Since it was my birthday this week, I've had the opportunity to reflect on my life, and think about those things that are most important to me. At the top of that list is my family. I've been considering the tremendous influence that all my family members have had on my life... particularly those who have helped pave the way for me and my family. This is me and my Boppa (Joseph Randolph, my last living grandparent).
My Boppa is very dear to me. :)
He turned 93 this month! But you certainly wouldn't know it, because he's so full of life, and after all these years, he's still an amazing tennis player. He plays tennis 2-3 times per week and takes Aerobics classes a minimum of 3-4 times a week! According to my dad (who played a game of tennis with Boppa this month... and lost :)), Boppa still has great touch on the ball - his backhand and forehand are very consistent and his drop shots and lobs are dynamite! He is a great role model of living life to the fullest and refusing to let age slow us down!
Boppa helped raise 3 talented and accomplished sons. My own father is the most empathic man I know. And I know he was taught that love and empathy primarily from his parents. My father is also the hardest worker I know, and it was Boppa who instilled that work ethic in him, and taught him the importance of providing for a family. A devoted father and husband, Boppa worked tirelessly at his job to care for his wife and children. He worked as a manager of a Chevron service station. He then worked with C. Kirk Hillman Co. in Seattle for over 30 years as manager of operations and director of sales. He even “worked” through his vacations, taking his family on numerous two week camping vacations throughout the western states. I remember how he always doted on Jamma (my grandmother). He was always trying to please her, and he took such great care of her until the day she passed away, which I'm sure was a great example to his sons of love, selflessness, and devotion in marriage.
Boppa served as Cub Scout Pack Leader and Boy Scout Troop Leader for over 20 years, and helped get his 3 sons, along with about 10 other scouts, to the rank of Eagle Scout. He even lead contingents of scouts to 2 National Jamborees. For his service to scouts, he won the highest award given to adult leaders, the Silver Beaver award.
Besides all of these contributions, he also has many other passions and talents. Regarding his musical gifts, he had the male leading role at Roosevelt High School’s (Seattle, WA) operetta “Irene,” and performed as Captain Tarnitz in the operetta “Student Prince,” (And Jamma was the romantic female lead). And he has always been a Master of Ceremonies, par excellance. He will sing and lead the festivities at the drop of a hat on any occasion, including cruises, parties, and special occasions.
As his granddaughter, I appreciate all he has done for me personally. When we were growing up, my family was very involved in musical theater, and Jamma and Boppa would make every effort to come support us when they could. It always meant so much to me to see them in the audience at our performances. And I can't remember a birthday that has gone by that I haven't received a thoughtful note and a gift from them. We could always count on Jamma and Boppa to remember our special day.
Here are a few pictures of Boppa. As a handsome young man...
And this was my beloved and beautiful Jamma (1916-1996). Oh, how I loved her. She was SO gracious, generous, and warm... but I'll save that for another post.
Boppa and Benny
Boppa and Celeste
Boppa and Virginia visiting our home in June 2007 when my dad earned his doctoral degree.