My Daddy was strong and silent.  He didn’t say much to anyone outside of me and my Mom.  He was slow to warm up to folks, but when he did, it was on.  He would rather NOT TALK to you.  He would sit quiet, but trust, he knew exactly what was going on at all times.  He was courteous, but was not in to small talk.  He figured, “why?”  However, when he brought you in, you would hear it all and there wasn’t a thing he wouldn’t do for you.  Growing up, my parents were as opposite as day and night.  While my Mom is adventurous and would enjoy meeting new people, my Dad’s motto was “I don’t need any new friends, the ones I got are great!” and he meant it.  He was loyal.  My Dad’s circle included folks that he had known since kindergarten.  KINDERGARTEN!!

He would recite Shakespeare…just because.  He would recite poetry…just because.  He read Playboy…and had been since the 1960’s.  His sense of humor was amazing. He still referred to my Mom as his bride.  He loved sports, but didn’t have a favorite team.  He had a memory like no other and if you gave him a date (month, day and year) back to the start of the Gregorian calendar until the future, he could tell you the day of the week that it fell or would fall on.   Where his body was failing his mind was sharp!!

My Daddy was determined.  He had polio as a child, however that didn’t dampen his athletic pursuits.  Until 2001, my Dad swam 100 laps a day…just because.  He is in the Howard University Sports Hall of Fame for swimming and baseball.

He was…let’s say…frugal.  He would squeeze the last drop out of a dollar.  He retired from the same organization that he started working with at 19 years old, retiring at 53 years old.

Thank God for him….with the mess my Mom and I have gotten ourselves into, he was our steady force and kept us balanced.

Melvin W. Ford
December 15, 1937 – September 9, 2021