Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dad sends-

It’s Fathers Day 2009, a special day, and one I have known about for nearly 60 years but only enjoyed and understood for the last 35.

From the time I was a young man of 20, I knew he was coming and I knew what his name would be; Gordon Lynn Hyde II, not a junior, but just like myself only better. On November 18, 1973 he arrived. I had my son and the greatest adventure began.

He walked before 8 months, he was gifted from the beginning, and he knew it. He excelled in doing all things, quicker, easier, better and with less effort than those around him. He developed an easygoing nature that bonded him to all and to everyone he met.

He loved life and lived it fully with his family and his friends. He loved the social life with people, loved the outdoors, skiing, fishing, hunting, camping, it did not matter which or where. He loved it all. During his first 18 years of life I worked in the mining industry and was transferred from one state to another, Gordon went to three different high schools in Utah, Nevada and California.

Years later while fishing in Costa Rica I asked him if he felt cheated by not staying in one spot, he answered, “I had the best life, I have friends all over the world, everywhere I go I see people I know, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

I had a very special relationship with my boy nicknamed Doogie; he was my son, my business partner, and my friend. Our relationship was not unlike brothers. Neither of us had a brother and I believe in many ways we fulfilled that need with each other, right up to the final day of his life. I was still his father, and had the obligation and responsibility to tell him what he needed to do and that he could do it better, but there was no need to drill it into him, just tell him that I loved him and that he could do better.

He was always looking for a project to do. As a boy and young man he did all of the things young people do, marbles, kites, and bicycles. And then came computers. The early ones did not do much but he found a new love, one that would stay with him until the end. Technology was here and it was moving as fast as he was. And it had no limit nor boundary, except for the mind of the person behind it. He had found the one thing that he would never be able to out perform, out think or out do and he was at peace with his equal.

Our business H&H Technology, said it all, Hyde and Hyde and Technology. It was only natural that anything with a computer in it was where he wanted to be. Not the “Gweeb” behind the keyboard but the man inside the machine and the program. The business was the backbone for many of the grand adventures we shared. It provided the means and the way to travel, see, do and live a live that was perfect in everyway.

We traveled together to Alaska, Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, and any other place that we could think of that had fish we had not seen or caught. We were in every state in the union, on the go all the time. The travel led him to the next great adventure in his life. My best friend Truitt had a son named Tom one month older than mine, and his son and mine were best friends. Visiting Tom in Phoenix one Thanksgiving Doogie met his wife to be, Valerie. I always knew he would marry, but I thought he was far too busy to find the “very best right one”. He had many girlfriends but they were short lived. Not this one from Arizona! I almost met her at a Jazz game, I had two sets of tickets, one on each side of the arena, I could see them but she never was able to pick me out in the crowd, I however, saw her immediately. I wonder now as I did many times since that time, how could my son have been so blessed to find her or perhaps she found him!

Our business took us back and forth across the county. We had a job in Idaho that needed a follow up visit. I asked him a couple of times if he was going to get up there and take care of it and as usual he gave me the look that he referred to as “Driving Miss Daisy” look. Finally he came out of his office and asked me to drive him over to Salt Lake #2 airport. He told me he had a friend that just happened to be going to Pocatello and he was going to fly up with him so he did not have to drive. I may be old, but I’m not stupid. I realized that there was something going on. When he returned several hours later, he confessed, “I’m learning to fly and I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you would say it wasn’t safe”.

Little did I know then that he had now found what was to become his other passion! It was a natural; fast paced, a lot of technical things to learn and master and the ability to travel quickly from one place to another. It also opened a door to a new set of friends, friends that in some ways would limit my time with him but that would help him move to the next level.

Grandchildren started to arrive and my life and his were elevated to the next level. I knew that as he was my future, they were his. Now, there would be three generations doing things together. Life was only getting better.

He was everything I would have hoped for, a good son, a good friend, a good husband and a good father. He had two boys and I called all three of them “my boys”. But there was something still missing. He thought two was all he needed. “One more” was another great decision of his life, his little girl Hailey.

Six weeks ago I was in Phoenix to go to the Gun Show with him, and to meet our Cousins from California with whom we had a close and special relationship. Hailey got up early with me and was watching TV when Doogie came down stairs, the first thing she wanted was to have her fingers and toe nails done, a special thing that they had developed. I watched the care and love between them as he painted them for her and listened to the dialog between them. They had found each other.

Later when I asked him if he had known how special a daughter was, he said how could anyone know without experiencing it, that they were so different and so special and so total different. Again he loved the difference between things and saw the beauty of that difference.

Last summer, I took my boys and went fly-fishing on the Green River a place Doogie and I spent a lot of time at, a place that was special. The kids caught their first fish on dry flies and we talked about the things we would do and the places we would go. We would hunt deer in the fall. We would fish and hunt the following summer in Nevada. It would be their first time on our annual trip, a trip we loved and that we had taken for the last twenty years to Winnemucca. Life was good and complete when we were together, “me and my boys”.

My boys and I went hunting for deer last year, camped out for a week, with the boys’ other Grandfather, and our cousins from California. What a great adventure. Again we talked of what we would do, how we would do it and the fun we would experience together. As the boys left heading back to Arizona I told them I would be down at Christmas for our usual week of dove hunting, to get the shotguns oiled up and to get ready. A trip that did not happen due to other important things going on in our busy lives.

Doogie was the best at everything he did, he fulfilled every wish and dream that I ever had for and of him. He loved his wife, his children, his sisters and his mother and I knew he loved me. Nothing went unsaid between us; there was never a moment when we did not know where the other stood or why. We were father and son, and friends.

He called me from the airport in Chicago to wish me a happy Memorial Day. He told me that he wanted to thank me for my service to our county, that he had seen many people in uniform and that it had touched him. He told me he loved me and that we would hook up later. I was fishing on Yuba Lake with Shuse, a friend who has become my brother, it was 12:28 pm and it was the last time I spoke with him.

Now he is gone. I don’t feel cheated or short changed in anyway but I do feel sorry for those who never got to meet him or to experience him, for they have been cheated and short changed. I now have a sacred and special calling to step up closer to the plate and to live better, longer and closer to those we love; a calling that I will endeavor to make him proud of me for fulfilling.


  1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories- I love the relationship he has with his daughter, so Precious!

  2. Dear Hyde family, I just found out about your loss. I was friends with Holly in eighth grade when you were living in Susanville. I was at your house when Doogie received his mission call. For some reason that memory has always stuck in my mind. As a new member of the church, I had ever witnessed that. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with me. My prayers are with your family. Michelle (Newey) Norton.