I made it to Los Angeles after a layover in Denver. I can't really describe the sensation I get from being here. It's almost a feeling of knowing that this is the last time I'll be coming to California unless it's for business or some really unforeseen reason. Maybe Allen will get married here, I don't know. Regardless, California is associated with all the different times I came here to visit with my dad and this will be the last time I do that.
I was thinking that what I might do during my visit is tell a story associated with my dad. I know I'll be thinking about them constantly during this visit so I might as well write about them. Before that, I should explain our relationship.
I would see my dad once every 4 years or so. We'd talk once a month, on the 17th. For the most part, we got along and we mostly reported how we were doing. He tell me that he wanted to move out of Santa Barbara and I'd laugh to myself as he's been saying that since I remember talking to him. Sometimes, he'd give me advice and sometimes I'd take it. Sometimes the conversations would be short, sometimes they'd be long. It all depended.
I don't really have a clear first memory of my dad. He came to visit when I was maybe 3 or 4. I know this through photos but not from memory. Really, what I distinctly remember are the arbitrarily random Christmas and birthday gifts I'd get when I was young. One of the more memorable was a 50-in-1 kit from Radio Shack.
These 50-in-1 kits were circuit boards that had common electronic components on them. It'd come with a book and a large group of wires. You'd look in the book for a project to work on, say a simple circuit that would produce an alarm when enough ambient light was around, and make it connecting the wires to the various components. At first, I was perplexed why he would get me something like this but eventually I made just about every project there was to and even experimenting with new ones. I can not begin to count the numerous hours I messed around with that kit. I kept that around for a many years until I moved to Kalamazoo but still it planted a seed that would later come back with my interest in fixing arcade games. The basic understanding of electronics came from that kit and I have him to thank for that.