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Dad'isms...
Rene Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

Dad'isms...

The world according to Dad.

A busy week and Friday too, but I took a few moments here and there throughout the day to think about my Dad and his upcoming birthday. He'd be 93 this coming August 18th.

Then it hit me, "Geez, it's been 16 years since you passed back in 1998." How'd that happen! It seems so long ago and yet today more recent.

Lost in thought I tried to articulate a few threads into something I could share in a post but the reality was I was attempting to write his story and that’s not going to happen today or in 250 or so words.

The Fabre's on Tobin Avenue, Renton, Washington (circa 1936)

Suffice it to say he was a small town kid of immigrant parents who grew up in the Great Depression. An accordionist in a blue collar town, he was off to World War II in the Army after high school. Then to England, the Normandy Invasion, France, Belgium, the Battle of the Bulge under Patton, Bastogne, the liberation of Buchenwald, then to Paris for the duration. 

Master Sargeant Fabre, somewhere in France during WWII Al Fabre, accordionist. Promo photo (circa 1948) Seattle, Washington. Mom and Dad (circa 1958/59) at home in Earlington. Renton, Washington.

When he got back from the war in late 1947 he played nightclubs and gave music lessons and continued this career for the next 49 years. More often than not he worked six days a week and sometimes seven when we were growing up. Yet he always made time for us.

Dad was a self made man like many of his generation. He loved learning but his formal education ended with high school. Yet he was always studying and practicing. I loved his attitude, he just jumped in and made it his own. He didn’t chase his dreams. His methods were very pragmatic and he'd work at it every day.

Al Fabre and Frank Baffaro, Seattle Post Intelligencer review (early 1960's) for the Moonlite Inn, Kent, Washington.

When Friday evening was about over my thoughts turned to events that must have shaped him. Then I had a few private laughs and started recalling his Dad’isms. I still remember them from childhood.

Dad'isms...

Do one thing at a time and don’t be in such a hurry.

Mind your manners and treat people with respect. It doesn’t matter what they do for a living or how much money they make. Good people are good people.

Let by gones be by gones. Carrying a grudge is a waste of time.

Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You don’t need to take any crap from anyone. I don’t care who they are.

Mind your own business and don’t meddle in other people's affairs.

If they aren’t honest, stay the hell away from them.

You’re gonna have good days and you’re gonna have bad days. That’s life.

Be kind to animals. And look after kids that are younger than you.

Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If it does, give it your very best shot.

Don’t be stingy or greedy. What goes around comes around.

Don’t talk about people behind their back and don’t listen to gossip.

There is no getting rich quick.

Stand up for what’s right.

Money isn’t everything.

You’ll be free if you live within your means and don’t spend money you don’t have.

Put a little away every time you get paid so you’ll have something for that rainy day.

Just because ‘they’  have a high opinion of themselves, doesn’t make it so.

If you fail it’s not a big deal. Try again. But there’s no short cuts so don't cheat.

Just keep working at it and have patience, you’ll get there.

Don’t compare what you don’t have to what others do. It won’t get you anywhere.

Just because it’s new, doesn’t make it better.

We all need help sometimes. If you really need it, ask.

Just do your best and things will turn out.

More often than not, it’s the little things in life that'll bring you happiness.

 

Dad, you were quite a character, a great dad and always there for us!

In loving memory, Al Fabre, August 18, 1921 - November 11, 1998.

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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Mom: Keeper of Culture
Rene Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

As the years pass I can’t help but chuckle to myself when I think of Mom. At a stretch, she was just 5 feet tall and it still seems amazing to me what a ball of fire she was. Mom loved live theater, art, happy hour, and going out on Friday or Saturday with friends to nightclubs to enjoy the local music scene. She sang in the church choir for many years, and was involved with several local arts organizations.

Growing up, Mom and Dad were like polar opposites. Mom was a progressive Democrat, loved the Kennedy’s and Century 21. Dad was a conservative Republican and a bit skeptical of big ideas and was often concerned about big government keeping its hands out of his pockets.

Mom was a voracious reader, a meticulous planner, very social, and loved to entertain. She was all about the future, loved modern ideas and new ways of thinking and she loved her Swedish heritage and customs. It was obvious she loved her Dad, Harvey, and often told stories about him growing up in Spokane during the depression of the 1930’s.

Mom with Aunties Marjorie & Mildred. Earlington 1956, Renton, Washington.
Mom (Mary Lee Fabre) with sisters Marjorie Freeman and Mildred Geiger (1956) Earlington.

Mary Lee was a champion of causes and political ideas, got involved, and was never afraid to take issue with the school board, city council or anyone else with views she disagreed.

