Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Jon-David Wells Father Passes Away
Yes, he fought for his Country during the Korean War aboard the USS Hollister; DD-788.
And, he was a Cold Warrior in the 60’s, and 70’s. At one time, his Security Clearance was so high; you had to have a Security Clearance just to know what his was. He took part in NASA’s STADAN Project. We thought he was tracking weather satellites. (Well, he was….As it turns out, you can get great pictures of clouds from KH-10 and KH-11 Big Birds….in real time, no less.) He also worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the Goldstone Deep Space Tracking Station during the Viking Project.
Also, it’s true that in the 80’s and 90’s, he was a Ground Controller for NASA’s Space Shuttle Project…Working in the original Mission Control at Johnson Space Center, and taking a major role in the design, engineering, construction, and start-up of the New Mission Control Room; which closed in July following the last flight of Atlantis. The basic layout lives on the Mission Control Room of the International Space Station.
And yes, in the New Millennium, he enjoyed his hard-won retirement, and found the satisfying Peace that only comes through Accomplishment….
But that’s not what made him Great….
….What made him Great was his work as a Husband, and as a Father.
He raised us through the turbulent 60’s, and brought all of us through it without losing a shred of pride in, and love for this Greatest Nation on Earth....
He loved and doted on his daughters….and joyously reveled in the Grandchildren they brought to him.
And he loved his Son….and not just taught him how to be a Man….But showed him how, every single day. He graciously lived through the years of hearing, “Oh, you’re Jon-David’s Father?” And when my Sons came, looked me in the eyes and said, “Congratulations Son….” (I knew what he meant….that was a big day.)
He showed me how to have confidence in my Talent without thinking that it made me any different or better than anyone else. He knew what he was talking about…He wrote like Hemingway….
…..but only in Love Letters to my Mother; who holds him once again this very day, and now for all Eternity….
He helped me through the toughest years of my life with loving honesty….Never forsaking me, but never letting me lose sight of the harsh realities of my obligations as a Man and Father…
We had different politics, but over the years, he never let the heat in our discussions get any hotter than what was necessary to properly forge and hone my positions….An art that took years to appreciate, and one that I try to practice each day on The Wells Report.
(How did he know that I would need that, I wonder….)
He gave me his sense of humor…So blame him. He was impressed at the weight I’ve lost, and told me once how lose those last few pounds….He said, “Really J-D, all you have to do to lose 10 pounds of ugly fat, is cut off your head.”
He gave us all so much….He gave me so much….
….I will miss him so….