For Leslie O. Ralstin

I do not often combine my two blogs with one entry. But honestly I don’t lose someone like my Father-in-law every day. He died last evening. The world is a smaller and colder place because of this.

He served in world war two as a signal man on an LZ. He worked for Indiana Bell/AT&T/Ameritech for over 40 years. He played golf and read books to his grandchildren.

The story that means the most to me about him is the story of playing golf in Arkansas one sunny afternoon. We were playing with two of his friends and he was winning the game by a good 10 or 15 strokes. We all came to the 15th or 17th hole I don’t remember which one actually. It was a recreation of the famous 17th at Doral so I suspect it was the 17th hole. The first three of us in the foursome hit the ball into the water. We were giving my father-in-law grief that he would hit the water as well.

He hit the ball right into the water as we projected. However he actually hit the underwater concrete drain for the bond (about 2 inches underwater). His ball bounced off the water and onto the green where he birded the hole. But right after the shot he turned to all of us, we all said “lucky shot.” He said “that was skill boys,” I’ve been laughing about that with him for 18 years. Now I am laughing alone but I am still laughing.

He had a wonderful sense of humor, and was an incredibly playful human being. Its sad for me, I lost my father’s father when I was eleven. Now my sons are 11 and they are losing their grandfather as well.

To Leslie Ralstin, may god hold you in the palm of his hand.