It was always particularly festive when her sisters (Mildred and Marjorie) were in town. There was always a lot of lively conversation, story telling, great food, fun and laughter. She honored tradition and the past, yet lived for the promise of tomorrow.

I’m grateful for her gifts. Mom was always insistent we thought for ourselves and made our own way and yet were kind, thoughtful, and well mannered human beings. She always challenged us to pursue our creative interests.

I especially remember holidays. Our home was always open to others and we often included a cast of locals that would have otherwise been alone. Mom passed back in 1999 and I sometimes find it hard to believe it’s already been 15 years. But I think of her often and enjoy the fact I am blessed with so many good memories.

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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Take Off
Rene Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

Take Off...

I love the sound of small planes taking off. It goes all the way back to the late 1950’s when we moved across town from the Renton Highlands to the Earlington neighborhood.

Our bedrooms were upstairs and it got pretty hot up there in the summer so we’d have all the windows open as wide as they’d go. I remember early mornings lying in bed. It was finally cool and quiet and just before dawn the birds would start chirping to welcome the day.

Then off in the distance I’d hear one of those small planes startup at Renton Airport. A few minutes later it would taxi out to the runway then (wait for it) gun it for take off. When the wind was from the south the flight path would take them right over downtown and past our place.

The Doppler Effect was so cool as they climbed to altitude. The sound would echo off Earlington Hill then a really long fade would follow as they flew off into the distance. In my half sleep I’d imagine flying and would listen until it finally vanished somewhere south down the Green River Valley.

I’m on my way home from Seattle this beautiful sunny spring day and stopped at one of my favorite little parks, the Will Rogers Wiley Post Memorial Seaplane Base. It’s in the northwest corner of the airport just off Rainier Avenue on the shores of Lake Washington.

The breeze is from the north today so I’m fortunate, they’ll be taking off almost over my head and flying over the lake.

You might also enjoy: Will and Wileys last adventure.

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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A House is a Home
Rene Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

As the housing market heats up, I'm reminded:

 

A House is a Home.

 

I grew up in the Earlington neighborhood of Renton, Washington. I have many memories from those days, some great, some not. I remember playing hide and go seek, kick the can, olly olly oxen free, and exploring the woods across the street with my pals. Later it was sports, high school band, cruising the loop, and playing my guitar.

In those days I couldn't imagine our home as a financial investment. It was our home. We took great care of it. For us three boys, it was getting our chores done so we could do something cool. For Mom & Dad, it was creating a space that served our needs.

I think the child in me assumed we’d be there forever.

Homes weren't flipped and sales weren't short. Our job as a kid back then was exactly that, being a kid. Now it appears none of us can escape the world's bad news and the talking head experts who pontificate big data infinitum on every aspect of every market. Since 2008 most of this gibberish has been rather depressing.

As the market picks up and our industry gets busy again (Yay!) we're all trying to put the recession behind us. In our exuberance to capture every transaction, I hope we don't forget we’re in the people business.

The Fabre home (circa 1962) in the Earlington neighborhood, Renton, Washington.

I’ve had several great conversations about this lately with my real estate friends. We don’t forget the special place a home is. Those youthful memories helped forge who we became in life. 

We agree it’s not just another deal, but these days it's often a very big deal and stressful to a family when it comes time to sell their home.

I am so thankful to my sphere that practice their customer service with understanding and compassion. A house is a building, but a home is refuge. A place where life's memories are made and our affections centered.

 

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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What's the ROI of your Mother?
Rene Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

I’m a fan of Gary Vaynerchuk... and I credit the title of this post to him. It’s a line he uses in many of his talks when he’s making points on being asked about (or confronted with) the ROI of social media. Gary’s a ‘take no prisoners’ kind of guy and I love watching his YouTube videos.

I can relate to this funny turn of phrase because I’ve been asked the same question many times. “How much of this stuff do I have to do before I see a deal?” I don’t know. What and how much are you going to do? The ROI is having a relationship with your current customers and your future clients.

I highly recommend watching Vaynerchuk on YouTube give the keynote address at the RE/MAX annual convention in 2011. You’ll also find him doing the keynote speech at Inc 500 Seminar 2011, Web 2.0 Expo NY, and #SoMix2012... Warning! Gary has a rather colorful vocabulary so if you’re offended by an occasional f-bomb and other strong adjectives, you have been warned.

He is so worth a listen! Gary is spot on about this new age, The Thank You Economy (Gary wrote the book) and he also wrote, Crush It! If you’re not aware of Gary Vaynerchuk, he took the family liquor store in Springfield, NJ and created the Wine Library, then in 2006 he started the video blog Wine Library TV and transformed the local small store into a multi-million dollar business.

