I'll start with one of my favorite photos of my Papa, because it shows his warm, genuine smile. He smiled a lot, because he liked to joke and tease, but when it came to pictures, well ... you should see the gallery of sober expressions my Picasa face recognition page has assembled of him. Here he is here at 89.
He was a serious lad at 8, in his shirt and tie and bare feet. Although I don't think he ever lived in the snow, you can see the old tales about walking barefoot to school were true.
I think it was love at first sight when he and Mom met. It was during the depression and times were tough. Here are he and Mom on an early date, picnicking in the mountains, along with Papa's cousin.
|The suitor, the girl and his cousin|
|Mama, Papa & Baby Lee|
These traditional stained glass windows were among his photos, so I'm guessing they were his windows. By the time I became aware that stained glass wasn't just another ordinary occupation, I'd moved far away and, alas, didn't keep track of his specific accomplishments, which include windows in churches and residences all over California, in Nevada and other states.
Toward the end of his life, I finally saw stunning example of his work of more recent years. He designed and fabricated, with Mom's assistance, all the windows for St Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Concord, California. These are contemporary faceted glass windows, and the dedication of the windows was celebrated with (ta da), these T-shirts.
|T-shirts on my sister, Mama and Papa|
He worked at his art, still designing and producing until mere months before his passing at age 94 during which he was more in than out of the hospital as we tried to prolong his life for longer than we should have. He hung on so long for his most important job, taking care of the love of his life. Sweet Momma lived for five more years, reaching 95-and-a-half, as she told everyone, to her great surprise.
As for the other Papa, my son Ben, who is such a loving and nurturing father to his two "kids," Chris and Ashley, is now parenting on his own after losing his wife six months ago.
|Ben in family photo as a little squirt|
|Ben (r.) with his "cuz" (I like the beard)|
|My daughter, me, my son|
Love to all my kidlings.
See you later.