Today’s the 55th birthday of my nephew David Louis Ford. He’s the third son born to Robert and Arlis Ford.
On our side of the family tree, Dave has only one first cousin born during his birth year. My daughter Lisa was born two months earlier than Dave in 1955.
Lisa is a professional copy-writer and editor and, with her two doggies – lives about 10 minutes from our house in Seattle.
One more cousin was ALMOST born during their birth year of 1955. Tim Fitzpatrick made his arrival at Mercy Hospital 7 months later, in 1956. In her comment, my sister Joan said that Dave and Tim were in scouts together and my brother-in-law Bob Ford was their leader. Technically, David and Tim aren’t cousins to each other because they don’t share a grandparent, but both are first cousins to Lisa. As far as I’m concerned, I’m their aunt and they’re my nephews so that makes them cousins. I hope you agree so I don’t have to come over there and break both your legs.
Now back to today’s birthday boy. Both David and his wife Melinda are very interesting people. Melinda is an environmentalist and so, in his way, is David. They live in La Crosse, Wisconsin. (More about Melinda on her birthday). They’re pictured here with a little friend, Dirk.
Dave operates a remodeling business and I’m always hoping that lots of the work is outdoors. If there was ever a child of earth and water, it’s Dave. From the time he was little, he has always seemed like a Mark Twain character to me. He’s like a cross-breeding between Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
I think Dave used to spend lots of time on the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids. I can still remember seeing him on a river raft of some kind and on a boat and tramping through the mud, his skin brown an English walnut, and grinning from ear to ear. He seemed to ooze joy in being in the outdoors.
He still does. Dave is a fisherman and a hunter. Their Christmas letter often mentions his latest conquests with his fishing rod, or with his bow and arrow. One year it was a 10 point buck — I’m not sure what that means but I’m glad it wasn’t Bambi’s mother.
Dave is a Grand Champion winemaker, often producing the wine from fruit they cultivate on their property. They grow lots of food, too, and it sounds like he’s become an expert on storing and preserving it along with his harvest from hunting and fishing.
Dave and Melinda are experienced hikers and I think they explore the land whenever and wherever they get the chance. They are two people who are always on the move. Even indoors. Like Mark Twain, Dave loves to dance.
Mark Twain wrote one time, ”I was exceedingly delighted with the waltz, and also with the polka. These differ in name, but there the difference ceases–the dances are precisely the same. You have only to spin around with frightful velocity and steer clear of the furniture . . . The waltz and the polka are very exhilarating–to use a mild term–amazingly exhilarating.”
Not just for waltz and polka though. Dave and Melinda are ballroom dancers classy enough for any “Dancing With The Stars” roster. My husband Gene and I watched them dance at our niece Liz’s wedding and so did everybody else on the floor! It made you want to cut a rug yourself.
Another of Dave’s characteristics that is Mark Twain-like is his humor. You can’t be around him long without smiling. And, of course, he’s the family clown. Literally. He’s done lots of gigs entertaining the little and big folk in their neck of Wisconsin.
Dave and Melinda lived for a time in the Puget Sound area and I miss them and wish they were still here.
Happy birthday, Dave. Congratulations on becoming eligible for AARP.