My Father the Hero

After doing a lot of thinking about what got me to the place I am right now, following my real passions and plotting a way to make my mark on the design world, I figured it was time to pay homage to the man that inspired me (and still inspires me), my dad. After studying business in school and being groomed to run the family store, my dad found his passion in architecture. It still amazes me now that he is self-taught. No fancy design school or big degree. No high powered internships and schmoozing to get to the top. He got there by teaching himself step by step, fueling his passion and skill by designing garages and small homes out of a tiny office in our first house. And his hard work paid off. He started a company, hired some classically trained folks to make sure the buildings didn’t fall down, and through his friendly, modest ways grew a client list. And then this tiny homegrown firm in the middle of nowhere Connecticut landed the job of the century. Part luck, but mostly talent and good business. Yeah, this little number right here. :)

No matter what your position is on gaming, this place is spectacular. Every time I drive up to it, and out of the woods comes this tower of steel and glass that somehow fits into the landscape, I well up with pride. My dad thought up THAT in his head. Mind boggling, no?
You can see a lot of his residential projects here on his site (click on the PDF please!)New England Design, Inc.
He has such a distinctive style that now people in areas he’s designed homes can pick out “Faux-bridy’s” (architects who try their best to design like Kevin Tubridy, but fall perilously short!)
So is it genetics that makes us creative, design minded people? Or am I drawn to it because I was raised amongst stacks of blueprints and carpet samples? Is it because I spent countless Sundays as a child on my dad’s “drives” just admiring houses along a route I am pretty sure he would never plan. Or slouched down in the car embarassed as he would pull into people’s driveways and walk up to their homes to take pictures of a window box or dormer that he loved. (Dad Rule #1: No trespassing signs are invisible when there is good architecture behind them.) Or pehaps it was going to his office with him and being parked at a drafting table with pencils and markers and trying my best to draw houses like the other architects.
I am so lucky to have a dad who loved that I wanted to major in art, can debate the value of the perfect beige paint and appreciate a great floral fabric pattern. But I also have a dad who turned down tv interviews so he could be at my middle school band recital and said no to big jobs for famous folks because he wanted to be home for dinner with his family. He is a wonderful master of balance in life and was always there for us, yet at the same time was creating amazing homes and buildings for so many people. And how nice it is to drive by places and be able to proudly say “my dad did that”.
Oh, and he can give one HELL of a father of the bride speech to boot. :)
Thanks Dad.

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