(click on pic for much larger views)

There was a rush of energy, almost a light that shot through my head, and then I felt a warm glow radiate from my skin.  I was a new first time father, dancing on air it seemed, ready to take on the world. Of course, it hadn’t always been this way.

I'd no clue what would happen after just leaving the music world back in 1973ish (check out the tv and record player...and hair curling beyond my shoulders....)

I’d no clue what would happen after just leaving the music world back in 1973ish (check out the tv and record player…and hair curling beyond my shoulders….)

About all I knew, and all I could think of, was that I loved Dale.

About all I knew, and all I could think of, was that I loved Dale.

My first good view of our baby came as she was hoisted from my wife and put on a bilirubin table. I looked down at this soft pudding of person and smiled. It’d been my habit over the past nine months to say hello to our baby right through Dales belly-I used a high, sorta cartoon sounding voice, “Hello, babbbby.” Before I knew it, the same words and tune was ushering from my smiling lips. In a split second, I saw our child try to open one eye as if to see where that sound had been coming from all of her life….This was our first major connection; a moment of true understanding.

Kelly  started batting practice at 2 months-would later be part of a State Championship soft ball team)

Kelly started batting practice at 2 months-would later be part of a State Championship soft ball team)

Being a new dad turned me into a puff-ball of pride. Here was not only the most inquisitive, altogether perfect baby ever born but she who would one day rule the world! I tried hard to only take 1/2 of the credit.

It's called pride.....

It’s called pride…..

Kelly caught on to everything quick....and new when to mug shot a picture early on.

Kelly caught on to everything quick….and knew when to mug shot a picture early on.

The world had opened a new door for my life, rearranged everything, put the past in its place and planted a brand new future ahead.  I have to say, there’s nothing neater than having a baby for the first time, actually, anytime.. It so rocks!

BTW, Kelly taught me the meaning of Colic...forget sleeping, more like collapsing.

BTW, Kelly taught me the meaning of Colic…forget sleeping, it was more like collapsing.

Had to add this pic with rotary phone in it?!?!?

Had to add this pic with rotary phone in it?!?!?

Time began to rush by, and before we knew it Kelly’s Baptism was on hand, at  8 months….Jan. 1983

My parents came up for the big day.....

My parents came up for the big day…..

Dale and I wore our best outfits…..

Jan, 1983

Jan, 1983….

So I sat down after all that and when I got up it was Kelly’s first birthday party down at my parents house….we had a few special guests there as well….

Kelly dove into her first Birthday cake! Like face -first.

Kelly dove into her first Birthday cake! Like face first.

Her outfit never tasted better

Her outfit never tasted better

There were cousins…..

Kelly's cousin,  Erik, had a birthday t.hat same month-May, 1983

Kelly’s cousin, Erik, had a birthday that same month-May, 1983

And we all got to go to the beach….

A lucky 'high-water' shot....right Kelly?

A lucky ‘high-water’ shot….right Kelly?(1983)

Life couldn’t be better,,,and Kelly’s good nature and desire to learn all there was to know made each day bloom with happiness for us.

Dad is 72; Kelly one.

Dad is 72; Kelly one.

Kelly brought a dear friend to our house, Sandra, who I’d known in the Ocala National forest…so many came to see Kelly , I couldn’t put the pictures in here…50670014

One thing of note…the background has a real wagon wheel lamp in it,,,and that same lamp is in my living room now!

Kelly gave so much to us, so much to me, personally. My heart hurt the first day I realized that a spirit so full of life would swim ‘up-stream’ in our society just because she was a female…But none of that kept Kelly down-oh no. I’ve written globs about her in Japan, Africa, on top of mountains, winning championships in horseback riding and  baseball…awards in music-and in college-so much more…..but I think this picture of Dale with Kelly’s first major horse , Will, a great little horse himself, says a lot.

How we've loved following Kelly in all of her exploits

How we’ve loved following Kelly in all of her exploits.

It could be cold.....(Florida snow of Christmas-around 1990)

It could be cold…..(Florida snow of Christmas-around 1990)

Or it could be warm

Kelly has helped make anyplace home.

Kelly has helped make every place home.

Thanks Kelly Jeanne....

Thanks Kelly Jeanne….(Laura’s-our second daughter- Birthday with balloons in her hair.)

We love you so much Kelly….50670024

 

and we always will….Happy Birthday Kelly….Love, Dad

You've helped make our day, year-life.

You’ve helped make our day, year-life.

When my days get tough, I think of Kelly and get going….Thanks, Kelly.

Franque23 is so proud of Kelly Jeanne.

 

 

 

 

 

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