Andy was a devout Subgenii. He proudly gave his $30 and decided to call himself “Rev Andy Watrhog” He was one of the most subversive and ridiculous people I ever knew. And we all loved him for it. He was brilliant and nutty, which is the best combination for a candy bar, he was delicious! He could talk for hours about religion and politics with anyone who thought they could withstand the challenge, and he always seemed to be the last man standing in the debate. He was also the most tolerant and understanding guy you could imagine. He always saw the best in people, even if he disagreed with them on a profound level, always giving the benefit of the doubt. In times where most of us would be frustrated with people and situations, Andy would have great patience and see situations and disagreements out, and at the end giving a big hug to his opponent and tell them that they probably have much more in common and it was too bad those parts never came up. He would wear ladies bathing suits and make giant art pieces dedicated to “BoB”, which I still possess. Andy showed me that you can be opposed to Religion, but still act religious for comedy’s sake. It was always fun to tell “pinks” of our religious beliefs about “BoB’ and talk to then with a stone cold poker face. I always loved the reactions. Most of the time, I would have to leave because I would start to crack up, but not Andy. He played it dead straight until the person would leave in complete horror, and he would have the silliest grin. The best times ever!

I have a Dobbs Head tattoo on my arm dedicated to him along with the Wings of Slack!
He was so much fun. I miss him.

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Good idea to start a discussion.

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When I was about 13 or 14, my mother and I spent nearly a whole day looking through my mother's old photo albums. She shared stories and events behind the pictures, and I enjoyed it a lot. The experience helped me learn more about my mother as more than just my mother, as a friend, a colleague, and an independent woman. I treasure that experience.
My aunt had suffered with schizophrenia for most of her life. She was diagnosed while she was still a teenager, and we're talking late 60s-early 70s when hardly anyone understood that stuff. As a result, she never received the proper care - or at least the care she deserved to give her a chance at life. She spent most of her's being shuffled from one doctor to the next, in and out of the state hospital...having breakdowns, hallucinations, hearing voices....suffering more than anyone human being should. And yet she loved and laughed. She laughed all the time. And most importantly, she loved me more than anything in the universe. I grew up around her, we spent endless hours talking and playing, walking to the park, buying pop and pretzels at the convenient store near our home. She would buy me cheap little toys with the little social security money she had. She loved me. And I loved her. I will never stop loving her. Ever.

Aunt Lorraine, I'm so sorry I never called you back. I would do anything to talk to you one more time. I hear your voice in my head saying, "it's alright, sweetheart" but it's not the same. I want you back...I am so sorry we didn't hang out more these last few years. Grandma died, you moved, I moved...we moved apart in general. I had such a miserable time with the depression, I don't know how much you really knew about that. Oh god, I wish I could tell you everything now. If I could have one more conversation with you, even just two minutes, I could forgive myself. You were loved dearly and you will never be forgotten. I know you're in peace now; you're finally free from everything that held you back on earth. You're finally free.
I lost my father October 1, 2009. He was the greatest man I have ever known. These are my memories.

I remember it was sunny, i wore a yellow jacket, there were mud puddles, the grass was bright spring green, he wore a flannel shirt, his hair was brown, it was long, tied back in a ponytail. I was watching his every move.

I remember brown carpet, there was a wood pile in the corner, there was company over, i wore purple pants, the music was loud, CCR looking out my backdoor, he wore sweats, his hair was brown, it was long, tied back in a ponytail. He bounced me on his knee.

I remember yellow cupboards, a window, a white stove, banana flavored medicine, i was in pjs, he thought he picked out a good flavor, i choked it down with a smile on my face, his hair was brown, it was long, tied back in a ponytail. He was always there when i was sick.

I remember a narrow kitchen, blueberries, flour, sugar, a small loaf pan, my hair was long, his hair was brown, my mom and sister were watching tv in the living room, he was so excited. He was an amazing cook.

I remember a drafting table, drafting tools, a black chair, a yellow desk, a ton of books, i was sitting in the corner, he was drafting the plans for the house. I watched his every move.

I remember a glass table, blue chairs, a ton of colored feathers, we were talking about biology, my hair was long, his hair was brown, it was short, he wore a navy blue short sleeved sweatshirt. I watched him make flies.

I remember a glass table, blue chairs, a stack of books and papers at one end, an ammo box and other things that i do not know, maybe a balance, and a triangle shaped thing, the smell of gunpowder, we were talking about religion. I watched him make ammo.

I remember going camping, driving through the woods, an old ford truck, not being able to use the real tent, laughing at him making a tent out of an old blue tarp, he wore navy blue sweats, he had brown hair. It poured that night. I was amazed that everything stayed dry.

I remember digging the foundation of the house with a shovel, mixing the cement in a wheelbarrow, he was angry that day, i miscalculated the force of the cement when i threw it into the wheelbarrow full of water, it splashed all over him, i couldn't help but laugh. He was so mad.

