Friday, May 14, 2010

In Memory of my Dad - Calvin Steussy, MD

Click the box to the right...
Donate to Flight ...

On this emotional week I was floored when I realized my family had asked for donations to Flight in memory of my Dad.

My Dad was excited by the prospect of following my bike ride across America with his grand-daughter, Al.

And he enjoyed stories of our Land we have protected through the Red-tail Conservancy where the Flight money goes.

- with the old barn we restored...

...the prairie we burned..

..and the oak tree we planted named for Dad so many years ago.

We've gotten some wonderful donations already...

Randy - When Randy first came to town as a young doctor Dad took him under his wing and taught him everything he knows...

....about tennis.

Paulina Pizarro - sister of Norma, the lovely artist who married my brother Chris.

Shelley Newby - another dear friend - she walked from Indiana to Washington DC.

She knows for herself the adventure of crossing the country open to wind and weather.

Sam Mahin - my childhood friend and fellow voracious reader.

Sam and I read Gone with the Wind a dozen times when we were kids together on Hosier Drive and would challenge each other to quotes from our favorite book.

I appreciate so much these donations to help land trusts protect land and family farms all over this country.

But I have my own personal way to commemorate my Father.

I'm buying him a septic system.

There was no land more precious to my Father than the family farm up in New Glarus Wisconsin where his family has owned a farm for 160 years.

He has recounted many times the stories of when he was as a child one Christmas and had blurted out - that's not Santa Claus! That's Uncle Nick!

...or the adventurous time he rode his pony, Buddy, from Madison to the farm.

At the farm is the wonderful old farmhouse where Uncle Nick dressed up as Santa Claus and Dad's sister Mary had her beautiful wedding.

The old farmhouse sits empty most of the year now.

A few relatives visit during the summer.

It needs repairs.

Most of all, it needs a septic system.

So in honor of this great man I am giving money to the family farm to put towards a septic system for this grand old house.

When Sam and I would quote Gone with the Wind I had my favorite...

"Land is the only thing that lasts, Katie Scarlett O'Hara.
'Tis the only thing worth livin for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for...

Because it's the only thing that lasts."

I think that love of the land is a heritage I gained from my dear old Dad.

...for the land.
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