Re-establishing himself professionally was part of a larger change for Gary in the mid-90’s. His prior versions were replaced by a man who was always home and began spending more time with his sons. A basketball hoop received as a Father’s Day gift years prior starts to get heavy use with his two sons. Josh starts high school and spends more time with Gary now that he’s home more. Many changes occurred for his two sons as well. Nate finishes college and shortly after Josh leaves for college. Gary and Kathleen are empty nesters as his sons start to learn to be fully formed adults. With all this in motion, it also meant much change for Gary. With so much in flux for him, this time deserved a “version” all to itself. He went from a father to an “empty nester”. From employee, to self-employed. It was the beginning of a shift.
The end of the 90’s brought several memorable trips for Gary. He and Kathleen spent eleven days biking through the south of France. Gary had a deep love for baseball, starting from a very early age. In 1999, he and his son Josh toured the baseball stadiums of the Midwest, attending games in Milwaukee, Chicago (Cubs and White Sox), Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. It would be the only time he and Josh returned to Cincinnati, taking in many of the sights of their old neighborhood.
Around the World
(from Nate) In the fall of 2000, I was really miserable with my job. 70+ hour weeks and a pile of stress and I began re-evaluating what was really important. Plus, I absolutely love to travel so I an idea began forming. After some “feeling it out” discussions, I bought a world map and my (very) good friend Jeb Burke and my father got together on his back porch. With the map in front of us, we posed the question: “where do you want to go?”
My Dad needed to get out of the house. I needed to get out of the country. With that simple beginning, we took a flight east from Minneapolis, and kept heading that direction until we got back. Our stops included: Paris, Istanbul (was Constantinople), Tel Aviv, Cairo, Bangkok, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
The memories from that trip would fill up this site, so I’ll share some I’ll always remember:
- Touring the pyramids in Egypt and the photos of my Dad and I there
- Spending lots of time with local south Vietnamese and having the privilege of witnessing such gratitude towards my father from a local man who fought in the war
- The gratitude my Dad felt for having the opportunity to go on this trip. By the time we got to Tokyo – he had no specific needs to go sightseeing – he just enjoyed being together
- He also taught me the value of just stopping and enjoying each-other’s company. After a couple of sightseeing stops, he’d always say “OK, it’s time for a beer”. A lot of good conversations.
I will always treasure this time with my father.
Working From Home
(from Josh) – What a difference it was coming home to Dad everyday. Although he was and will always be my father, he became a really close friend during this time. First thing I’d do once I was in the house was sit on the bench in his office and say “what do you want to do?” Some days more work remained for him, but many days followed with basketball in the front yard or heading to the nearest park to alternate who pitched and who hit. We’d have contests to see who could hit the longest ball. Turns out neither of us could hit a ball any notable distance, but we enjoyed years of trying.
(from Nate) Erin and I started dating in late 1998, but by then – she was already part of the family. From the beginning I knew, Erin was absolutely the ‘diamond in the rough’. Erin and I got married in mid-2002 and who better than to be my best men than my father and my brother.