Radford Gregg is my dad, my patron, and my friend. During the hazy days of his passing, I’ve been attentive, guarding, loving, even annoying to help his separation or transition. Farewell Dad, I love you and will always remember the time we had together. The road was bumpy at times, smooth at most, but always wonderful and worthwhile. You provided for me in the helplessness of youth and after coming of age, your wisdom was a sturdy staff. I hope a quick journey for your spirit. You will live on through my memories, and I look forward to meet you again after my journey here ends.
In grade school, you borrowed a lung simulator (made from glass bottle, plunger, and balloons) from work, so I could enter a science fair. I got a first place ribbon. When my brother and I got in trouble for a five-finger discount at a drugstore, you stood by us before the judge. You made sure our sentence was fair.
As a sophomore in high school, I entered a contest to grow the best beard, and we argued on my late hours. You forced me to shave, but I think you were not ready for me to grow up. A few words and almost blows, we hugged and cried in the end.
At 16-years old, you helped me land my first job and gave me my first car. On the first day of the job hunt, I had three offers. To get to work, you gave me your old 1968 Buick Skylark. When I ran it into a telephone poll less than six months later, you shook your head and helped me finance another car. You weren’t sure when I chose a used Toyota, but you trusted my instincts enough to help me purchase it. When I was shopping for my latest vehicle, a Honda Element, I was obsessively cautious and hesitant to complete the purchase. Dad, you gave me some great advice, “don’t worry so much, it will not be the last car you buy.”
When I transferred colleges after 90 hours from TAMU to UTA, you said, “don’t worry just don’t give up”. In 1984, you bought me my first Macintosh. Instead of a standard business machine, you encouraged me to risk a more creative tool. This led me to a career in publishing technology and threads to a childhood dream of becoming a writer.
When I was uncertain about moving across the country to chase a job and to a city with a rich literary history, you encouraged me to go. Two thousand miles is a long way from home, but you said, “We’ll always be here. We’re just a phone call away.”
On trips home, you taught me about my families past, the Macgregor clan and your father’s history as a blacksmith. You taught me how to ride a horse and introduced me to Fort Worth’s rich heritage of horsemanship: events such as reining, cutting, and saving wild mustangs.
Thank you Dad. You will always be with me in the brightest day and in the darkest night–amidst my blissful moments or on any precipice of despair. If I see a mustang run wild, a corriente cow submit to rider’s rope, or a mesquite tree making its final stand, I will be thinking of you. Thank you for introducing me to my heritage and the friendly eyes of red roan horse. When I put on my cowboy boots I will always think of you.
To see Radford Gregg’s obituary, go to Fort Worth Star Telegram.