Step into my tricked-out Hyundai...

Sunday, May 06, 2007


We lost my father on Wednesday afternoon.  His passing was very unexpected.  Here is a news story that seems to be pretty accurate.

The support we've received from the community here in Woodward has been very comforting.  We have a house full of food and flowers, and there's a constant stream of people at the front door to offer their sympathy.  It's been great to hear so many stories about the things dad has done for so many people.  I've heard many stories this week of courage, strength, and compassion displayed by my father that validates my hero-image of him.  However, I've also been amazed to learn the number of lives that he touched in profound ways.  Dad was the person that everyone wanted to be around in a crowded room and everyone admired.  He would lead groups into conversations that always had everyone laughing or just listening to him talk. 

He was a drill sergeant, dealt blackjack in Las Vegas, wrapped a Corvette around a tree, rode bulls, built street rods, rode a Harley at Sturgis, treasure-hunted off the coast of Honduras, traveled to almost 20 different countries, built the coolest mailbox you've ever seen, constructed a castle in his backyard, fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot, lived the oil boom, lived the oil bust, and married the love of his life.  Even with all this, it still seems his life was cut tragically short.  He had yet to slow down.

My father and I have always had a great relationship.  Over the last 6 or 7 years, it has gotten even better.  I have always gone to my dad for all types of advice... getting married, business partnerships, job changes, career changes, and just about any important decision I would make.  However, I always knew what his advice would be.  I knew him very well.  But, it was always so much more comforting to hear advice from him, even if I knew what he would say.  The thought of making important decisions for the rest of my life without him scares the hell out of me.

Even with him in the "oil orchard" and I "working with computers", we would always find so much to talk about.  Often when we would visit for a weekend, Dad would talk me into going on some oilfield-related trek with him.  Those were some of the best moments we've spent together.  Just driving down some county road in the panhandle of Texas laughing and talking.  I got to see his travel trailer where he spends his weekdays, meet his co-workers and friends, and of course see his cherished planes. 

After some initial anger and frustration, I decided I should not be upset about his pursuit of flying.  There was no stopping James McMurphy if there was something he wanted to do.  On more than one occasion recently, he has said he was living his life-long dream of becoming a pilot.  It's hard to be bitter about that, no matter what the outcome.

Dad, you haxxor, I love you and miss you terribly. 


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