He’s the original “Funchilde.” He created Funchilde, Inc. back in the early 70’s with a bunch of friends so that they could throw parties and play music and make a little money while they were having a good time. I count this as the source of my passion for music as well as the ignition for my entreprenuerial flame. The first concert I ever went to was with him. He took me and my sister and brother to see the SOS Band in Germany and I couldn’t have been more than 8 years old. My Dad has more music, in more formats than anyone I know. From Reel-to-Reel to his iPod, that dude can hook you up with everything from Hall and Oates to Destiny’s Child.
[5a] My parents have always been social people. I definitely get my sense of humor, outgoing personality and positive outlook from my Dad. He (and Mom) took us EVERYWHERE with them. To this day, their love of travel is a part of me. He’s been from Saudi Arabia to Greece and knows no stranger. They taught us how to work hard and play hard, how to party hard without getting out of control, and to know when to cut our losses with friends/foes and lovers. Dad encouraged us to try new foods and experience new places and people and to treat everyone equal. That as long as we were given respect we should show it. That warmth of spirit is why he’s like a black Dr. Phil. People tell that dude EVERYTHING!
 He’s the black Emeril Lagasse. All of us can cook. You already know that cooking classes are one of my passions. My Mom, sister and brother can all cook the staples like nobody’s business. From fried chicken to potato salad, those three can burn. My nephew makes a mean 5 cheese and macaroni, and has won an award for his “Eclair Cake.” Dad is the risk taker in the kitchen. We all love watching the cooking channel and we forgive him his Rachel Ray crush (WTF?) because he does most of the cooking. From crab stuffed flounder to his clove spiced holiday ham, that dude can put his foot in it! AND he’s our favorite bartender! I love coming home to visit and the nights we sit up drinking his apple martinis or long island iced teas, debating some issue and calling each other names while he plays DJ, fries up some fish and mixes up another batch. That dude deserves a beer.
 His stock portfolio is beating mine. He can pick ’em yall. I feel a little bad because he is a “tech nerd” like my brother. My mom is an envi-sci geek (cum laude, no less) and I’m the business guru. But he has picked some winners that are making my stock portfolio look like a crackhead’s checkbook. His strategy: he buys stock in the products he likes/uses. That dude uses his noggin.
 I still think he’s a Superhero. When I was little I thought my Dad was the biggest, strongest guy in the world. When the movie Jaws came out, I was probably 6 years old or so and they took me to see it. Afterwards my mom asked me how big the shark in the movie was. I looked around for something to illustrate the ginormity of the shark and said wild-eyed and using my hands to make my point: “it was as big as Dad’s LEG!” I guess its all about perspective. That dude is a man’s man.
[2a] My Dad is the kind of guy that will getÂ down to a kid’s level and PLAY. I still love the fact that my Dad bought me hot wheels cars and racetracks, cap guns and a 3 foot long Wonder Woman puzzle. He didn’t let my gender dictate my fun. I ran, played t-ball, soccer and climbed trees, and built a CO2 car. My Dad is still pretty intimidating at 6’4 and I still think he can fix anything from my car to my computer. That dude is my #1 go-to guy.
 He loves my Mom. Yall know how I feel about HER. So, it follows that anybody that keeps that chic happy is alright with me. They are a testament that good times and bad times can be weathered together. Their marriage isn’t perfect, but it is perfect for them. They make me believe that love is possible. Not that Hollywood stuff, but the nuts and bolts, “don’t make me kill you”, “you’re the best thing that ever happened to me”, “these kids take after YOUR side of the family” kind of way. That dude is part of the glue that keeps us together.
Here’s to you Dad!