Sunday, January 14, 2007

Paying Homage

Yesterday, I got to visit with the family of my best friend from childhood, Dave Fleming. His dad, Louis, is a great guy and I wanted to have the chance to say thanks for all the cool things he did that had a profound effect on me growing up.

I met Dave when I was 9 years old. His father was a widower raising his boys by himself. Very quickly, the household got to be like "My Three Sons" on TV with me playing the nerdy friend from down the street, Ernie. Louis always treated me as if I were one of his own sons which is something I've deeply appreciated over the years.

I picked up a couple of habits that I've sustained over the years and been rewarded by that were introduced to me by Mr. Fleming. First, as kids, he would take Dave and me downtown to visit the California Museum of Science and Industry in Exposition Park. We went pretty often and I became enamored with all things science there. When I got into college, I was there attending a lecture when I met the Director of Space Education, Charlie Carr who hired me to become a lecturer there. It was my first science job.

The second habit Louis Fleming introduced me to was attending the annual auto show. We went every year and it become a real event for us. As an adult, I continued the practice with my own children. To this day, every year my wife and I go aloing with our friends to the "pilgrimage" at Moscone center every November.

So thanks, Mr. Fleming. You were a great "second dad" and I couldn't have gotten here without you.

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