Thursday, April 2, 2009

Leif & His Dad - Highland Park, Illinois - June 1, 1987 - Age 12

Leif and his dad spent a lot of time together throughout Leif's life, much more than many children get to be with their fathers, and we have so many photos of all the times we spent together at home, on outings, hikes, trips, special occasions. His dad was always there. Leif looked up to and respected his dad and Peter W. loved his sons deeply. You can always see that love and protectiveness in the photos, where his arms are around his sons.

Leif also felt he was very different from his dad and that his dad didn't understand his lifestyle and choices, which was true in some respects, particularly his obsessions with weapons, fast vehicles and beer and his irresponsible spending. There were many conversations and letters between us (probably even more often from me) about our concerns over these things, and for a time in his early adulthood, Leif felt he was nothing like his father. However, after he came back from the army and lived near us again, he began to see character traits and mannerisms that were very like his father and at least for those, he embraced that. I wish he had been able to also embrace his father's thriftiness.

Leif and Peter W. lived together in Florida for eleven months during the period when I was still in Kansas finishing up a work contract, figuring out how to move Ravenstone Press, helping my mother move to Florida, and selling the houses. They were both lonely, Peter W. without me being there all the time (though we saw each other ever five weeks) and Leif without a wife or girlfriend (or even friends), so they appreciated each other's companionship.

This photo was taken June 1, 1987, the day that Peter Anthony graduated from Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois. Peter W. was 44 and Leif was 12. Note the "signature" sunglasses. I don't think he had discovered Oakleys yet, but he was always into cool, stylish sunglasses. I you look at the photo I posted yesterday, you can see how astonishingly Leif shot up in height in four years. By the age of 12 he was already his Dad's height and by 13 he was 6' 1" tall! He was always the tallest kid in his class.

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