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Happy Father’s Day: 63 Years of Memories

Happy Father’s Day to all the daddy’s out there!  If anyone follows me on twitter you might remember that my dad has had some health issues these past two years so I wanted to do something really special for him this year to let him know all of his friends and family are thinking about him and care so so much!

I thought it would be so fun to get a memory, photo, or story from the past and incorporate it into one giant memory book.  I got this idea from Pinterest.  And the way I’ve seen most people do it is to put each memory in a letter.  But my dad is different.  He’s a neat freak and is known for his organizational habits.  Everything I’ve ever done my dad has made me a book, with tabs to organize all of my documents.  So what better way than to present his 63 Years of Memories than to organize it into a book for him!  Right? 

I reached out to each of my dad’s friends and family via Facebook and some emails I had.  I sent them this email below.

Hello everyone!
If you’re receiving this
email, you probably know that my dad, Cliff Wright, is turning 63 this year
(much as he would hate me to be reminding everyone, I’m sure.  So enjoy this opportunity to piss him off.) To celebrate his birthday, I’d like to put together a little surprise to
let him know that we are thinking of him. I’m going to try and create “63 Years
of Memories” by filling 63 envelopes with a memory his friends and family
have of him. 
And this is where you come
If you have a spare moment in
the next few days, I would be so grateful if you’d jot down a favorite memory
you have of my dad or some awesome pictures. It doesn’t have to be anything
fancy — you can just write it down on a piece of paper and sign your name. You
can mention anything you like — although the more nostalgic the better! Please
absolutely feel free to send more than one memory (in fact, I welcome it — I’ve
got 63 envelopes to fill!), but make sure you write them on different pieces of
paper (and sign your name to each) so we can split them up.
Thank you so, so, so much for
participating — I know everyone is busy with their own lives, and I do appreciate
you taking a few minutes to do this; it will be so worth it when he reads all
the memories people have of him!
don’t forget to keep it a surprise until then, though!  Remember even Mom doesn’t know so
PS.  Feel free to pass this to anyone you
think would like to join just make sure they know how to keep a secret!
Thank you so much again.
You can mail all letters to:
*obviously enter your own address here… I watch Law and Order and I’d rather not have you standing outside my house.  No offense. 😉
If you’re in a time crunch you can always scan your memory and
email it to:
Your email
Subject: 63 Years of Memories


It took awhile to get all the responses in but boy did I get some good stories!  Fraternity brothers, family, my friends, and even some softball players my dad used to coach.  It was great!  I hole punched everything and organized it into a book.  

I was going to give it to him for his Birthday but that’s not until November and with all the hospital stuff I wanted the cheering up and support to come sooner so I knew Father’s Day would be the perfect day!  

I gave him the book and knew he was blown away!  He was a little shocked I wanted to sit down and have him read each one aloud but mom loved it and chimed in frequently with her recollections.  Dad was a little hesitant to read the stories from his frat brothers because you just know they had a blast together and well.. I’ve been to college…. I know how it goes.  But they were all great and so funny!  

He read each story and then added his own memories from that time and couldn’t believe his friends remembered these things.  He never knew how much he was appreciated and loved so I’m so glad so many of his friends and family participated!  He’s a very humble modest guy so it was so nice to hear these memories!  He’s even told me he’s re-read these letters several times and the book is really special to him.  

There were a couple of themes I gathered from the letters:

1.  My dad always brings the party and bad habits.  He’s known for providing all the alcohol, wine glasses, and cigars for every party, staying up late, and jamming out to loud music (usually the Allman Brothers).  Probably how he became a Wine Importer and Spirits Distributor.

2.  He was President of his fraternity (Kappa Sig), master of ceremonies, a guard, played football, wrestled, and was really respected.  Being 6’8 and 250 lbs he was never hazed or picked on even though many tried.  There were many stories about the many failed attempts.  He also built the float (among many other things: pools, houses, etc.) for my mom’s sorority (Phi Mu) and they won!

3.  He’s always going above and beyond to make any occasion, trip, or event special and he’s always over prepared.  (I remember going to spring break in college with my friends and as soon as we got to our hotel in the Bahamas there was a basket of fruit, 2 bottles of champagne, and a cake that said ‘No Drinking Home By Dark’ from my smart ass dad).  It was so special and my friends and I really loved it. 

I get a lot of these traits from him and couldn’t be more proud to be related to such an amazing dad!

In a way, I’m sort of sad that this project is over because it was so much fun collecting all of these memories, many of them occurring years before I was even born.  I realized all of the people from his past, weirdly, slowly but surely had a huge impact and put into action the sequence of events that led to my life as I know it.  So this was also a great gift to me!  Getting to know my dad in a different way and learning more about his past.  Random trips that started in college ended up with him buying time share which ultimately I have today and I’ve known as our yearly family vacation my entire life.  All from a random college weekend trip.  The puzzle pieces fitting together are great!

My dad has definitely made an impact on so many people.  And it turns out, you can make a lot of memories in sixty three years. And then, if you’re lucky, you can relive them all over again.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!  I love you!  

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