Remembering Deano With A Chuckle…

Dean at 21 in Madras blazer

Deano died five years ago today.  He was seventy years old.

In my earliest memory of him, he looks like this photo.  He was twenty-one years old.

This is a photo of Deano supervising the construction of his porch.

It is  early summer of 2008.

He plans to sit there watching auto racing and world news.

And that is precisely what he did until he died.

Deano always had a plan.

And, as he and JR Ewing said,

I love it when a plan comes together!

Porch-supervision

One evening, two days before he died, he was sitting on his porch eating banana pudding.

He looked up at his caregiver who had brought it to him and said,

If a man’s got to die, he ought to do it eating banana pudding.

We laughed.

That is who Deano was.

70 Comments on “Remembering Deano With A Chuckle…

  1. Such a beautiful remembrance post George! Thank you for sharing the stories of your beautiful life with Dean. He seems like a remarkable man. You are compiling a treasure trove of memories for Charlie to cherish, lucky boy 🙂

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  2. Wonderful photos George. A handsome man with a knowing look about him. 50 years is a long time. About half a century, me thinks.

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    • Thanks, Mike. Deano was a character, as they say. If anybody ever enjoyed his life, it was Deano. Half a century IS a long time. It’s remarkable that we don’t creak when we walk! Charlie does an impression of an old man that is priceless. He can bend his back and shoulders perfectly and shuffle along exactly like a very elderly old man. He does it sometimes just to hear me laugh. He loved his Pops and Pops adored him, too. Life has been good, Mike! 🙂 I got no complaints!

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      • A very distinguished man, your Deano. For that matter, you are a character in your own right, intelligent and free thinking. I admire you more than you know, my friend.

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    • Thanks, Lemons. I’m glad you enjoyed them. I lost a bunch of them a couple of years ago. I used to snap him all the time since he didn’t pay any attention to the camera.

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  3. Oh George, this photo tribute to Deano is marvelous. I feel as if I know him and that last portrait seems to capture the man you so obviously admired and cared for deeply.

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    • Yes, Lorna, I adored that man. He drove me crazy with his positive attitude about absolutely everything. The worst offense was whistling in the damn shower in the mornings! Now that’s an affront to anybody’s sensibilities! I could never manage to persuade him, however. He was impossible. But, we kind of grew up together, so neither of us questioned where we were going, I think. Is the book finished? I’m not going to live forever, you know! 😉

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      • You’ll have to live a bit longer and for that, I’m glad. The book should be out late September, early October. Thanks for you encouragement and support, George! 🙂 ❤

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  4. Oh George, you were blessed to have so many wonderful years with your childhood sweet heart. He was such a handsome man and very fun loving and decent from all your comments I read. I love the bit about you cutting his hair and beard. 🙂 Reminds me of my hubby who used to cut my hair when we were dating way back in uni days.

    These are lovely memories of Deano (such a dashing and romantic name too 🙂 ) that would stay with you forever. I thoroughly enjoyed this post of the man who set your heart racing even in death. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Celestine. Yes, I adored that man from the beginning to the end. Many people are not that fortunate in life, I think. I could have strangled him with my bare hands many times, but I could never stay angry with him. He was infuriatingly happy with whatever he was doing at any given moment in his life. Chuckle… I’m glad you enjoyed my little memory post. It’s always so very good to see that smiling face! 🙂

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  5. He was a photogenic man, and clearly a very interesting man. You have some wonderful photos, but more than that, a tribute. Love it.

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    • Thank you, Lynn. I lost most of my photographs of him a few years ago. He was easy to photograph because he paid no attention to the camera. Most people are camera-shy. Often, I snapped him just to test something about the camera. Yes, he was interesting because he was interested, in everything. And comfortable in his own skin. We had a long time together, and I enjoy remembering it! 🙂

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    • Thanks, Kenn. I lost a lot of my photos of him. He was my test subject since he never paid the slightest attention to the camera. Lots of folks are camera shy, but he was not. I wish I had his old photographs. His favorite cameras were Minoltas before digital cameras. He pointed the camera in the general direction of a group and thought that was a good photo! Half the time, you couldn’t make out who the people were since he was too far away. It was hysterical. No composition I suppose is the best way to describe it. 🙂

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  6. Such a lovely tribute George dear, to a loved man, the photos reflect. My hubby has that white hair, but he is only 58 on Wednesday! Blessings George!

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    • Thanks, Charlene. Deano had white hair at about your husband’s age too. He had lots of copper-colored hair mixed into the dark brown, and it turned white first. 🙂

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      • Ray, my hubcap, had gingery-red hair – before I met him. He lost his colour before we met, he was 26, it went a sort of dull brown peppered with grey. He had cancer a couple of years before we met, and it may have started his greying process a little earlier. BTW he has been cancer free since then! Thank You Lord!

