Saturday, July 4, 2015

REMEMBERING DAD - Part One

Through the countless culinary events my dad hosted while running the American Chef over the past ten years, many people got to see how great he was at his craft.  However, many people did not see the personal side of my father.

Back in the late 90s, my dad started to become a big hockey fan because my brother and I started playing the sport at a young age.  I remember that he tried to ice skate with us once, but he quickly found that ice is pretty slippery and falling on it can really hurt!  Since his skating attempts did not go so well, he decided to help our hockey teams in other ways.  When my brother and I were in high school, his idea of relaxing between Christmas and New Years was to run Gonzaga High School's annual Purple Puck hockey tournament, which required 12 hour days for almost a week.  Previously, he had also managed several of my travel hockey teams while working a demanding schedule at the White House.


Walter Scheib and his oldest son Walter
When I was in high school or college he would give me lots of practical life and work advice.  I remember when I was wavering about what I wanted to do once I grew up, he would always say that I should try to identify what I love to do in life and then work my hardest to be the best I possibly could at what I chose to do.  I could've easily brushed this advice off as cliche, but I always respected this coming from him because he had lived this advice himself.  After floundering at University of Maryland for a short time, he left college to pursue his true passion in the culinary arts.  He went on to finish second in his graduating class at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY (he once told me that he missed by fractions of a grade point), and then he went on to reach the upper echelons of his field—including  eleven years as the Executive Chef at the White House.  Recently, in early June, his advice to me came full circle at my grad school graduation from University of Denver when an advisor remarked to my dad about how self-motivated and hard-working I was throughout my grad school experience.  As I saw the proud reaction from my dad, I remember thinking that it was easy to stay motivated because I was doing what I loved to do.  I now realize how valuable my dad's advice was, so I sincerely thank him for this.

I want to conclude with another small anecdote:  sometimes while driving around with my dad when I was younger, a Red Hot Chili Peppers song called Can't Stop would come on the radio occasionally, and despite not really liking the band, my dad would always try to get me pumped up for the the last line of the song, which is "this life is more than just a read through".  I found it a little silly at the time, but now I realize that's how Dad lived his life—always giving everything he had and taking no shortcuts.  So, on behalf of my dad, I would encourage everyone to remember that you only have one life to live and not to forget that this life is more that just a read through.  Find what you love to do, and dedicate yourself to being the very best you can be at it.  

God bless Dad and thank you for reading this.   ~Walter Scheib

1 Comments:

At July 9, 2015 at 8:53 AM , Blogger Steph_Iowa said...

Wonderful post. I worked with your father a year ago and although I only met him during that event, I will always remember him. What a talented, kind and wonderful person he was... I am so glad you took the best parts of him and will continue his legacy.

 

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