You’re welcome, interwebs. #PumpkinPi
You’re welcome, interwebs. #PumpkinPi
Because so many asked, here are the words I prepared for my dad’s memorial service on Oct 11, 2013. Thanks to everyone who shared their sympathies and made this otherwise unbearable week a lot easier on us. The “plumber in a tie” will be missed by many.
Everyone who knows our dad, Ted, would agree on one thing: while he could often be reserved, he was an extraordinarily passionate guy. As we celebrate his life today, I’d like to talk about some of his passions and his legacy of lessons they’ve provided for everyone in this room who loves him.
For most of his life, most people knew Ted Huhn as “the plumber in the tie.” Not only did he display a lot of pride in his unique wardrobe – especially his pocket protector – the driving force for most his life was, as he liked to put it: to protect the health and safety of Kentucky.
For as long as I can remember, dad has shown us hundreds of piles of dirt and rocks that he helped to transform into the hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants, and churches that serve as the infrastructure of our lives. His lifelong selfless devotion to our community can be seen all around us, and every single one of us has benefitted from my dad’s unwavering passion for keeping our water and sanitation systems safe and clean. His motto always was, “we install the best and repair the rest.”
Another way I spent countless hours of my adolescence was on the sidelines of his favorite pastime: football. First as a youth coach and then as a referee for decades, he showed countless young men that you don’t have to be the tallest, fastest or strongest in order to win – he certainly wasn’t any of those! But instead, he taught us that when you concentrate all your energy at the right place at the right time, you could break through any obstacle or knock any imposing linebacker on his ass.
His ability to be objective and rational made him a great ref, but it always came with the side effect of half the stadium cursing at him. And like any good ref, no matter how much we disagreed with his call, he reminded us that he was always right anyway. His dedication to the art and science of football leaves us all with a heightened sense of discipline, perseverance, and working together as a team to overcome any trick plays that life sends our way. Each and every day is a brand new first and 10. And he would remind us that how we decide to march down the field is a team decision.
While he spent an inordinate amount of time on his professional passions, everyone knows he did all of this in order to provide for his real passion: vacation with his family. He LIVED for vacation with his family. It was a break from all the stresses and obligations he had to deal with, and his child-like sense of wonder for new destinations and adventures was downright comical. Even though our first family vacation in 1988 offered all the misery Florida had to offer, my parents decided then and there that these departures from the norm would be a necessary cornerstone of the rest of our lives.
Whether we were whitewater rafting in Wyoming, horseback riding in Arizona, or hiking around the beaches and mountains of North Carolina, we traveled together far and wide, each time creating amazing memories as well as many of the pictures we see around us here today.
When dad decided our next trip would be to his dream destination of Bora Bora, Mom rejected this idea quickly because she couldn’t imagine spending a whole week on “some damn island.” So we went to Hawaii instead. It was there that we made some of his favorite memories as we soared over an active volcano in a helicopter and, at night, saw more stars in the sky than we could have ever imagined.
Even though on many occasions he was hunched over blueprints or on the phone for hours on end, the adventures we shared together on our vacations are priceless treasures that many in our extended family got to enjoy with us as well. I know Mom still thinks I’m ridiculously insane for spending a long weekend in Cuba or, for Thanksgiving, spending time in Turkey – the country, not the dinner – just as a joke. But these vacations have instilled in all of us a spirit of adventure and the important ability to improvise in any situation. Thanks to all of you that made his dreams come true every time we enjoyed trips with him to Thunder Over Louisville, Cardinal Stadium, Orlando, and all points beyond.
I know I said he LIVED for vacation. But I’d caution that working tirelessly and stressing yourself out for 51 weeks a year might not be the best way to cherish the 1 week a year you might have to enjoy more completely with those you love. To honor dad today and forever, let’s resolve to take time to always enjoy the little things in our busy lives… the cookouts, the phone calls, the visits, and even the silly chain-letter emails he’d send to let us know he still cares.
Sometimes we’re surprised by how quickly the play clock can expire, so let’s make the most of the time this team has together.
So tomorrow morning when we take our first sip, flush or shower, let’s salute the passions of the “plumber in a tie” and give thanks for another “first and 10” as well as his reminder to appreciate and be grateful for every adventure our in lives.
Spend tonight outside
I love this time of year #derby
It only gets brighter from here #winter #solstice #madewithOver
Oh no! (at Orlando International Airport (MCO))
Good night, Louisville (at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory)