Bragging rights time

A little back story to start. In November 1989, I put my pregnant wife on a plane to go back to Japan to give birth to our first child who just happened to be a boy. No we did not want to know before hand as she was a late life first pregnancy and certain health issues could arise. But we were well prepared to deal with that if it came. Instead God blessed us with a very healthy baby boy. I was actually on the phone with my wife when her water broke and they had to rush her to the hospital. About 23 hours later I got a call from my sister-in-law telling me congratulations I was a father of a baby boy.

We had moved to the PNW because there was a special school he could eventually attend in conjunction with his regular public school. It runs on Saturdays only but based on the Japanese school year which means only one month summer break. More on that later.

I was struggling to get employed and established in those days so they did not get to come back till he was about 9 months old. Once here he and I played with a lot of his toys and one of them in particular were the Japanese train toys with tracks that could be put together in various combinations including rises for bridges. Well as things go with young kids he had some ideas but no idea how to make them work. So I would help him with his ideas about how bridges would look, straight rigid or maybe a suspension bridge. I tried and tried after a time to get him to do it on his own but he would not. Always had to have Daddy do it for him.

Fast forward to spring 1995 and my wife is pregnant again and ready to head back to Japan for the birth of our second which turned out to be my daughter. Well things being what they were I had not really settled into a good career job and the ended up having to stay one for a few years before coming back. During that time and since I was not with them my son started making his own bridges. When I was finally able to go and get them he showed me some of what he had done. I was floored. All that time I thought he was not necessarily paying attention, I was very wrong. He had been and very astutely. Some of what he had done on his own and at such and early age was simply beyond belief. It was then that I realized he was not blowing things off, he was just sucking information in like a sponge. When I was not there to help him he would have his Mom take him down to the bridges around the city and just sit and study them. Hence his ability even at that young age. Also I had one day told his Mom when I had come home from work and saw what he had been working on that we had a genius on our hands. Now she tried to down play it but I knew he was very intelligent. Ultimately when he graduated from Georgia Tech with his BS degree in what they call Highest honors which equates to Magna C*m Laude in other univerisities she finally had to agree with me. Sorry I can’t put the word in as it is actually written because it matches a profanity word that is not alowed.

Upon returning to the states he was already in school as he started his first couple of years in Japan so he was very far ahead of American public schools when he got here about 3 years ahead. We tried with the teachers to get him help so he could maintain his level and not lose it. They were not willing so we took it on ourselves at home and got him enrolled in the Japanese school. That did two things, kept his math and science education well advanced over the public school system and developed his Japanese language abilities.

WHen it was finally time to get him into middle school we were successful to get him into one particular one from which he could attend one specific high school that had an International Baccalaureate program which is much more advanced than other advancement programs. It had much stricter requirements. So through high school he was often taking courses in advanced calculous, biology, physics, chemistry as well as in English, History and other liberal art type courses.

When he graduated high school at the public school having come out top in the IP program class he even had his English teacher sign his year book. What she wrote was very comical. She said, "To the only student who does his math and physics homework in English and still gets an A there and the other classes as well. While doing all of that I finally convinced him to see if he could get into Mensa. He finally agreed and we got the hard copy of the initial test and I proctored it to make sure there was no hanky panky. Actually I knew already he would do very well. We sent it in and in less than a week he got a request to go in and take the official test at one of their local testing facilities. A week later he was in Mensa.

Finally time to go off to college. He tried at many of the big name tech universities as he was going for an aerospace engineering degree. A couple accepted but one in particular turned him down, MIT. They paid dearly for that as he worked on a research project that eventually won out over the MIT entry. Anyway he blew through college but took 5 years to do it as he spent every summer doing intern programs at various firms even at JPL one summer and one at the University of Tokyo where he was mistaken as a PhD doctor while he had not even gotten his bachelor’s degree yet.

