A Loving Tribute

I have amazing children. Yes, I’m having a proud moment here. All six of them have the gift of writing. Today, I am sharing a loving tribute written by my second oldest, Jet, in honor of his grandpa, my father.

My grandpa passed away this week. It has taken me a few days to come to terms with it.

He valued family. I’m so appreciative of all the trips he made through the years to connect. A visit from Grandpa was the highlight of the year as a kid. You never knew what he was going to say. He was so funny. His laugh made you laugh. He would purposely mispronounce things or accentuate words with an odd accent. There were many “grandpa-isms”.

In my childhood and teenage eyes, he was a man of incredible adventure. He was almost mysterious. He had edge. In the 90’s he lived on a sailboat for some time. He and his lovely wife went on an African safari. He owned a home in Italy. He showed me that there was a big, beautiful world beyond my comfortable backyard. It was obtainable for those who wanted it. The world had much to teach me. It still does. Thank you, Gramps, for sharing your contagious fearlessness.

Grandpa always had a VHS camcorder rolling at our family gatherings in the 80’s. He would shout “hey, come get in the movies!”. He showed us the importance of documenting family. Even the mundane moments that he captured seemed to evolve into priceless gems through the years. My fascination for his “movies” grew into a passion. I made a career out of capturing family moments in the wedding industry for over 15 years now.

When I was 16, he knew I had a passion for photography but also knew I didn’t have proper tools. During a visit, he gave me his Minolta Maxxum 7000 SLR camera with two lenses. I recall that as one of the best days of my life. That was my first real camera and it instantly became my most prized possession. I used that camera in college for all my darkroom projects. I had no money but I always seemed to scrounge enough to buy a roll of film and processing. I couldn’t get enough. Looking back, it was more of an obsession, an escape perhaps, but a gateway to a bright and rewarding future. It started with grandpa’s Minolta. Every time we visited I always reminded him of my appreciation for that gift and his imprint on my craft.

I say all this to point out the obvious, Grandpa played a huge role in who I am today. I soaked up every moment when I was with him. My favorite thing is to travel the globe with my wife, taking photos and sharing them with others, showing them that there is life beyond their comfortable backyards too.

Thank you for your sense of adventure, your edge, your witty humor, your straight talk, and your open-mindedness. It was infectious, probably much more than you or I knew. I needed a grandpa just like you. I love you so much.

I think I’ll load some film in that Minolta today.

My ♥️ is overflowing.

Andi

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