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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Hidden heart of a poet

I learned something about my stepfather while I visited with my stebsibs.

Oh, not something like “do you remember when he did that?”

You see, Dad was an expert in electronics. Not an engineer or anything like that. But he built his career what on he knew and what he could get people to do with them. Only as time went on, his expertise didn’t. By the end of the Seventies, it was pretty obvious he didn’t know much about semiconductors. Into the Eighties, it was pretty obvious that he didn’t understand integrated circuits. And he never did really understand computer programs.

But that was okay, by that time he used his people skills.

Dad had hidden talents that would pop up every once in a while. Like the time he sat down at a keyboard and played two or three songs. I was seventeen, I never knew he played. When we praised him, he got up, and as far as I know, he never played again.

Then there was the time he was oil painting with my mother. Over the course of two or three sessions, he did the top third of a mountain. With a palette knife. I had no idea at the time how challenging that technique was. When we praised him, he got up, and as far as I know, he never painted again.

I can only guess what his childhood was like. Knowing my grandfather and uncle, I think my stepdad was told that he had to focus on being practical.

So here is the bit I just put together. Dad really was an Expert. He had learned electronics by rote, but he didn’t live it and he didn’t really understand it. That amazing mind, and his heart wasn’t into what he was doing.

Dad had the heart of a poet. He felt he had to hide it so he could provide for the family.

I have no idea how I will tell my brother and sister. They don’t have the background. I’d have to explain the whole experts and masters thing, and then what Howard Gardner called frames of mind. I can’t explain it without sounding like a pretentious expert myself and taking a lot of time. And I really should tell them face to face.

Dad was an artist.

That’s the important thing.

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