Upon graduation he was accepted at the Univerity of Colorado at Boulder for his PhD. Yep he got to skip going for his Masters. Now he had to take some Masters level course as a part of it but no big deal for him. But before he started on his thesis after all the course work was done he go antsy and went looking for work. He tried one company but the people were not likely to succeed and he saw that and left. He tried a second company and realized while he loves aerospace he is also interested in many other types of cutting edge technology. Eventually he married and moved to Tokyo where he finally got his dream job as an investigator for an investment firm that supports high tech start up. It was right down his alley. He would check out the base line concepts of the company, what there business plans were and would assess the people to see if they had what it takes to be successful. Often times his reports on various companies made or broke whether his firm would attempt to finance them.

Shortly after getting on with them he came across a start up called LEOLABS. Their business was to develop phase array radar system across the globe and track not only satellites in low earth orbit(the LEO part of LEOLABS) but also defunct satellites and space debris form previous collisions and left over parts from launches down to 2 cm in size and track all that to provide real time data to the many governments and private companies now that are launching things into space to avoid destructive collisions throwing millions of dollars of R&D and production down the drain.

For my son’s part in their development through his investment firm they allowed him to be the one who would sit on the board of directors representing my son’s firm. Yep he is on the board of directors.

So with that back story this is a nice piece done by Bloomberg on that company.

Watch Space is Getting Crowded, So This Startup Built a Solution - Bloomberg

To say I am proud of him is an understatement. Problem is I can no longer wear button down shirts as my chest puffs up and blows all the buttons off. God has been so good to my family in so many ways from my childhood to my wife to my children and their successes. I am so grateful for all he has done for my family.

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What a great story! You are justifiably proud. Many Congrats, Jack.
And yes- when we think our kids aren’t paying attention, they are often soaking it up.

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Problem is a lot of parents don’t realize that and never take advantage of it. It is said that every child is born a genius. Most of them are never allowed to develop nor are they encouraged.

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What a great story. You have every right to be proud.
Thanks so much for sharing with us.
It’s a good thing you know how to sew with those buttons popping off all the time. Hee Hee. :laughing:

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That I do but polo shirts are just so much easier.

The gif is great and true but by the time he was headed into high school he had well surpassed me in what I could show and teach him. He was string complex mathematical and scientific concepts together that I could no longer keep up.

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No but you nurtured that interest in him. Many fathers wouldn’t have even bothered with their sons - too busy with their own lives. How many geniuses might have been so much better if they had a loving father guiding them from young and taking the time to get them the help they needed. You are a great dad Jack.

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Thank you but his Mother had much to do with it as well. She was the one insisted that he go to both schools. It was the Saturday school that helped keep him well ahead of his peers. Since that cost us to do she even went to work to pay for that cost.

Now his sister is also very smart. She is not at his level of smart but compared to many of her peers she is way ahead of the game. I also had a blast with her as well. My favorite part of it all was their school projects. In one for her which was from her grade school history lessons she did a display in a competition that won first prize. Once she got the concept idea down it was only a matter of figuring out how to make some of the display items. She did a piece on the bombing of Hiroshima from the stand point of an average citizen at that time. Since I had been there and had gone through the museum and seen much of the melted pottery and metal, that is where I came in. I took some old Japanese coins we had to a welding shop and they helped me to melt them down. We also heated some glass bottles and melted them down as well as some cheap dollar store pottery as part of the display. She compiled the lay out and did all the write up work herself. She won first prize.