I remember writing a letter to the justice department, i was 10, i wrote about corruption in the county we lived in, i cited every law i knew was broken, he backed me up. He taught me to stand up for what i believe in.

I remember refusing to stand for the pledge of allegience, i was in 5th grade, i caused an "outrage", i insisted it was my right, he backed me up. He taught me what it meant to be free.

I remember coming home from school to find random people working at our house, my dad picked these people up from off the street and helped them, he was generous with everything he had. He taught me not to judge.

I remember waking up at 4 in the morning to the sound of music, neil young harvest moon, and the sound of the saw, he had been up all night working on the house, i got up and sang along with him. He taught me the benefits of hardwork.

I remember white walls with big barn wood trim, blue carpet, a big hallway, my sister was there, he was taking turns spinning us around and around, his hair was long again. He taught me how to have fun.

I remember wrecking my moms brand new car, i just turned 16, i was with a couple friends, i hit the gas instead of the brake, big mistake, i was scared to come home, parents had company, i told them someone ran into me, my dad calmly told me what happened, and told me never to lie again. He taught me to always be honest.

I remember graduating high school, he was so proud, his hair was grey, he would never admit it at the time though. He was more excited than i that i would be starting college in the fall. He taught me i could do great things.

I remember coming to him when I found out I was 19 and pregnant. He took me back in, his hair was grey, he loved me none-the-less. He taught me how to overcome obstacles.

I remember driving down the road, i lived in VA, i checked my voicemail, his message was: Hello, it is a cool and calm morning, the temperature is 67 degrees, the wind is blowing north,northeast, (some other reference to the sun, or weather, or whatever) How is it where you are at. He taught me to be observant.

I remember him driving me home to VA when i had visited for christmas because we had too much stuff and i had a newborn baby, he didn't want me to drive alone, he insisted i carried a walky talky so we could stay in constant communication, hailey cried the whole way, he suggested i play one of his indian music cds, it worked, she went right to sleep. He taught me how to have patience.

I remember making spaghetti sauce, picking the tomatos from the garden, sending the girls out to pick the herbs, scalding the tomatos, it took us all day. He taught me good things come to those who wait.

I remember moving back home after i had been on my own for a while, it was hard, me and my dad fought a lot, i left without a word to anyone, angry at him. I learned that my dad was only human.

I remember getting the call to tell me he had a massive stroke, i was at hardees with jayme, there were three guys in front of us in the line, i don't remember how i made it home, i lost a part of myself that day that i will never get back, so did he, he never was the same.

I remember going back home after he had his stroke. everything had changed, we stood in the kitchen one day, he took my ipod, turned it to neil young, sang and danced along to rockin in the free world. He taught me to smile in the face of adversity.

I remember him on my wedding day, he was so happy for me, he knew i had finally found someone special. He taught me how to live.

I remember him the day before i left for japan, he was so glad i was getting this experience, he was sad i was leaving, he wanted to know when i would be home again. He taught me where home really is.

I remember calling to tell him we were pregnant with ava, he said "oh boy, that was quick" he absolutely adores all of his grandchildren, i remember telling him that when we get home she will be crawling all over him.

I remember getting the call that he has brain cancer. I was in the kitchen, i wore a blue shirt, i was 8 months pregnant, we weren't sure how bad it was. the last thing he will teach me is that death is part of life.

I remember coming home again, sitting at the table, listening to neil young, he was in his wheel chair, he had a scar on his head, he seemed happy to listen to the music, I watched him and silently cried.

I remember taking him for the day to get his old jeep fixed, he seemed to be so happy to be "out on his own", he loved that jeep.

I remember helping him cook his own dinner, he put cheese whiz on his pork, he cooked his own dinner, I was proud, he ate it all.

I remember when I left him at the airport, I hugged him as he stroked my hair, he knew it was the last time he was going to hold his baby girl.
I miss him so much..
I was thinking about Preston during this holiday season and wanted to share a story. It was Christmas 2007 and Preston came to me to inquire about Santa Clause. "Daddy", he began, "Does Santa Clause come in through there?" pointing at the fireplace. I know and understand both views on the subject of what to say about Santa to your kids. But I didnt want to lie to my son under any circumstance, so the dancing around the issue began. "Thats how the story goes", I replied. "How does he get in there?" he questioned. I told him through the chimney. "Show me", he demanded. So we took a short stroll until we were outside on the deck. I directed his attention to the small lidded screen perched atop of a flue (a pipe about 5 inches in diameter) sticking out of a build out from the house that is about forty feet off the ground. Who would ever buy this I thought. "He comes in through there?" he prodded as he looked at me with scrunched up eyebrows. I smiled and said, "that's what they say". He turned toward the door to relieve himself of the cold winter day, grabbed the door handle, looked at me and said, "that's crazy!" and proceeded into the house. I laughed and said, yes it is, isn't it?

Hope everyone's holidays are wonderful!

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