My Stepfather, Harold Franklin Easton, passed away on October 18th, 2018, and I still can’t get my head around it. I loved the man, and looked up to him and respected him. Though we were not exactly inseparable, I have always felt that we were pretty close for a Stepfather and Stepson. Even so, that seemed to change a bit after I left for the Navy. This was equal parts my fault and his, but since he is now gone and I am still here to perseverate on the matter, I cannot help but blame myself for this. I could kick myself for all the chances I wasted to learn from him and to just spend time with him.
Dad was a Jack of all trades, and a Master of none (save for education, in which field he was literally a Master’s degree holder). But having a Master’s in Education isn’t the kind of trait that you can pass on to a child. Carpentry, guitar playing, instrument making, travel, lawn care, home renovation, people watching…these things are all examples of traits that I may have picked up from him, had I only shown an inclination. It’s a mistake that I will never be able to correct.
I still have furniture in my home that Dad built in his garage, as does every member of our family. It’s just something that he always contributed to the family. It was one of many things that made him so great…and one of many that I have failed to inherit. Dad had a way of touching the lives of all whose paths crossed his own. To this day I admire him for that!
Anyway, this isn’t meant to be written as a tragedy. The truth is, I have enjoyed sorting through this collection of vinyl albums from my Dad’s youth. In fact, I’ve added every album to a special playlist in Apple Music called “Dad’s Record Collection.” I’m listening to it right now.
Dad was a musician, and for a short while I could call myself one too. We had that in common, for sure, and perhaps it is because of him and, by extension, because of this record collection, that I grew so attached to music. Nearly everything I do in life is set to its own soundtrack these days, because I do everything better, and feel better about everything I do, when I’m doing it to music.
I won't list every last album in Dad’s collection here, but I want to list a few that are of particular importance to me because of the many memories I have of them from my childhood.