The real fun one with her was from a high school anthropology class. For extra credit which she did not need was they had to make and atlatl, a kind of spear and throwing device that was the forerunner to the bow and arrow. I told her we would do it the way they like would have long time ago. I scrounged up some cut saplings near an apartment complex I used to deliver to. They were not really straight so we used my outdoor propane pot cooker for a heat source and heated and rolled them with a rock to straighten them out more. Then I found some good rocks to chip into the shape of arrowheads. I was lucky to find some artificial sinew at the local hobby store so we could secure them in place. We split the one end and set them in place and then using the sinew strapped them down. Then I told her we had one more thing to do. I went outside to a pine tree to get some pine sap to act as a glue sealer and we sealed the strapped arrowhead with it. Worked like a charm. On the other end we needed to do some fletching that is place cut feathers. I found some artificial ones at the local hobby store as well. We carefully split them, cut them to size with leading and trailing pieces to used for more strapping. Using the pine sap as a glue we place the fletching where it needed to go. Once dried we use the sinew to secure before and after and then sapped that down as well. She went out and found a piece of wood we could use as the hand launcher and I cut it from a downed limb. Then I showed her how to shape the hook end by tapering that end down on the power sander. Somewhere I have pictures of her in the front yard trying it out. It took a few tries but she mastered it quickly and she was launching her arrows about 50 yards. While most kids used simple wooden dowels and just made the head end a whittled point my daughter’s version was more authentic. Yeah she to all the extra credit. The only down side was the teacher threw them all away before the end of the year. Now I doubt that though. I am sure if I ever got to his house he has them on the wall. But that was a fun project to work with her on.

One Saturday I came home from work and there was an extra car on the road. When I got inside it was my daughter and two of her friends working on a project idea. It was to go to the goodwill store and find some clothes of various materials and create a new piece of clothing out it. Since they were using my sewing machine and I wanted to make sure it did not get broken I got involved. They ran into trouble figuring out how to make patterns. Since I made my own hoody once from an old tattered one I had but cutting it along the seams I had an idea of how to make a pattern. So they gathered some old clothes they did not mind destroying and we cut them up. Then I showed them how to carefully cut the pieces they wanted to use so they could get the most out of it. I set up the sewing machine and showed them some basic sewing techniques and the next thing you know they had a knit skirt and a sleeveless blouse. That was also fun. Because of that my daughter wanted to make her own dress for a party so yeah I got pulled into that as well. I took her down to the fabric store and we got the type and color of fabric she wanted. then she told me how she wanted it to look. It was to have a theme from the Musician Prince about it. It was two color purple and orange and would have some Japanese character attached and his indentifying symbol as well. She cut out the character and the symbol and and after the dress was finished and fitted I showed her how to hand sew the characters and symbols on. It came out real nice. It was a hit at the party and she got rave reviews from friends on it.

Yeah raising kids for me was a blast. So much fun stuff to do with them.

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All I can say is what a great dad (and mom) your kids had.

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Thank you we tried real hard to help them become decent adults. They know the value of work, have good hearts, and most of all are very family oriented like we wanted them to be. Their Mom and I both come form tight knit families so it was the only course we knew. We support each other in almost everything. I know that sounds old school these days but I don’t really care. I have good smart kids who can take care of themselves well.

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Loved this!
My son when he was little was so hard to buy gifts for. I’m talking at ages 2-4 when most boys would want all types of typical things like action figures, cars, etc etc.
He would instead ask me to dump out my BBSI l polish because he wanted the bottles. He wanted screw drivers and nut drivers ( tools). I actually have a picture of him age 3 posing with a nut driver ( no, I didn’t give my 3 year old a screw driver for obvious reasons…, I’d preferred he have 2 eyeballs😏).

As he grew he’s, take stuff apart and then be able to put it back together by himself.

He ended up showing interest in computers, electronics, how things worked etc. He always wanted electronic / technology based gifts and he was always looking up videos on the same topics.

My husband tried to push him towards being a nurse anesthetist as they make great money.

My son wanted to do well and please his dad. But I told him he should go into what he liked and was interested in.

But I knew he wanted ti please his dad.
Well he ended up going to Utah State and got a bachelors degree in computer engineering and I believe a minor in electrical engineering.
He did not have a commencement d/t covid so that was sad but he graduated with honors.

He has worked for General Electric near Salt Lake City for over 2 years now. He just got a promotion and is doing financially well. He’s been doing specialized work on medical machinery such as the C arms etc.

I responded about my son not to take away from
your wonderful post about your son ( I hope I don’t offend you by telling a little about mine )
Because you are so right that children need to be given the chance to develop and they definitely need encouragement and nurturing to succeed with their God given skills and talents.

He has been our go to since he was a young teen and to this day at only age 23 gets us out of so many glitches and problems my husband and I have in this world inundated with technology.

