My Dad is quite a character. I’m sure he was he was even as a boy. My dad is on the bottom left.
He has a great mix of humor and patience. When people ask about his children, he likes to say he has three sons. When they say, “Oh, no daughters?”, then he will say, “Oh, yeah, I have nine daughters too.”
This is my Mom and Dad when I was born.
This is one of my favorite pictures of me and Dad. He would often tell us bedtime stories and we’d be piled all over listening to story after story. They would often descend into strange rhyming stories as he would bounce his foot or tap his hand against the wall. If he didn’t have a word to rhyme he would just make one up, and we would laugh.
Here is my Dad as ‘Chef Burtoni’ with one of my sisters. He did a lot of the cooking when my mom was busy with the babies. He would always stomp around the kitchen shouting some kind of rhythmic Indian type chant he made up.
Here is a picture I took of Dad when I was about 13. He was going to shave off his beard. He had to get on his western hat for the picture.
My Dad encouraged my talents and was proud of me. When I took years of Spanish he would encourage me to go over and talk to ‘so and so’ who spoke Spanish also. I was mortified because I was so shy.
When I was growing up he was always telling us about some fascinating decorating, or house, or view he had seen while he was out putting up draperies.
Once when I was down visiting California with him before college in the 80’s he took me to a house where he was working. The couple invited me in. The woman had a great home and studio in LA near the Greek row of some college. She showed me her studio and drawings. She also had art hanging around her house made of intricately folded paper encased in glass. Her drafting table was covered with markers and paints. Things like that really made an impression on me.
My Dad is kind, funny, and a little kooky sometimes. He is always surrounded by stacks of books, and he loves music.
When we were on the swim team he drove us around and cheered at all the races. He loved our choir concerts. My younger siblings were into soccer and he became the biggest soccer enthusiast ever. He loves a good political debate, a great music performance, or an awesome house or landscape. He has a major sweet tooth, but tries to eat healthy now. He loves when we all gather around to sing a few hymns with the guitar. I think Dad is the happiest when he is proud of something one of his children has done.
I Love you Dad!