"He enjoyed wood-working, reading, traveling, and helping others."This may sound like a strange line to single out of the obituary of the man who died yesterday, but it's what this book blogger noticed. He was an engineer and a perfectionist, so everything he made with his hands came out as perfect as it was humanly possible. Always. But reader? Not when I first met him back in 1956 on what turned out to be a blind date. I was sixteen, thought I was going swimming "with a group" of friends, and discovered "the group" consisted of my friend Mary, her friend David, and David's friend, who happened to have a car. He was home from Germany, where he was stationed at Rhein-Main Air Force Base outside Frankfurt, and he had turned twenty-two the day before. Six years is an awfully big gap in years for a teenager.
About that "reading" listed in his obituary — later when we were dating, I learned that he didn't read anything. At Christmas, a friend had given him a subscription to Reader's Digest, but the magazines were piling up, unread. I read the short articles and pointed out whatever I thought would interest him. He began to read. After we were married, he continued to read one RD article every morning during breakfast. But after he graduated from college, he rejoiced that he'd never have to read another book!
Our three children are readers. So are our grandchildren, except for the one who has always preferred to draw. His second wife was a teacher before she retired, and I taught college classes as an adjunct. Now his obituary lists reading, as second only to wood-working among the things he enjoyed. Do you suppose the books on the shelves lining the walls of our den made a difference? He made those shelves. Perfectly.
Rest in peace, dear heart.