Happy Fathers day 2016! Today is the day we recognize fathers. Sure it’s a bit of hallmark created day but if you take a moment to truly reflect you will realize that father’s are damn important. I am really lucky as I have two fathers, my father Dan Lickly and my stepfather Jack Kennaday, both M.I.T. grads. More on that later….
I talked to both today, (as all good children should!) And my father recalled a story I had to share. It was circa 1965, my father and Bard Crawford were heading to Houston for another meeting (they went a lot back in the day), they were on Eastern Airlines.
Anyone remember Eastern? I am only going to bore you with a little history, (care of wikipedia) as it actually ties back to the whole space thing. Eastern was originally headed by World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker think scarf blowing in the wind…. see my earlier post. Labor disputes and high debt loads strained the company in the late 1970s and early 1980s under the leadership of former astronaut Frank Borman. ( See astronaut!!)
So, back to the flight, Bard and my father were flying from DC to Houston sitting in the back of the plane when they heard someone called out, “hey, how are you guys doing?” they both looked up to see John Glen in the aisle. At that time, John Glenn was somewhat of a celebrity as he was the first American to orbit the Earth. He remembered my father from previous meetings. He then shook their hands, sat down and chatted up a storm. When he finally left, Bard looked at my father and asked him “what was that all about?” Dan just shook his head, “I don’t know”. Then Bard looked at my father and said, He is probably going into politics when he is done”. In 1974 John Glenn was elected to the Senate where he served until 1999.
Right about that time Glenn was elected, Jack Kennaday visited Boston and looked up some old friends. He was looking for Dan and my mother Ellie, but they had divorced and he found only Ellie. The rest is history. Back when I was in college, I was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, strongly influenced by both Dan & Jack as they were in a fraternity at M.I.T. At the Hobart chapter of Sigma Chi, tradition held that at the end of the year at the fraternity, there were farewell speeches during our last house meeting. I used to enjoy playing mind games with my fraternity brothers with the following story. I would say, “look around the room guys, and let me tell you a story. You see, I have two fathers, both of whom went to M.I.T. They graduated a year apart. Oh yeah, they knew each other too, you see, they were in the same fraternity with each other and even roomed together for a short time. So take a good look…. ”
Oh yeah, I am a father now, to the most gorgeous, brightest, precocious girl just like all our kids!
Happy Fathers Day!