Nothing Left, to Say...

Where We Shed Light on the Right, We respect governance by the 2C's, Common Sense and the Constitution, where we never have anything say...We are also the home of the (almost) weekly Rant and Recipe...

Friday, June 23, 2006

I know things have been scarce around here of late but besides the obvious distractions of what's been transpiring in Reno that any of you watching the news ought to know about, I've also been taking a couple of accelerated summer courses and now most recently, I've lost a dear friend. So stick with me this once folks while I pay tribute to Earl Upton, Oakland Police Department, Ret., Judo Master, former Coast Guardsman, pool shark and poker guru, friend and most all, my surrogate father for the last 20 years.

What do you say when you lose your father? My own father died when I was 8. Of him my memories are few but precious. For the past 20 years, Earl Upton was my father and now he is gone. Of him my memories are thousands and just as precious. Earl gave me direction and discipline and love, although some might think that all night poker games are a strange place to find these qualities.

Earl was a gambler but only when he had the best of it. In 1986 Earl took a gamble on a 23 year old with no real direction in life. Chief I hope today that you are happy with the results of that bet, because I certainly am grateful and indebted to both you and Betty.

I read recently that each man seeks to assure his immortality and if this is true, Earl you achieved that in spades. When I called the Oakland Police Association to tell them of your passing, the officer who answered the phone remembered you as his Defensive Tactics Instructor from 30 years ago. He called you a gentle giant and said he remembered well that you were slow to anger and always seeking justice, not vengeance.

Earl, without you and the direction you gave me I would not have the career I do, my wife and two children. They will both come to know you because I will tell them. Whenever I watch an A's game with my son, or tell my children about putting bad guys away or whenever I play cards with them, you will be there. Whenever I walk into work you will be there and whenever I play a little poker myself, I hope you are there to kibbitz for me. Earl your immortality is assured by God and by our own memories of you and both are the consequence of being the great man you were.

When I first received that terrible phone call early last Sunday morning I was hurt and angry. I lay awake all night wondering at the cruel irony of losing the man who had been my father for 20 years, on Father's Day. Later that day, after many tears I realized that I was wrong to be angry and instead I gave thanks to God for having brought Earl into my life.

Goodbye Chief, until we meet again...I love you...



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