my dad was completely irreverent to the “facades” and pretentiousness of many’s lives. and sometimes he was simply completely irreverent, lol! he could thumb his nose at ‘most anything, and often did. not always to the best of responses, but hey, it seemed to roll off his back. and he always walked away smiling. “Life is short,” he’d say. And would proceed to live his just the way he wanted.
don’t get me wrong, he was always about respecting each individual. simply, he was not going to spend much time wasted with the overly pompous. he was all about getting real. And, if it was fun, that’s where you’d find him. He always wanted to bring everyone else along on the ride. inimitably FUN, that was my dad.
from him I learned to not take everything so seriously. I’ve noticed over the years that, at heart, I’m a fairly serious person. my dad would remind me to “go fly a kite!” literally. I’m fairly certain there was always one in the trunk. He could generally be found with something amusing happening around him and his sly sense of humor took many forms over the years. You could tour a new home and suddenly all the stuffed animals were in curious positions. He wore hats, bells, bubble balls with blowing wands and whistles, all with aplomb. Our family pool table had a “crazy” eight-ball (unevenly weighted to roll incorrectly, especially at slow speeds!) hidden away to throw off the final shot. He photo bombed decades before it was a thing.
There were the games, from CatchPhrase to skittle ball to cribbage, horseshoes and shuffleboard, he was an expert in all. word play was his forte. i learned to love words and their meanings and double entendre. when his physical prowess escaped him, he’d do a little cheating, in good humor, on the side.
Dad was also known to catch the moment and create the silly. i recall a family camping trip where dad flew my aunt’s brassiere on the flag pole to alert all at our family reunion that the California Bassett family had arrived. He wore hawaiian shirts to work every friday with his birkenstocks, even though dress code policy allowed neither. The guards would let him in, heck, he was wearing his tie, and his energy was catching. he made the humdrum fun, and passed it on!
These photos of him sleeping? good golly, he could nap anywhere, and did! We’d be shopping for furniture and you could simply listen for his snoring and follow the sounds to him reclined on a lounger, sawing a few off. That is, if he wasn’t outside, riding one of the carousel animals for a quarter.
did i forget to mention Christmas?! heaven forbid. easily his favorite holiday, and mine, dad could be found celebrating the christmas spirit any day of the year. christmas music was heard at any moment, and christmas decorating was a prerequisite whether it was celebrated with decorated palms in hawaii, ornaments on a saguaro cactus, or the full lawn and home decorations in orange.
i believe his contagion rubbed off on all of us who were lucky enough to know him. mom, tonya and I were the biggest beneficiaries, to be sure. other engineers, friends and utter strangers alike would be treated to his magnanimous generosity and fun spirit. for all the bravo spirit, he remained a sweet at heart man who could be counted on, no matter the circumstances. his enthusiasm was infectious and he taught me so much of how to be of the world, but not in it.
on this day, three years after he died, I celebrate my dad’s free spirit. tonight mom and I are going to go play some miniature golf. the Bob Bassett Annual mini Golf Classic continues — just because it’s something fun to do and because it always made him laugh.
love to you each and every one. cherish the people in your life. we’ve none of us know how long we’ve got, it’s best to savor the moment you’re in — perchance to play and laugh!
love, pnut #2
ps: thank you dad, you’ve always been the man to show me the best in people. you always loved and supported me, and laughed and played with me. i love you and miss you so very much!
pps: lest you think it was ALL fun and games, he had a patent for his work in microchip circuitry. he was an incredible free-thinker and a well loved engineer because he helped people to connect and to love their work. what a legacy dad, thank you!
and lastly, ppps: thank you mom for always being such a good sport and support, and woman in your own right. You and tonya and I are the lucky ones, this I know.
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memories and fun photos, continued!