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Jim Keralis

June 17, 2011

Me and my dad in Dallas in the snow.

Jim Keralis is my dad. He taught me how to ride a bike. He taught me to fire a shotgun, start a fire, and tried to teach me to field dress an antelope. He taught me how to drive an automatic and how to parallel park (a skill I value above most others). And he also taught me how to read. And by that I don’t mean the “this letter = this sound” sort of reading, but that he taught me to read voraciously and always.

He’s a man who is never without a book, from the paperback he keeps in his back pocket to rescue him while mom and I shop, to the dog-eared garage sale hardcovers he keeps in his truck to occupy him between umpiring baseball games. I look at my nightstand, with its stack of novels, criticism, and half-read New Yorkers, all bristling with bookmarks, and I’m reminded of my dad and know how much his example has shaped me.

Dad left college in the early 70s to join the family glass business, and has spent nearly forty years in the glazing industry. He’s now a project manager for a glazing company, working to keep installations in new construction on track.

Dad’s a perfectionist with an architect’s eye and a critic’s mind. Though our paths in life have been different, I can feel dad’s influence every day of my life, and carry it with pride.

For my dad, Happy Father’s Day.

12 Questions isn’t really dad’s sort of thing, so I’m grateful he shared his answers.

1. What is your hometown?

Riverton, Wyoming

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Monte Walsh or Sam Burnett.

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Beyond my imagination.  My son said George Clooney.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Black and White photography of people and places.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

Reading now:  “Snow in August,” Pete Hamill.  Just finished:  “Fall of Giants,” Ken Follet, “First Daughter,” Eric Van Lustbader.  Recommend: “Dune,” Frank Herbert, “Shogun,” James Clavell, “Monte Walsh,” Jack Shaefer, “Cold Mountain,” Charles Frazier, “The Stand,” Stephen King.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

I don’t listen to music very often.  I do not have an iPod.  I mainly listen to talk radio on AM stations.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

I can’t remember.  I really do not cry, I sometimes get emotionally choked up during feel good movies I can relate to.

8.  Cat person or dog person?

Love them both.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Kindness, sometimes telling the trush is not kindness.

10.    How do you define sin?

 I do not believe in sin, I believe in good and bad, not good and evil, good and bad.

11.    How do you define virtue?

Being kind and loyal. Helping others.

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

Simple rectangle stating “He was a nice guy.”

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

I don’t know, most people I have associated with lately would not be interested.

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