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Person Essay

In: People

Submitted By becky135
Words 1357
Pages 6
Basic Writing
March 17, 2015
Set in Stone
One of the most influential people in my life for me is my father Willian S. Diehl or also affectionately known as Pop. I am fortunate to have been raised and taught by a man like my father. The type of person, husband, and parent I have aspired to be is due in large part to the way I was encouraged, mentored and taught by Pop. He was a wise teacher who instilled in me the importance of working hard and being honest. He taught me that if I desired something strongly enough, I could with honest hard work, earn whatever I was seeking and be successful in all of my endeavors. I am sure my life has been profoundly influenced because of his teachings. Dad also taught me many trade skills that I would use extensively throughout my whole life. He also practiced and preached kindness and patience towards others and to be calm and level headed in stressful situations, to use your head as well as your hands. I guess the three things that I remember most about Dad is his intelligence, positive, calm personality, and honest work ethic.
My father had wispy blond hair and was slightly balding. He was about 5’ 10” tall with deep blue eyes, fair complexion and weathered looking skin draped over a thin and lanky frame. When Dad walked, he had a slow, quiet, almost stealthy gait to him. Pop rarely yelled at me and my brother, he had a soft kind voice to match his demeanor. He was always clean shaven, with a minty sweet scent of after shave that would linger about him for some time, Dad was a practical man, usually simply attired a product of his time practical shoes and socks. High riding baggy pants with long sleeve shirts, flannel shirts in the colder months. Always neatly tucked in and held together with a leather belt. When I was growing up, he always wore suits to work. He worked for Stone and Webster a heavy construction company, as a design engineer so wearing suits everyday was a must for him until his retirement at the age of sixty- five. When he was finally able to be the casual practical always neat dresser, the Pop I will always remember. Dad never wore any jewelry except for a watch he was always practical. Dad was a loving husband and father with a great sense of humor. He was always a gracious man and gentleman, but at times set in his ways, a creature of habit and not big on change. Dad was very much a loyal hard working generous family man, happily married to my mother for over sixty years. Except for not being big on change. These are some more of his great qualities I strive to emulate and practice throughout my life.
One of the biggest talents of my father I miss were his engineering skills. Many years ago when I purchased my first property which was a small restaurant. My dad helped me brainstorm so many ideas on how to turn what was then just an ice cream stand into a full-fledged restaurant and lounge. He was always able to find a solution to all the building challenges that I encountered. He would work his regular full- time job during the week then on weekends, he spent his free time with me working on and building the fledgling restaurant. Turning that little ice cream stand into a successful business that would last the test of time and thrive for twenty two years. Even many years after his retirement he was still there working with me at the restaurant doing everything from helping in the kitchen to planning out renovations and improvements putting to work those engineering skills.
Dad was always calm and strove to teach me and my brother this same attribute not to panic under stressful situations. A trait that would serve me well in the future and would help me a lot on my future combat tours overseas. I am most appreciative of the fact that after twenty two years in business, I finally sold the restaurant and went back into the Army. Once again my father was always there for me. During all four tours of duty to Bosnia, Kosovo and then Afghanistan twice and at the same time my brother was fighting in Ramadi Iraq. Even with both of his boys overseas at the same time, my Pop kept an upbeat positive “they will be OK” attitude. My father and mother took care of my children and kept the household running and in good repair. My father and mother even kept their calm when they talked to me during a rocket attack. I would call home every Sunday when I could. On this particular Sunday while on the phone with them. Our forward operating base was hit with rocket fire, rapid consecutive explosions. I abruptly obviously had to go to check the status of my own soldiers. He must have been panicked until my return call. But none the less for my mom’s sake kept his calm for twenty four hours, when I was finally able to call back and say, Mom, Pop, I am fine. There were so many similar and terrible actions like this over there. That without dads influence on me it would have been very difficult for me to be positive and calm and do my duty for myself and my soldiers.
From a young age, another character trait instilled in me by my father was his strong work ethic always do a good job. When I was a teenager and wanted a dirt bike my father taught me that if I want something, you have to work for it. So after a year of working several part- time jobs washing dishes and cutting grass. I was able to buy a used dirt bike that in short time needed mechanical work and a motor rebuild. He helped and taught me how to tear down the whole engine and rebuild it. The knowledge I gained rebuilding that motor with Pop was invaluable his patience, kindness and mentorship could not be duplicated in a class room. Throughout my life time there have been so many other learning experiences like this one they are too numerous to list. From fixing everything that breaks around a house to mechanical theory, wood working, cement and most everything in between, me and Pop did it all. After all the years and projects that we have completed together last summer was the last one we would work on together, my back yard patio. We broke ground last June Dad with his usual engineering expertise helped me with the design and layout of the concrete slabs. Because of Pops advanced age, he was by now mostly overseeing my hard work but still offering suggestions with each concrete pour. With the coming of cold weather, the construction and pouring of concrete would have to wait out the winter. With the final slab to be poured when the frozen ground and good weather would again permit. Unfortunately, my father passed away this past November before completion of the project. This spring I will by myself and sadly pour the last slab to finish the patio project. I will then lovingly dedicate the new patio with the inscription. To my Pop, William S. Diehl another job well done
Whenever I am sitting on my patio. I often reflect on all the hours, days, and time that I have spent with my father, learning from him all sorts of valuable and varied trade skills. Learning how to work with my hands. Or the fact that dad always taught me that calmer cooler heads will always prevail. Teachings that have helped me all my life. Just like his name will forever be permanently set in cement. A dedicated part of this patio. So will Dads teachings, calmness guidance, and patience. Forever be an everlasting part of my character and personality they both will be forever set in stone.

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