The May Springfield Brew Crew event is a celebration of my birthday and undoubtedly about having fun and drinking some really great beer. But it is also about remembering my father who shared the same birthday with me. I want to tell you a little about him now.
Gregory H. Wisdom was born on May 9, 1937. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Brooklyn Dodgers that day 7 to 1. He was born a few days after the German airship the Hindenberg exploded and a few days before the Golden Gate Bridge was opened in San Francisco.
He lived like there was no tomorrow, each day was a new adventure to be explored to its fullest. He was a firefighter by profession, a house painter by trade, and an inspiration to many. He was, and quite frankly, still is my hero.
He was not an educated man, having dropped out of high school to join the Coast Guard. But, he insisted that my siblings and I get the best education we could.
In the spring of 1981, my freshman year at the University of Missouri, cancer took hold of him in its chilling, deathly grip. The last four months of my father’s life were spent confined to a hospital room overlooking Forest Park. I visited him often and we talked for long hours.
“Marc,” he said to me one afternoon, “look out that window and tell me what you see.”
I looked out and replied, “I see trees, dad.”
He looked at me, closed his eyes and said, “I see leaves, each one different, each one special. One day they will fall from the tree and die. But, while they are alive and still on the tree they are like family, they help the whole survive. They work hard, stay together, and, in doing so create beauty.” He opened his eyes and looked at me with pride, “If you are the man I think you are, the man I hope I have made of you, you will do the same, you will be like the leaves.”
He died a few days after he told me that. An uneducated man, a working class man, but a man who was dedicated to his work, loved his family intensely, and had great appreciation of art and life.
In the coming days I will tell you more about this great man. I will tell you how he lived and how he was taken in the prime of his life from us.
It is vitally important that we stop this insidious group of diseases called cancer any way we can. By joining us for a night of fun and remembrance on May 14 at Intuition Ale Works you can help eradicate cancer from our world. For each beer sold that evening Intuition Ale Works has generously pledged $1 to the Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society. Please come celebrate and remember with us.
- American Cancer Society Relay for Life Bowling Tournament (rwresources.com)