Reasoning with Madness
"This is a barbaric yawp, and it will be sounded over the roofs of the world."
Today is the 70th birthday of a man who has been a rock of inspiration, support and encouragement, even during his own horrific trials and tribulations. He has survived stage 4 prostate cancer, multiple heart attacks and far, far worse, to emerge on the other side stronger and more fierce than ever.
As a child, he encouraged me to never stop playing with toys or reading my comics, he bought my first guitar (that he built from spare parts and left under a Christmas tree), he pushed me to "try out" radio in my early 20s, giving me the permission to be myself and play "whatever I wanted", he pushed me to pursue journalism, be a writer and go back to school and not be the guy who didn't "make it" because I didn't have that expensive degree that he never got. Despite my martial arts training early on, he made me realize that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.
He took care of his family in the hardest of times and inspired his first born son to do the same when the old man fell into darkness and horror and lost everything, while his family was blown to bits, due to a corrupt and hideous legal system that cares more about winning than being right.
He is probably the smartest human being I know, who can fix anything and is currently using a 3D printer (that he assembled and programmed himself) to build from scratch a machine he's been developing for over 40 years that just might change the entire world.
The son of Italian and Swedish immigrants, being the first generation born in the US on that side of my family, he started working as a young child to make ends meet for his family when his father (the man I was named after) suffered a catastrophic stroke that eventually took his life shortly before I was born.
Later in his life, he made a name for himself in the radio biz, having introduced Grand Funk Railroad on their live album back when he was a hotshot rock jock in 70s.
It was during this time that he met his soul mate who later become his wife, over the radio when she would call in to request songs by her favorite bands. When they finally met in real life, he fell head over heels in love with the long blonde haired beach girl hippy and got married. They had three kids, a son and two daughters.
They both worked their whole life through good and bad, in the media world, education, politics, pharmacies and more all to support the three maniacal kids they were raising...eventually moving from Florida to Oregon and now they are both happily retired in the sleepy hills of Sweet Home, OR.
There is far more to his story than I can write here, but I have to say I am proud to call that man my father.
Happy 70th birthday Carl E. Sundberg, the best dad, mentor, musician, engineer and terrible joke teller a guy could know.
It was great eating ribs with you and mom this weekend. I know I'm breaking the rules of wishing for things on your birthday, but here's a prayer and a open wish that we'll be celebrating your 100th birthday one day.
Knowing the kind of tank that you are, that doesn't seem so far out of reach.
I love you old man.
Thank you for everything.
Who Am I?
I am Ahab.