I don't think there is anything more beautiful than the water at sunset....
As Father's Day approaches, I am thinking of and remember my Dad, James Thompson...whom we, affectionately, began to call "Mr. T" after my older son, Brandon was born. When I was pregnant with Brandon, my Mother asked my Dad what name he would like the first grandchild to call him. My Dad, jokingly, replied, "Well, he can me what everyone else does....Mr. Thompson!" Ha! We'll, we didn't call him "Mr. Thompson," but because we laughed about it so much, we shortened it to "Mr. T" and it stuck. Brandon and all the future grandchildren called my Dad, "Mr. T" until the day he died in August of 2008. Funny thing....when I went to his retirement ceremony in the early 90's, I discovered that all of his friends and co-workers at Lockheed-Martin had began to call him "Mr. T." too! I got a kick out of it....
As I have been thinking about my Dad, I have been remembering some of the times we have spent together. As you know, if you have been following my blog, my Dad LOVED the water and fishing. He was raised in Winter Haven, Florida. His family lived in Winter Haven on a street called Lake Shipp Drive. (I am not sure why it was always spelled with a second "P") Their family home was a lakefront property, and my Dad began his lifelong passion of fishing and boating right there in his own backyard. This passion for the water and fishing continued until the day he died.
I can't tell you how many hours my Dad spent during his life fishing on the St. Johns or Indian River.....but, I can tell you it was a very significant part of his life. He always said, "Fishing is my therapy!" :)
As I shared before, as my Dad got older, he developed Parkinsons Disease. It became increasingly hard for him to get out on the water to fish due to the difficulties of getting in and out of his boat, etc. But, thanks to his friend, Bill, he continued to be able to go fishing up until the very end of his life. He would tell me many times....."Bill is my very best friend."
As I am remembering my Dad, one of the last times we spent around the water together comes to mind. My husband and I had not been living in Washington State very long....maybe a couple of years....and we came back to Florida to visit my family.
We always stayed with my parents when we visited so that we could spend time with them and help my Mother with the care of my Dad. At this point, my Dad couldn't drive anymore due to his condition. He loved to get out of the house and go places, though, and so my husband and I would always take him out on a long drive when we would visit. My husband would also take him for a "guys day" together....just the two of them. They would drive out by the river and see who was catching what or go to some of the places my Dad like to visit.
While my husband and I were visiting our family in Florida this particular year, we decided to take Dad for a drive. We drove along a street called Indian River Avenue in the little town they lived in. This street has a lot of older homes, some very historic, that face the Indian River. As you know, I grew up in Florida, and this is a drive I had made many times. No matter how often I drove down this scenic street, I always enjoyed it. You can see many palm trees and docks that look out to the water. It is just a very pretty drive.
As we drove along, my husband, my father, and I were chatting and enjoying being together. After driving down Indian River Avenue, we decided to go over to an area on the Indian River that my Dad used to go to launch his boat into the Indian River. We drove over to a spot where many cars park to gaze at the water. We parked our car facing towards the water so that my Dad could sit in the car and still see the water if it was too windy. If you have ever lived near the water, you know that it can be quite windy at times as the air comes across the water.
By the time we drove to this spot, it was almost sunset.... This was July and so there was a lot of activity out on the Indian River. Not only do you have a lot of boaters and fishermen out on the water, but you also have jet skis and, sometimes, windsurfers.
On this particular day, several people came out to try their hand at windsurfing as we were sitting by the water. I was happy to see them because it meant there would be a lot of activity for my Dad to see that day.
It wasn't too windy for my Dad, so we got out of the car and stood along the waterfront for a quite a while to watch the windsurfers.
Luckily, we had a small camera with us, so we were able to capture the moment on film. Looking at these photos, I so wish I had the camera that I now own as these photos would have been so much better! But, these photos represent a wonderful memory for me, and I feel blessed that I have them. Even though the quality could be so much better, the photos are very close to my heart. Here is a photo of me taken on this day by my husband. You can see one of the windsurfers behind me and as the sun begins to go down.
My Dad really enjoyed this afternoon. We had such a great time together appreciating the beauty of the sunset and the water.
