Tag Archives: grandfather

Happy Birthday, Chuck! A Letter from Craig Kausen

Today, September 21st 2010, would have been
my grandfather’s 98th birthday.  I have said all day that today IS
his 98th birthday rather than ‘would have been.’ To this day, I have
thoughts of asking him a question when I need some more detail about a film,
some insight into a business issue, or just to see what he thinks about a film
or a book.  Invariably it takes a beat or two for me to smile and remember that
he is not at the end of a phone call today.  However, I still gather inspiration
from what I learned from him all those nearly 40 years I am so grateful to have
had with him.  I hear him telling me “Don’t get into a pissing contest with a
skunk” as I ponder how to deal with a difficult business interaction or “always
take your work seriously, but never take yourself too seriously” when I feel
mired into the mud of life’s inevitable quagmires. Or I hear him yell
“Wahooooo!!!” when I finish something I’m proud of just as he did when I was
four and he jumped in the pool fully clothed as I swam for the first

I wrote in a letter to him when I was a child (and
quoted it again in a letter in 2000) that if they could give an Academy Award
for being a grandfather, he would certainly win that

I am blessed to have known him and to continue to be
inspired by him as a man, by his humor-filled view of life, and by the joy that
I see in oodles (that’s a big number in my mind) of people around the world over
many, many generations.

I celebrate his 98th birthday as a gift to
all of us, but as I know I have some of Daffy Duck in me, I celebrate the gift
most of all for me.