Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy 90th, John!

          We celebrated a very special birthday on November 21st!  Steve and I traveled to Illinois for his Dad's 90th birthday....a birthday that Hallmark celebrates with only one choice of a "Happy 90th" card!  I guess that means it's a rare occasion in one's life.

           John Addler is one of those "rare" people.  He is an amazing person.  He was born in 1920, one of 4 kids to Mabel & John Sr.  He graduated from Manual High School in Peoria IL in 1938. 
This is a bicycle he made with a friend!

          He went to work at Caterpillar, leaving for a period to join forces in the Navy during the war.  He and his brother, Bill, were both in the service, which must have been a very tough time for his Mom. 

Bill & John 1944

          They came home from the war and John returned to Caterpillar, where he retired in 1979.  We always tell the story of our son, John, when he was very young, asking Grandpa if he ever worked!  Our John never knew Grandpa John with a job...he thought he was just made to fish and golf!  And he has fulfilled those "retirement" occupations well.  He plays golf every single day that he can...and he plays like a pro!  Our oldest, Max, grew up to be a golf pro and I can't help but think that his grandpa had some influence over him!  And Sam is not afraid to tackle any repair job, big or small, so we just know grandpa had a hand in that confidence!  Sam followed Grandpa around at the resort when he was only 8, watching him fix whatever needed fixing!

          We bought our resort in 1987 and John has been here every single spring and fall since then.  In our early years at the resort, he came to work in the spring...with my Dad.  One spring, Steve assigned them both the job of painting the pool.  I only wish I had pictures of that day!  We laughed so hard.  The old pool had a very steep slope from the shallow end to the deep end...so those crazy guys tied themselves to each other and painted...we all knew that if one fell, the other one would follow...but it was just funny watching them paint, thinking they were both "safe and secure" with that flimsy rope!  The next spring neither one of them showed up early enough to paint the pool...I guess we burned them out in one year!  They both quickly learned their jobs...John called my Dad "Sparky", because he did all the electric work, priding himself on not turning the power off...and getting shocked good a time or 2!  My Dad called John "Plumb", because he was the water guy...taking care of dripping sinks every spring and fixing water leaks...they worked well together for several years!

            We've had some great stories from Grandpa John over the years.  A few years ago, Grandpa made this comment that we've shared many times since then.  He said, "I always thought computers were going to be a fad; but, then again, I thought that about cars too!"  Our kids never laughed so hard when he told them that!  Several years ago, a friend of Grandpa's cancelled his week, but called from the hospital to re-book the cabin for the following year...this guy, Perce, was approaching 90 at the time.  Steve was amazed that he was concerned about his cabin at his age...when Grandpa commented, "At my age, I won't even buy green bananas!"  The stories just never end!

           The blessings we have had with this man in our lives for so many years is that all of our grandkids,
his great-grandkids, know him very well.  Even Jill, who's 20 months old, sees his picture and says "grandpa addler".  What a delight!    He has taken his great-grandsons fishing, just like he did with his grandsons...and granddaughter...many times. 

 This fall, John had some great fishing stories...and these pictures prove it!

These pictures are 2 of my favorites...these little guys love their Grandpa "ADD"eler, as they call him...

We think Nathan & Great-Grandpa look so much alike with their glasses on!

Ben and Great-Grandpa at the beach

He also became the Master at "playhouse" building...reading the instructions for this playhouse and becoming the "Head Contractor" for building this popular attraction at the resort this summer!

          How can I say enough about this wonderful man??  He's a gift from God that we have been blessed with...and we can all only strive to be like him!  He takes such good care of himself, but he knows these physical bodies don't last forever.  He knows where he's going and he's not afraid.  His faith is an example to his entire family.  We all love him and his kids all got to share his 90th birthday cake with him!  And it was a yummy Dairy Queen cake...

The John Addler family - November 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!  We think you'll be celebrating with many more
Dairy Queen cakes!
We love you!


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