Hey there! Merry Christmas!

Happy holidays to you and yours. I hope this message finds you in good health and good cheer.

My Father passed away in June. He lived a long, happy life and was loved by many. This was made apparent by the living memorial we held at home in Columbus just a few weeks before he died. There were at least 50 in attendance, including both of his sisters and other family from Minnesota. The crowd completely filled our house and the back yard. It was quite a tribute. I've never seen him happier.

I was home for the entire week and had the opportunity to spend most of that time face to face with Pop. It was bitter sweet, and many tears were shed, but we had an opportunity that most don't get - we were able to curate our own goodbye. He was my hero, friend, life-coach, judge and jury. I'll miss you Pop.

Happier days were spent when elementary school friend Rick and new friend Bob came out from Ohio for the Mile High Nationals NHRA Drag Racing event held in July at Bandimere Speedway. Bandimere is one of the premier pro drag racing facilities in the country, and despite of the fact that it is only 3 miles from my home, I had never been there before. The Nitromethane fueled dragsters and funny cars were amazing, and I can promise you that this was not my last visit.

October found me back in Columbus helping Ma and Janet deal with the final remnants of Pop's business and taking care of regular maintenance issues around the homestead. It was a long week of work for someone who is not used to home maintenance and at times I could hear Pop laughing at me from his final resting place under a Buckeye tree in our back yard, but a lot was accomplished and it was great to spend another week with my family. I also hooked up with elementary school friends Rick and Keith, plus Bob and others to head down to West Point Kentucky where we experienced the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot - a gun enthusiasts' dream which includes a Saturday night show that brought back memories of weapons demonstrations I saw in the Marines! It was a wild time for a Colorado liberal, but the little boy in me still loves to see things get "blowed up."

All in all, 2017 was a challenging year and I'm ready to move on to happier times in 2018. More international travel is in store for me next year, and I will also visit my 50th US state and 6th (and final) continent. That will empty my bucket list - so time for a new one.

Best wishes and Happy Holidays!

ooxx,
Dan

dangraves@dangraves.com
720-260-1535

4266 S Eldridge St, #309
Morrison, Colorado 80465

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