April 23, 2003

By Michael Strickland










My Father Midas

A pleasant bit of news appeared in my Inbox yesterday: my father announced that he and my mother had bottled their first batch of wine. As I wrote previously, I had the opportunity to taste this wine while it was still aging, and I have to say, my father has done it again. The 2002 "Patriots" Viognier (so named because it was pressed on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks) will be a palate-pleaser for friends and family, and who knows—perhaps it will win an award at the state fair.

My father has the Midas touch. He seems to achieve success in everything he does. He marched up the ranks at an underwater technology company, starting as an engineer and eventually assuming the role of company president. Not content with this achievement, he gave it all up to start his own underwater camera business in our garage. Expanding into ever-larger offices, he built a worldwide clientele and finally sold the company to retire to the Central Coast wine country. Time to kick back? No. He next devoted his energies to designing and building a dream house, a project that reached fruition in 1999. Did he now put his feet up and relax? No. When most retirees would have spent their days golfing, he learned a new craft. Planting 200 vines and constructing a small winery, he became a winemaker—from all indications so far, a good one.

Is he lucky? Perhaps he finds a little luck sprinkled here and there, but the recipe for his success has been a tried-and-true blend of hard work, drive and ambition. His work ethic is easily summed up by a plaque that sat on his desk throughout most of his career: "All things come to he who waits, so long as he who waits works like hell while he waits."

I consider myself fortunate (and proud) to have such an example to emulate. I have not (yet) achieved the same degree of success that my father did by my age, but I have admittedly not worked as hard either. But being raised by such a man taught me that if it is to be, it is up to me. And whenever I question whether fruitless efforts will ever bear fruit, I remember the words of Thomas Edison, which my father also proudly displayed on his desk: "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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4/22: Earth Day
4/21: Joshua Tree, Part III
4/20: Joshua Tree, Part II
4/19: Joshua Tree, Part I
4/18: Royal Flush
4/17: A Long Strange Trip
4/16: A New Line to Back
4/15: Still Writing
4/14: Conspiracy Theory
4/13: Los Coronados
4/12: Y2K in Y2K3
4/11: Slow Glass
4/10: Freedom of Speech
4/9: Why We're Fighting
4/8: Eucalyptus Memories
4/7: Sleep
4/6: Writing, Just Not Here
4/5: Sci-Files Trivia
4/4: Sobering Up
4/3: Great White Hope
4/2: Entropy
4/1: Peace on Earth
Previous months in The Archive

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