So... “What’s the ROI of your Mother?”

Priceless, of course! Mom would have been 89 today if she were still here. She passed back in 1999 at 75. Mom taught us to be honest, creative, self reliant, independent thinking courteous people with good table manners.

She wanted us to be open to change and new ideas, to be well read, have good conversational skills, and to stand up for what we believed in.

Of all the training I’ve had throughout my life, it is mom’s I most often value and use.

With my brothers Steve and Terry. Hanging out at Mom's on Garden Avenue, Renton, Washington. Early 1970's.
Steve, Mom, Terry, and René, early 1970's.

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Related post: Happy Mother's Day

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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My First Truck.
Rene Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

I was reminded the other day of my first truck. It was a 1951 ¾ ton white Chevy panel. I bought it from the Orting Fire Department in 1967. They retired this big old fire rescue truck with its 4 speed long throw floor shifter with compound low, 17 inch wheels, a 92 hp inline 6 cylinder engine and leaf springs front and back. What a ride!

The perfect truck for a rock band!

So hey, this was 1967 after all. I took a razor blade to the official emblems on the doors and scraped off Orting Fire Department - Fire Rescue and inserted a peace sign. Totally appropriate for the times I thought.

Plenty of room in that 8 foot bed for guitars, amps, PA and drums. There was absolutely no where we couldn’t go.

We took it across small rivers and drove old logging roads and horse trails, even when it was up the mountain side in the mud.

My 1952 Chevy 3/4 ton panel truck, 1967/68.

And still looking somewhat official, I kept the FIRE RESCUE above the back doors. A few times we turned on the flashing yellow's driving to a gig and traffic pulled over to let us by. How cool is that?

I wasn’t a hippy or anything, just a crazy kid blazing a dream trail to rock n roll nirvana (long before the band by that name came along). My truck was quite the local icon, like a giant loaf of bread on wheels.

The downside (with those peace signs on the doors) was like begging the police to pull you over, and that they did. It happened a number of times and one look at us and they'd search it for, you know, herbs. One day the state patrol pulled me over and gave me a warning ticket for impersonating a fire truck.

My new yellow dump truck at Christmas 1954.

That was a wake up call and besides, it was the end of an era and I was heading in a new direction.

I sold the truck and bought a VW bug, fell in love with jazz, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck and started college. I decided to be an intellectual with a passion for Russian writers like Solzhenitsyn and Chekhov and listened to contemporary composers like Stravinsky, Bartok, Charles Ives and Alban Berg.

I came out of my little day dream and it hit me... That wasn’t my first truck.

The yellow truck I got for Christmas in 1954, that was my first truck!

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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Happy Holidays 2012
Rene Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

One of the things I enjoy during the Holiday Season is getting out the old box of decorations to revisit those little treasures from yesteryear.

Rene Fabre with Santa Claus at JC Penney in downtown Renton, Washington, circa 1953.

Like the tree ornament my brother Terry made back in grade school out of Plaster of Paris. It weighs over a pound and would bend the branch so far you feared the tree would fall over. It was always placed very near the trunk and low to the floor.

I remind him every year!

I made a stained glass Madonna like card for Mom by ironing a crayon drawing between wax paper on construction paper. Did you ever do that?

As I was digging through the box I came across Christmas drawings from my kids when they were small. Christmas Trees and drawings of our home with lights on it and of course Santa. 

Then there’s that first photo op with Santa at the JC Penney store in downtown Renton (before Shopping Centers and Malls). Note it's a black and white! I'll stop...

Brother Steve and I in our Christmas pajamas from Grandma & Grandpa Larson.

That's real aluminum foil tinsel on the tree and yes, I remember a few good jolts when the lights and me got grounded.

Another sacred treasure is Mom's Hallmark cardboard train. I remember it on our fireplace mantle every year. It's where we displayed our Christmas Cards.

It's so fragile now I dare not actually use it, but I display a piece or two to honor it.


Steve and Rene Fabre, Christmas 1958 in Earlington in their new Christmas pajamas.

 

This little mid 50's rambler is handmade from cardboard boxes, hand painted with sparkles and plastic beads. I think we got it from the Wigwam Store.

It has a hole in the back so you can light it up by inserting a tree light.

It's hand rubber stamped on the bottom, "Made in Japan." It's so corny and dated I know, yet one of my prized treasures.

I need this annual rediscovery and it keeps me connected with the river of life. We all have a past, share the present, and have a future. I know it's totally sentimental and I'm the first to admit it.

This is where I truly remember my place in the big scheme of things. I do belong to that very big human family...

AND, its power, its fuel, the engine it runs on... is love.


Enjoy the Holidays! 

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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