Kirk Madison Hale
First of 11 children (5 brothers, 5 sisters)
His siblings are(in order of appearance): Kirk Madison, Jack, Christopher, George, Joel Craig, Jeanine Marcel, Robin Renee, Vivian Lovelace, Holly Sancerae, Courtessa Ann, and Mathew.
My dad is difficult to write about. It's like reading a historical mystery novel. He is a character that the reader leans in to watch, and watching provokes reaction, and reaction...leads..well it just always leads to something, usually trouble. There is mystery, drama, action, suspense and great dialogue. He gets bored and likes to mess with people.. wake 'em up so to speak. :-) That and he likes to blow things up.
I think Dad is basically neo-traditional. I see him as stoic, intelligent, clever, resourceful, practical, observative- house chores are for women. He doesn't think women should be heard doing anything so unlady-like as burping but it's okay to gun them down in paintball. Go figure. He's cool, loves his Guinness and Irish folk music, builds civil war cannons and is a leading member in the Landis Artillery Battery C.S.A. , a civil war reenactment group. He maintains the cannons and produces the rounds of ammunition, building everything from scratch including smithing his own fittings. This is his greatest and most recent past time obsession. I have to say, he's good at it. Damn good.
He went to Vietnam when he was 18. He worked at the downtown airport as an air traffic controller until his recent retirement. He is also a pilot. A great sport and up for a bit O' challenge and danger. He taught me and my brothers to technical climb from a young age. I think I was 8. Lots of camping trips, lemon heads and liquorice while hiking in the mountains of Colorado. Loved it, want more, am proud to have survived :-).
I Love my Dad. He makes me think and helps me build things.
He can make anything. My childhood was bathed in calamine lotion and healing creams from the fun we had making and testing various rides dad built for us in the back yard (a popular hotbed for poison ivy). We had a zip line, a hand welded sit and push merry-go-round, a tree house and jungle gym. Mini-bikes and Go-carts, hair spray driven tennis ball cannons and paintball kits. So cool- 25 cents for donation to the huge CO2 tank dad bought to refill the air cartridges for our paint guns. He had BOXES of different paint ball rounds manufactured from different places so we could test ourselves which were most accurate. Clever and fun :-)
Here we are (Mom is taking the picture), at Crestview park, the favorite place to test mini bikes, go-carts and model planes. It is the elementary school dad and siblings went to when they were little, and only a short walk from Grandma Hale's.
Dad helped me construct many an art project and encouraged me not to let difficulties detour me from taking on a huge project. Admittedly some got the best of me and lie, to date, unfinished. We all have our weaknesses.
I was never good with the machines either. I'm too aware of my mortality, i.e. nervous. I wanted to be otherwise, seeing the brothers excel with motor vehicles and mechanics but that's how it goes. I wanted to live and keep all my fingers and toes. He could wire electronics, woodwork, explosives, metalwork, build a car, build a house if he wanted. The pitfall to his talent is stubbornness. If he doesn't feel like working on it that day, no matter the urgency, forget it. It's on the list of retirement rules ;-). Requests are taken seemingly at random, much to mothers frustration.
So I present to you, if only the tip of the iceberg, My Dad. My Pops.
Love ya Dad. :-) XOXOXO