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  7. Wow, I can see that this handsome man was a force of nature and a force in your life…by that, I mean the kind of force that keeps us uplifted and on our toes, never bored, never a dull moment. Me thinks he left way too early. Lovely tribute.

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    • Thanks, Linda. He was the most positive person I ever knew. And, he was interested in whatever he was doing. He would have told you that he didn’t expect to be dying, but since there was nothing to be done about it, worrying was a waste of energy that folks could expend actually doing something. It was impossible to be sad about the last of his life since he wasn’t. I’m always thinking of something he said and chuckling about it. Thanks for coming by to visit! 🙂

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    • Thanks, Victor. That observation was classic Deano. My reply was, “Only an old man would think that was the way to die”! We all got a good laugh.

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  8. I wish I could have met Dean. He looks like he would have been someone I would have liked.
    Carol

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    • Hi, Carol. You would have enjoyed Deano. He loved having a good time. And had a good time doing whatever he was doing! I thought Charlie would make it up to visit Linda and Hazel this summer, but he’s out of time, I think. You and Linda will have to come down to visit us, I reckon. Bring Hazel along too! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog, Carol.

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    • Ha-ha! I’m quite sure he thought so too, at the time! So did I and a few other girls… He spent a great deal of time on that sixties duck tail hairdo. He just happened to have the right hair for it. He was something of a clotheshorse then as you can see from the Madras blazer that was the in thing at the time. When he left his job in the market, he took off his watch, grew a beard and abandoned his closet full of ties. He wore jeans for the rest of his life. He had one blue blazer and one dress suit. I think he finally had to buy another blazer when he got fatter. I bought some fancy buttons for it later, but that was the extent of his adult wardrobe. He refused to go to a barber so I cut his hair for the rest of his life. By that time it was long and curly and not hard to cut. The photo in the frame is of us during the summer before we were married. I was eighteen and he was twenty-one. We were married the Christmas of my freshman year in college. We would have been married for forty-nine years at Christmas 2009. It was an interesting trip, Sylvia. Thanks for stopping by to visit, as always! 🙂

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    • Thanks, Scott. I adored that man for fifty years. And I laugh just about every day remembering something he said. That’s the benefit of having spent a lifetime with your partner! You eventually don’t know where you stop and he starts. 🙂

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  9. What a wonderful tribute to him, your love and life! Thank you for sharing him with those of us who did not know him. Charlie is beginning to look like the young Deano.

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    • Thanks, Jo Nell. Yes, Charlie resembles Kelli and Dean. He reminds me of Jeremy though in his expressions and the way he walks. Funny how family resemblances work. I was very fortunate to have met Deano and to have spent so many years with him. It was never dull around him! When do we get cooler weather??? Ha-ha! I knew we’d be lamenting the heat! 🙂

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  10. What a beautiful, warm and open hearted tribute to Deano this post is George. It’s easy to sense through your words and photos what an amazing man he was. Fifty + years of knowing someone throughout our life is such a blessing, gift and honor, isn’t it. I’m so happy for you to have had those years with him and that we all have this chance to experience him now through these photos and your words.

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    • Thanks, Rick. I couldn’t find my “good” photos of him and I was in a hurry so this is what I used… Yes, I adored that man for fifty years. And he was as interesting to me at the end as he was at the beginning. I was very lucky to have met him. It’s good to see you. I visited a post recently, but I haven’t kept up with what you’re into these days. Thanks for stopping by to visit! 🙂

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  11. Sorry I jumped the gun on this one George! I’m glad you’ve posted these photos of a guy I’ve only heard of in name. He looks as though he may have been a real character … and look who he was married to … clearly, one of those matches made in heaven (as the photo of the two of you shows). I appreciate the images of Deanos hands … it’s clear he knew a lifetime of hard work, of real work … he didn’t spend his working life in a cubicle! Solidgoldcreativity (above) makes a great point in that kids and animals know … and they both clearly knew, and appreciated the company of, your husband. I am sorry for you that he is gone. It has been a difficult summer in that regard … my post of a few days ago related the story of the loss of a close friend … it’s always hard, always. You’re built of strong stuff though and I know you will continue to see those ‘silver linings.’ Be good. D (+J)

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    • Yes, Deano was something of a character. He would have been amused that you think he worked hard for one day of his entire life, unless, of course, it was working hard at playing. He loved outdoor sports. He had an allergy to the sun as did his father. The skin on his hands and arms was very damaged by middle age. He enjoyed his dogs and Charlie. Otherwise, he paid little attention to kids. One Christmas, we were all in Cozamel on holiday. A man came up to Deano on Christmas Eve and asked if he would mind having a photo taken with his little girl who was convinced he was Santa Claus. Of course, Dean agreed, but he really was not a “Santa Claus” kind of guy. Kids were always staring at him, especially during the Christmas season. Life truly was a game to him. He loved playing it. And, the tougher it got, the better he liked it. I, on the other hand, was the hand-wringer in the partnership. 🙂 Thanks, D.

