when exerting himself, so never swam. That was a big deal.

He had two heart attacks, and ended up dying from pancreatic cancer.

I know that he would have enjoyed seeing me write a book, teach classes, speak at conferences, get involved advising and investing in start ups, and write about tech, beer, wine, cars and travel.

Thanks Dad. Happy Father's Day.

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