Thank you for sharing your son’s journey as a testament to how unique each child can be.

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I wanted to add he did all this while having Crohns disease. Having had 2 surgeries within 2 years in 11 th and 12 grade to eventually remove his colon. He has an ileostomy bag for life.
He was always a very happy kid and is the same to this day.
He never complained throughout his ordeal with this disease and his outlook and happy demeanor always challenges me to have a better attitude in this life and it’s struggles.

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Not at all. I take is as an opportunity to show what loving caring parents have with their kids. Given what our sons do they cross paths someday. They won’t realize it but it could happen.

I am glad to hear of your son’s success. In fact I love hearing stories of kids who excel in what they love to do. It warms the heart. One thing for sure though it also shows the love God that our children are so blessed.

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Now if we could only have a few million more just like them. Wouldn’t the world be a different place. Good job mom and day. God has truly blessed you, but He need willing participants and you certainly stood up to be counted as two of them! I love the shirt metaphor. This is good pride which the Lord gives, amen?

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Happy early Father’s day!

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How wonderful. What a sweet story. Thank you for sharing. BTW, my dad worked for GE in the aircraft division. That was a long time ago, but in his down time, he made us kids each a knife for Christmas (without my mom’s permission) and many puzzles out of chain, rings, and parts. He didn’t get his high school diploma until he was in his 30’s but was good with his hands. Sorry to babble on about my dad, but I was thinking of the pride you have in your son, and it was catching. I was proud of a father who was always told he would never amount to anything. God had other ideas, thankfully!

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Interesting you say that. My Dad’s final career job was as a machinist at plastics manufacturing plant. They used lots of metals, rods, sheet, steel, copper, brass, etc. He would leave for work way before shift to beat the traffic and get there maybe an hour or so early. Once he used scrap left over from jobs to fashion a Bowie knife blade with a tang and threaded rod on the end. It also had a brass finger guard. One day he stopped at the local shoe repair shop and picked up some scrap leather so I could make the handle and the sheath for it. When it was finished it was one really nice Bowie knife. It was my hunting knife till I traded with a man in Japan for a knife that man made. Dad also made a belt buckle which I still used to this day. It is slightly curved stainless steel with a brass horse head on it. He did one for Mom similarly but thinner and not so heavy. Hers was three geese in flight and sized when placed to look like they were in formatin and he etched in the the stainless steel marsh grasses. My daugther got that one when my Mom passed away.

Dad left school after the 9th grade to work as it was the Depression time. He never graduated but got his GED in the military. Like your Dad he was really good with his hands and could fix anything. He was also artistic but never did much with that as I wished he had. He was also musically talented as well. Most all of that I inherited, good with hands, fix anything, kind of artistic and like him also cook. The one thing I never got was his musical talent though.

Yep men of old were surprising people. Often time little to know formal education but often very smart and very talented. They just don’t make them like that any more.

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Your dad must’ve been very creative and loving.
Those are great memories you have of your beloved father. :heart::heart::heart:

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You are so right @BayouBushi.
My dad did graduate high school but no more formal education afterwards.
He was the plant manager in Denver for the Lowrey’s Beef Jerky company.
He used to bring home hoards of jerky. I didn’t know at that young age what a gold mine that was. I could trade one jerky stick for someone’s entire lunch :joy::joy:

My father loved woodworking. He made my brother and I swing sets, teeter totters and more. He would make decks around our houses, fish pond/ fancy landscaping. Mostly from his own mind’s images. There was something special about a dad that took the time to make a gift from the heart…. Priceless items to say the least.

He also made a grandfather clock, and many beautiful items from his woodwork skills.

So yep…, They definitely do not make ‘em like they used to.

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Congrats, it must really feel great to watch your children succeed and take their journey with God!

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Yes it does the heart good. Still the world is not without its troubles so it is not all fairytale great but, on the other hand it is not dealing with a lot of criminal problems. Compared to some of the kids from public school he went to that are now in the state pen for various crimes I consider us fortunately blessed in that our children chose a responsible path.

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