Dad would have been 94 next week…he didn’t quite make it.
He’ll be on my heart and mind this weekend. You’ll recognize some of what I’ve said about him before, but it bears repeating.
|Adam Rupert, Emma Rupert,
and Gordon Rupert (my dad)
The truth is, I wish I was half the man he was.
He was a roofer by trade, a cowboy at heart and a gentleman by nature.
For more than 50 years, he crawled over rooftops, and literally hung on the edge of danger. We figured over the years he made more than 100,000 treks up and down a ladder, often with bundles of shingles on his shoulder and tools strapped to his waist.
His skill, his honesty and his integrity won him many loyal customers and fed our family. His was a simple approach. He rarely hired a crew, choosing instead the lonely road of a dedicated craftsman.
|Who needs advertising when you drive this?
Advertising? His calling card was an old 1951 Chevy truck with a custom roof over the that he drove down the highway with a ladder strapped to the top. He was famous for that truck and regularly people would pull up at a stoplight, roll down their windows and ask him to come over.
He never cheated his customers. He always backed up his work. He always had a smile and gentle way that exhibited Christ’s love.
I remember sitting on a roof with my dad as a small boy, eating half his sandwich and stealing coffee from his Thermos. I would catch his grey eyes, staring off at some distant shore. Where ever it was, I wanted to be there with him.
He spoke slow, not wishing for words to complicate a situation that could be resolved with a smile.
He breathed many a silent prayer on those roofs, simple thanks for the blessings of living another day. Such was the way of my father.
Dad never made a lot of money. But I learned that work wasn’t just about getting ahead. It was about glorifying God through your labor. It was about a High Calling that didn’t have to be articulated, but was lived.
His ethics, his serenity and his faith lives on in his children.
Happy Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Life.
Dad, I miss you.
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