My Friend, Dick C.

I met my friend Dick C. who happened to be my father-in-law when he was in his middle 50’s. He passed away about a year ago now at 88 years old. In those 30 some years I knew him he and I became good friends. I learned a lot from him along the way. I’d like to share some of the things I learned.

Dick Casey and his daughter Mary Pat Crites (Casey)

Happy Days with two of my favorite people

The biggest lesson I learned is that you can follow your dreams at any age. After the death of Dick’s youngest daughter he decided he would pursue a life long dream of flying. At the age when most people are making excuses to everyone around them about how they can’t learn or are too old to do something, Dick pursued his private pilot license. While still working as a mechanic and helping to take care of his wife who had M.S. he not only got his license, but pursued his passion for flying for the next 30 some years. In fact he flew till a few months before he died at 88 years old. One of his accomplishments was to take 3 of his grandsons up in the plane on Easter of the year he passed away. My three sons had ridden with him before and he wanted to be sure to take the 3 others as well.

Dick Casey and his Cessna plane

Don’t tell me I can’t chase my Dream!!!

Besides being an avid pilot, he was a master tune-up man. Anyone in northern Montana can tell you if you wanted something fixed so it would run right take it to Dick.

Along with all this he was a fine story teller and I loved to listen to his stories of growing up on the North Dakota prairie and some of the characters he’d met along the way.

Yes he struggled with life’s problems like all of us do, but the important thing is he made some changes along the way and re-examined his life. The thing I will always remember is this: When I start making excuses about being not able to learn something or that I’m just a little too old to start over or try something I will remember this fine gentleman who was my friend and happened to be my father-in-law.

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  1. Collee says:

    Thank you Russ for such a nice piece on Dad. His example of getting is pilot’s license while in his 50’s and everyday in some way following his dream to fly was so inspiring. I no he continues in the spirit world to follow his dreams and if we think of him, he is right there inspiring us to follow our own dreams. That is his gift to us! Your writings are your gift to us! MAHALO!

  2. Carol says:

    Russ, this is such a wonderful tribute to my uncle Dick. I never did get to fly with him but…I’m thinking that someday I’ll go flying with him and we’ll pick my dad up along the way. I wish you could have met my dad…he and uncle Dick shared many laughs whenever they got together…I like to picture them laughing together once again.

    The lesson about “following your dreams at any age” is very timely as we enter this new year…good food for thought.

    Thanks, Russ, and I’m going to check with my mom and make sure she knows how to access your blog.

  3. Carol says:

    Also, I love the photos!

    • Slim says:

      Thanks Colleen and Carol, people leave big footprints on our lives. It’s good to remember and learn.

  4. Nikki Alaee says:

    He was a good man.

  5. Slim says:

    Yes Nikki he was and he thought you really turned out to be a fine young Lady.

  6. jody says:

    Hi Russ,
    Just got around to reading your blog on Dick. A favorite uncle. And could he dance!
    I’m enjoying your stories and loved both of your books.

    • Slim says:

      Thanks Jody, glad you enjoyed the books and yes Dick was special and left a big mark on my life. I’m fortunate to have had him for a father-in-law.

  7. Don says:

    Thanks for sharing. I remember going for a ride shortly after he earned that license.

    • Slim says:

      Yep Don I was up flying with him quite a few times, he was a good pilot and a good man..

  8. Mary says:

    Love your words, Russ! I have many good memories of flying with him! Miss him but know he is with my dad now.

    • Slim says:

      Yes Thanks Mary.. Both in a better place, now.

  9. Michelle says:

    What a great story. .Truly an inspiration..Thankyou again so much for sharing this. .

    • slim says:

      Thanks Michelle for coming by.. Always appreciated your comments..

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