The Quantum Pontiff

Dad – 5 Years On

It is nearly impossible for me to believe that five years have passed since you passed away.
And hey, we’re still waiting for Mt. Shasta to explode, could you get working on that?

One day, when I was an undergraduate at Caltech, I received a package in the mail from my father. In it was a small yellow squash with red dots painted onto it along with a strip of paper which read “what is this?” Well, Caltech is full of some pretty smart people, so we spent a few days trying to reason what this strange package that my father sent was. Small. Yellow. Squash. With red dots. Huh? After a few days I gave up and gave him a call. Okay, dad, what is that damn thing? “Oh, that’s simple,” he said, “It’s an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot zucchini!”

We miss you. Even your bad jokes.


  1. #1 Ian Durham
    January 5, 2009


    When you first told me the zucchini story you never talked about your dad in the past tense. That’s probably a good thing actually. I’ll never forget that zucchini story and have retold it several times, including to my dad who has a similar sense of humor. Sounds like he was an awesome guy.

  2. #2 Jon
    January 6, 2009

    my mother in law passed away soon after we moved to the midwest (right before Thanksgiving 2003). all the best, dave. you did and would still make your father proud.

  3. #3 Dave Bacon
    January 6, 2009

    Thanks guys.

  4. #4 Lisa
    January 6, 2009

    When I look at pictures of Larry I almost always hear his laughter ringing through my ears and his booming voice welcoming me home. He was and remains my mentor and a reflection of the type of person I hope to become.

  5. #5 Jonathan Vos Post
    January 9, 2009

    A day doesn’t go by that I don’t miss my mother and my father. My wife says that a day doesn’t go by that she doesn’t miss her mother and her father.

    When I was little, family gatherings included my great-grandfather, great-grandmother, all 4 grandparents, and a continuum of great-aunts, great-uncles, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

    I took it for granted.

    I thought they’d always be around.

    When the second of your parents die, it is as if the roof above your head has been ripped away, leaving you, alone in the ruined top floor, exposed to the elements.

    And there’s my 4 younger siblings, son and his cousins, and my nieces and nephews, all happily working and playing in the lower floor, taking it for granted, assuming that they’ll all be around forver.

    Exponential decay. The human condition.

    You have my sympathy.

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