Part of the reason that these photos are so dear to me is that this would be the very last time that my Dad and I would be on the Indian River together.
I wish I had a photo of the two of us together on the river.... But, I have the picture in my mind and forever in my heart. xoxo A great afternoon together..... The next photo is a picture of the view of the Indian River from my sister and her husband's condo in Florida. The dock in the photo is the one that she fishes out on sometimes and is the common dock for the condo owners. She has a great view of the launches from Kennedy Space Center from her condo. The white building you see across the water is the "VAB"---Vehicle Assembly Building out at the cape.
On one visit to Florida, my Dad and I went over to Fox Lake Park to fish together. My husband, son, Elliott, and grand-daughter, Brenna, were also there....
Next, a photo of the Indian River and the monument that my Dad's name is on. Many people used to go out to this area to watch space shuttle launches.... This is very close to the area where the windsurfer photos were made.
"Mr. T" fishing on the St. Johns River on a morning he went fishing with his friend Bill....
One of the last photos of my Dad taken when he was still able to go boating by himself. I made this photo of Dad on a day that he had taken his beloved red boat, "The Gambler," over to my Aunt's home in Kissimmee, Florida. My Aunt has a canal that goes behind her house. My Dad took my husband and I on a boat ride along the canal on this day. This is one of my favorite photos of my Dad because he loved this boat.
Thank you for visiting my blog today. I hope you have enjoyed the beautiful sunset photos and sharing the memories of my special day with my Dad. Have a "bluebird day" today.....which was my Dad's definition of a great day.
Click below to see a new music video that I love from Paul McCartney.... It features great and relaxing surfing and water footage by filmmaker, Jack McCoy.... Paul dedicated this song/video to the love of his life....Linda. I love Paul's tranquil, jazzy sound! The feeling of this video kind of goes along with my posting today..... Enjoy!
(below is the information about the video which appeared to give full credit to the makers. I make no money from the sharing of this video and am only sharing it because it appeared on public sites and I truly LOVE it! I hope you enjoy it, too, and go buy the CD....love it! I love Paul McCartney and had the pleasure of seeing he and Linda perform in Houston a few years ago.....)
Uploaded by AlohaJackMcCoy on Jun 8, 2011
Paul McCartney recruited award-winning surf filmmaker Jack McCoy to create a music video for his previously unreleased track "Blue Sway." Written nearly 20 years ago, McCartney's never-before released song, "Blue Sway," is available for the first time on the bonus audio disc of the special edition of McCartney II. The music video created by McCoy is also featured on the bonus DVD included in the set. McCartney II will be released on June 14th by MPL and Concord Music Group.
Jack McCoy has been capturing the surfing vision in a truly unique way. Using a high powered underwater jet ski, the filmmaker found that he was able to travel behind a wave, creating underwater images that have never been seen before.
Over the past couple of years, McCoy set out to capture footage for his surf film, A Deeper Shade of Blue. During the editing process, McCoy put one of his surfing sequences to a song off McCartney's The Fireman album. A mutual friend, Chris Thomas, saw the footage while visiting McCoy in Australia, and when he returned to the UK he gave McCartney a copy of the sequence.
"Paul was pretty stoked with what I'd created. He immediately thought my images might be suitable to go with his unreleased song "Blue Sway." said McCoy.
McCoy spent the next six weeks creating the music video, while also working full days on making A Deeper Shade of Blue. McCoy compiled and edited footage that he filmed off Tahiti's Teahupoo reef to create what became the "Blue Sway" video.
"When I saw Jack McCoy's underwater surfing footage put to the soundtrack of "Blue Sway" I was blown away," said McCartney.
"Blue Sway" won 'Best Music Video' at NYC BE FILM Short Festival this past May, and the video will be featured as part of Surfrider Foundation's summer PSA campaign. Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world's oceans, waves and beaches.
For more information about the McCartney II : http://concordmusicgroup.com.
For more information on Jack McCoy's A Deeper Shade of Blue: http://adeepershadeofblue.com
For more information on Surfrider Foundation: http://surfrider.org.