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    • Yes, we kind of “grew up” together. I can hardly remember when I didn’t know Deano. Lord, how I adored that man for his entire life. He was one lucky man! Don’t you think? Chuckle… Glad you liked the photos. I’ve lost most of them somewhere. This post reminded me that I really do need to get my family photos together. Thanks for stopping by to visit. I think of you every day these days.

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    • Thanks, Switt. Charlie has been such a treasure! Deano adored him, of course. He bought Charlie a Thunderbird on the day he was born. He left the hospital as soon as Chrarle arrived. Went to the dealership and bought the car so that the date would match Charlie’s birthday. The car sits in his parents’ garage. Nobody ever drove it. Charlie is going to be entirely too tall to fit himself in that sports car by the time he’s sixteen! Chuckle… It’s the idea of it that appeals to Charlie, of course. That was classic Deano. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Elena. Deano was a fun-loving guy. He was not the least bit sentimental. He would like the photos of him and Charlie, though. Thanks for stopping by to visit me! 🙂

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  12. It’s the kind of anniversary you don’t celebrate, but it’s the kind of anniversary that you want to commemorate. I still can’t get used to your house without Deano in it.

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    • I guess it must be the empty sofa that bothers you! Ha-ha! He hated that leather sofa. That’s why he wanted his porch built. To smoke and recline and watch TV. I used to tell him that the minute he died, I was going to buy a new sofa and a Macaw! When we were much younger, I used to say that I didn’t know what I would do if he died. He always said to stuff him and stand him in the corner, and I’d be fine. Somehow, I can’t imagine Deano ever standing in a corner for any reason! Chuckle…

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  13. Oh dear George – what a beautiful post in memory of your beloved Deano.
    Thank you for sharing some of the many precious moments that you have captured.
    Love his comment regarding the banana pudding.
    May he continue to rest in peace.
    {Hugs}

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    • Thank you, RoSy. There are so many funny stories about Deano. I should have taken more time to do this post. Maybe another one. I need to record some of the stories for Charlie. I’ve been kind of under the weather, so I did this one in a hurry. Yes, You’ll laugh at the stories, I promise. Chuckle… It is impossible to be sad ever about Deano. He was not the kind of guy you can remember without at least grinning. Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

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  14. What a fabulous tribute to Dean! He was really unique among the people I’ve known. It would be so wonderful to have his view of life’s problems! He was funny and so pragmatic and so successful in his business things.

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    • Thanks, Linda. He didn’t worry, that’s for sure. He always thought I was foolish to waste energy on worrying about stuff I couldn’t do anything about. If something didn’t work out, he figured he’d just do something else. And let the rest of us do the hand-wringing! I will never forget the time at the beach when the two of you had the drinking shots contest! Now, that was funny… Only in the retelling of it, of course! 🙂

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  15. I have always loved your stories about Dean. I long to be as diligent in my work and and persistent with plans. I can only imagine how all of us who read your work would have liked him, because you admired him so greatly, and loved him so thoroughly. Raising a glass to Dean!

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    • Thank you, Michael. Deano believed that life was a game and money was just the way you kept score. When he died, his personal belongings literally fit in a shoebox. (With the exception of his gun collection) He was not diligent in any sense of the word. He played the game and loved it. The more challenging it got, the better he liked it. I think he instinctively knew that the fun is not in eventual success, but in “getting there”. He knew that winning required thinking a few moves ahead on the board. His genius was in his ability to win and lose without being affected by either. He did not have traditional long-term goals. He used to tell me that we had to think in terms of what the market would demand ten years down the road. He was not ambitious. He simply enjoyed whatever he was doing at the moment. He was drafted into the army and loved basic training. He said it was glorified “Cowboys and Indians”. No, he didn’t pay attention to political correctness. But, he was the most non-judgmental person I ever knew. He was interesting to me for nearly fifty years, and that is remarkable to me. I enjoyed his company! 🙂

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  16. Hi George,
    What a wonderful post! I loved the pictures, particularly the one of summer of 1960. And I loved the stories, especially the last one.

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  17. What a lovely memorial post you’ve assembled. I think the photos give a total stranger a glimpse into the inner man. Terrific portraits. I can only imagine how much you must miss him. But I’ve had enough loss in my own life to know, the anniversaries can bring the grief to a much higher level. I’m glad you have marked this day with such a lovely tribute. Perhaps we should all eat a bowl of banana pudding in his honor.

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  18. Funny how time works. Five years can seem like yesterday. Thank you for sharing a bit of him with us.

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