My Father, Holland C. Gregg III, is the center of my universe.
For as long as I can remember, my parents worked for themselves and have spent their days in either a home studio or a nearby office. Needless to say, our family spent most of our hours together and it was glorious.
My father has been able to better any given situation. Good or bad.
Unpleasant chores were made lighter by his music. In my younger years, I would wake to songs floating down my hallway, gently encouraging me to get out of bed, which was not my favorite task.
Whether we were washing windows or doing other jobs around the house, we would listen to entire albums, usually the Beatles. My dad would dissect each song’s composition and throw in a story or two about what was happening during the time that vinyl was released.
Long road trips called for an endless game of flipping through music on the radio, listening for particular instruments and hearing exactly what they did to make that song SO great. His enthusiasm and passion heightened the draw. He conducted as we vigorously played our designated air axes in the back seat.
Spanning from soft, intricate, whistling to full-throttle electric guitar, music flows through his body and soul. His time playing with The Dean Brothers Band was sensational. The band and its members are legends who have won their spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here in Syracuse.
Now, if he ever finds the time, he sneaks into his music room, creating his own masterpieces with layers of drums, horns, piano and guitar. His voice is woven into lyrics that hold greater impact than he will ever fully understand.
Every birthday party, every school event, every holiday, my father was the party point person and camera man. Juggling a large, prehistoric, camcorder, a music source and perhaps a martini. He was able to keep all the plates spinning and could somehow get the stickiest wall flowers to bloom on camera. We have lots of recorded moments worthy of America's Funniest Videos.
My dad was always available to help us with homework, volunteer to coach, or to take us for a swim or drive us to the movies. He went out of his way to tell us how proud we made him and would jump through fire to be sure our hopes and dreams were met.
When my brother was diagnosed with cancer, he unturned every stone to find the best doctors, researching the latest clinical trials checking that every possibility was reviewed and resourced. From Boston to San Diego, my parents were there to do anything and everything that was humanly attainable to make the darkest days of our lives full of sunshine and song.
After we lost my brother we had to pick ourselves up and continue with our lives. Although it was not easy, diving head-first into our work somehow kept us afloat.
Our company became our focus and a new kind of family.
I have been working with both my parents for over ten years now.
Our VP of Sales has also been with us since the very beginning. She met my parents as my babysitter a million moons ago. Her husband manages our Warehouse with another close friend from our past. Our GPS team has a combined 15 years with us. Our bond is tight because it revolves around my father. He is a magnetic force, lifting morale and sensing when anyone needs extra support.
He is the one that handles the worst unwanted phone calls with the patience to smooth everything out, no matter how many tape recordings, representatives, or supervisors he needs to speak with! He keeps everyone smiling and on track, without missing a beat. Most of all he celebrates the small and large accomplishments, all of which deserve a martini!
After the work day, more often than not, he is off to the town hall for a meeting concerning our village or the Finger Lakes region. Our small community has avoided chain businesses and massive disproportionate housing developments from taking over our landscapes. He started an organization to protect the beautiful qualities that are unique to our area.
We are in the Marcellus shale region. My father and his undying efforts to protect, preserve and persevere helped provide much needed information to keep hydrofracking from endangering our pristine lake and its resources.
Just last weekend he was inducted as President to the Finger Lakes Land Trust after several years on board with this organization whose initiative is to educate, preserve green space and vistas that provide public access and walking trails along all of the Finger Lakes.
Each day the sun comes up, he brews the coffee and turns on the lights, he hums a sweet tune as he does his morning routine. His fingers snap as he bounds up the stairs, smiling at everyone he passes. He has taught me that working together is the only way to make a difference and that being a team makes us strong enough to conquer any challenge. He makes the most of every moment and takes delight in every meal. He is the center of my universe and I could not have been blessed with a brighter light.