Category: Memory Lane
Hail and farewell to a unique personality, my father, David Paul Chappell, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 95 from causes not related to Covid-19. He was a renowned rocket scientist who worked on all of the Apollo missions, an aeronautical engineer who designed the Osprey aircraft, and an award-winning member of the American Helicopter Society. He was also a sports car collector and mechanic. He played multiple musical instruments, focusing in his youth on violin (Beethoven) and piano (boogie-woogie), in mid-life on classical guitar, and in later years on bagpipes. He traveled widely and studied the French, German, and Italian languages. He was the father of four and the grandfather of three, and he remarried after the passing of my mother, with both marriages lasting over 30 years. Self-sufficient by nature, he did a lot of thinking outside of the box and rarely saw things the way most others did. This world will be different without him.
Copied from Jeffrey Chappell’s Facebook
The Chappell Family Website and blog were created more than a decade ago. The domain was set up to utilize what was at the time a new Google feature that’s now called Workplaces. Everybody in the family was given their own “@chappells.us” account they could log into for email (on the Gmail platform) and other features, as well as logins to this blog so they could post and share information, stories, pictures, and whatever with the family. I was interested in what the others were doing, for one thing, and also thought it would help to bond familial relationships which were, at the time, strained in certain respects. This was all before the advent of Facebook, so maybe it was 15 or even 20 years ago. In any case, nobody but the website’s creator used it or even visited it. During conversations in which family members were participants, there would be questions posed about family matters from which it was evident the questioner and questionees had never visited the website, where the information sought had been readily available for years. This would spawn certain emotions in the site’s creator, who always bit his tongue rather than respond with any remark that might smack of self-promotion. Of course, when Facebook came along everybody hopped onto it with their own individual pages. The Chappells creator briefly considered setting up a family Facebook page to complement the family website, but the notion was easily dispatched as having no more potential for interest than the website.
One of these days I’ll be gone. I’m soon to be 70, have type 2 diabetes, have had two heart attacks, have a cancerous blood marker that’s “smoldering”, and other ailments. Within a year after that happens the website’s hosting account will expire for want of anybody interested in renewing it, the domain registration will likewise expire, and the Chappell Family Website will be history. I suppose it may be preserved to some extent on the Internet Wayback Machine, should anybody ever care to look for it, which seems unlikely. So, one might ask, has it all been a wasted effort? Nah. I’ll save it on a CD or something before I die and give it to the kids, along with the old-fashioned family photo albums. Then I’ll die and it will all be of no further interest to me. Maybe it was never justified as anything other than a personal project of interest only to me. If so, I found the effort, and the product of it, to be personally satisfying. The generation of personally satisfying accomplishments is one of the reasons for living, isn’t it?
January 4, 2023
Life, Memory Lane
Comments Off on Kansas Homestead
As many people do, and as I thought I had done before now, I checked street view on Google maps to see what my house would look like. Maybe in the past I only checked satellite view. What I found today on street view is a photo that Google must have taken at least 25, maybe 30, years ago; I lose track of time. The van in the driveway is what we had when the kids were pre-college which was way before the turn of the century. There’s been at least one other car between that van and what we have now.
And the maple tree in the front yard now dwarfs the depiction of it in the photo. I suppose it’s still quite a feat for Google to have actually photographed so many homes, but it’s a little surprising to learn that what they show may be of more historical than current interest.