[Noozhawk’s note: Last November, dedicated community volunteer Meredith Scott of Santa Barbara first shared with readers her medical journey of living with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. She recently provided her Father’s Day reflections to her friend, Randy Weiss, a longtime Noozhawk contributor.]
As a young girl growing up in Northridge during the early 1960s, I remember my dad, Sherman Pearl, doing a variety of things to earn a living.
My earliest memory is driving a bakery truck that he would often bring home after work.
And seemingly every time, he would let my two sisters and me go in and choose something special from the day’s sweet surplus supplies.
I always picked the sugar doughnut.
He later sold real estate, and then owned a commercial laundry business, before buying a dry cleaners — where I worked during my teen years. I loved it because I got to spend a lot of time with him.
And when he sold that business, he took my mom, Geri, to Europe, where they traveled extensively by train for four months.
Then, in the early 1980s, when my husband, John, was opening new restaurants for Jeremiah’s, a national chain, we — Mom, Dad, John and me — were all in Palm Springs for a grand-opening event.
A sales representative came to promote Fiber seal — a new product sprayed on carpet and upholstery to protect from spills, dirt, etc.
Well, John called my father to come see it and Dad was so impressed that he bought the Fiber seal territory for the San Fernando Valley! He grew it so successfully and so quickly that he was able to retire early when he sold it to my cousin.
And when he did retire, we were first worried about what he would do because he didn’t have any hobbies — like golf or fishing, but he sure keeps himself busy.
Now years later, he still does and even walks seven miles four days a week!
My husband, John, has my dad’s same strong work ethic and enterprising spirit.
Dad was never afraid to take measured risks — he bought his last business when in his early 50s — and we always knew he would succeed and just trusted that he would take of care of us.
Same with John, like when he bought The Harbor Restaurant (1988) — people would ask me, “Are you nervous?”
I wasn’t, because as it was with Dad, I just knew that he would he make the right decisions for our family.
And he has.
In our kids, I see these same incredible attributes …
Our daughter, Kelly, is already an established entrepreneur as owner of Miss Behavin, a successful Isla Vista clothing boutique.
And when our son, Jordan, finished college — he first followed his passion for golf, working for companies like MacGregor, and traveling across the country with the pro golf circuit.
When the economy shifted a few years ago, he began working with John — where he first started as a dishwasher in junior high school — and now has worked his way up to director of operations for all four restaurants and is doing a phenomenal job!
In fact, one of them, The Harbor Restaurant, just received a 2014 National Wine List Award of Excellence.
I am very proud of … blessed with … and lovingly surrounded by … my very special family.
It’s been just over a year since my ALS diagnosis and it has provided me with new prospective, new meaning of life itself …
It’s more challenging because there have been so many changes in my body.
I fight each day to keep the strength that I have — a reminder that every day is truly a gift.
And, yet, there is still so much more work to do …
So far this year, our three “Beating the Odds” fundraisers — a special Harbor Restaurant reception; a movie, Running with Jim; and a golf tournament — have raised more than $93,000 that has been donated to Dr. Robert Baloh, my physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, to further his important ALS research.
There has been much to celebrate …
In April, for my birthday, John and I traveled to Amsterdam and then went on a Viking River Cruise down the Rhine and through Germany, where we saw many castles.
For his birthday, we wound up in Switzerland, and spent time in Lucerne and Lugano, before driving to Paris, where we met Kelly and had five days with her and celebrated her birthday.
There been so many good things —support from family, and so many friends and people from so long ago — people from all phases of my life reaching out to me.
Every day, I still receive many cards and emails; it’s all very encouraging.
They have all come together to help me.
I could not be more loved and cared for —this is a most cherished gift forever from my family.
And I never thought that my dad — at age 89 — would still be taking care of me.
Every Friday is special because that’s when he and Mom drive up and we go to lunch together and see a movie.
I always feel like that young girl again, picking out my favorite doughnut.
His and Mom’s unconditional love for me, and all of us — a love furthered by John and our kids — has truly been and will always be my greatest foundation, and my inspiration to live and love life to the fullest, everyday.
So, Happy Father’s Day, and thank you, Dad, with all my love …
— Meredith Scott — mom, wife, daughter — is a Santa Barbara philanthropist and community leader.