Chase Bank can bring my dad back from the dead?

My dad, Ed Jacoubowsky, born June 14, 1931, died May 25, 1988. Old style newspaper photo for an old-style newspaper guy.
My dad, Ed Jacoubowsky, born June 14, 1931, died May 25, 1988. Old style newspaper photo for an old-style newspaper guy.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve never had a brokerage account all these years. After all, the first job I was offered after college was with Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith (a job I didn’t take because, on my way to their Monterey office, I stopped for lunch and saw an ad in the newspaper for Heathkit Electronics and went there instead). But the only way to afford this year’s vacation with my wife is to sell off the stock I bought when I was 13 & 14 years old delivering newspapers. And here’s the odd tie-in… the stock was Schlumberger, which I purchased because they owned Heathkit at the time and I was big into building their electronic gadgets.

So fast-forward one heck of a lot of years (46) to yesterday. I’ve got paper stock certificates and what I thought was the required paperwork to put the stocks into my name (originally they were in my dad’s name via something called the Uniform Gift Act to Minors, since a minor can’t technically own stock). Including my dad’s death certificate, from 1988. The account manager at Chase, Kenny… pretty nice guy, going through all the questions, filling out a whole lot of forms. After making a copy of the death certificate, it comes time for… my dad’s signature on one of the forms. Seriously. It was just one of those things required as you went from a-to-b-to-c-to-d-to-e-to-f etc. He had to call someone in help to figure out where to go, what to do. The person at the other end of the phone wasn’t sure and had to ask someone else.

There was the potential that we would be re-enacting the basic premise of the movie “Brazil.” Well-worth watching, by the way. I did explain that I was perfectly happy to provide my dad’s signature, if they knew a way to bring him back to life. Sadly, there was a workable alternative, so my dad remains among the fish in Monterey Bay where his ashes were scattered so many years ago.

When Kenny (the Chase Bank guy) noticed that I was left handed, as he was, I had the opportunity to bring up the only thing I really wished I’d asked my dad before he passed away. Why, my father being left-handed himself, did he not do or say anything about the two teachers I had that tried to make me write right-handed? Yes, this question still sits with me, perhaps in a comforting way because I don’t have to ponder anything more substantive that might have been left unsaid. I have a sense of closure regarding what can never resolved. Curious thing, that. –Mike–

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Neither rain nor sleet nor… yeah, you can depend on us to clear the roads

wolh_branch_1509There are times you look forward to riding your rain bike. Big storm coming in; you go to bed the night before to the sound of wind driving the rain against the windows, and the gutters dumping large amounts of water from your roof. There’s no thinking involved; this is why you have the rain bike, with disc brakes and wider tires. This is why you have the clothes that keep you warm even when soaking wet. This is why you get street cred from being out on the roads at a time when even the cars have been scared away.

This morning was not one of those times. It had rained a bit the evening before, but had stopped by the time I went to bed. But the weather report said we were supposed to get a couple hours or rain that would end just before staring our ride. Unfortunately, the weather report nailed it. No rain, but wet roads. No choice but to ride the rain bikes, on messy roads but no rain.

We got a bit of a late start; not exactly sure why. Kevin and I showed up at the start 3 minutes late… nobody there. We rode towards Kings, looking for tracks in the wet pavement, but found nothing conclusive. I mean, why would anybody be out, now, in the muck, when the roads should be clearing up nicely in just a couple of hours? But one person, older Kevin (pilot) was out there. We spotted him off in the distance, just after turning onto Kings. Don’t know if we would have caught him if he hadn’t stopped to take off his jacket just before the climb. But we did, and proceeded to have a conversational pace up Kings.

It was actually quite pretty out there, with the sun occasionally breaking through the clouds. It’s almost a cliché to say that West Old LaHonda, in particular, was beautiful. At the relatively-slow speeds we were riding, it was easier than most days to pay attention to it. And a bit easier to rationalize stopping to clear the road of debris, as seen in the photo above.

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