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Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

This is week 5 in my Marketing and Social Media class. My site is Develop the Unique You to Help Others.  It is hard to believe that I am still blogging and finding topics to write daily for my class with professor Bill Belew. My daily focus is to always take care of the blog writing each day. It’s as if I have a new baby to care for and keep happy.

Which leads to the topic for this week’s update: What I learned from my Dad.

My dad’s name was Charlie. He was born and raised in Nebraska. His family roots were humble and simple. His mother was the Post Master General in his hometown of Hoskins, Nebraska. He was a student (like I am now) for many years of his life; he was interested in many things.

The lesson my Dad taught me is to never stop learning.

Charlie was a chemist; he earned his PhD in Chemistry and a minor in Pharmacology. Dad went to private school all his younger life, which was unusual for someone born in 1920, the son of a farmer and gambler.

When America went to war, Charlie was in school for his doctorate. He deferred his doctorate studies to enlist in the Navy.

The military put him through school to get a Master’s in Aeronology. Charlie applied his weather predicting talents to good work, forecasting weather for the bombing planes in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. If the weather was bad, the planes would get off track and could crash or run out of fuel. Dad had to study the weather for clear skies and safe round trips.

Evidently Charlie’s superior/boss in the Navy didn’t like him very much — Dad was better at predicting weather. Charlie occasionally had to do the boss’ job when his superior went to bed drunk from too much whiskey.

His qualities of curiosity and keen interest made Charlie an engaging conversationalist. He was a polymath (a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning): good at many things. My Dad refinished furniture, he was an expert on Early American Antiques and collected antiques throughout his whole life. He loved playing golf and going out to dinner. Charlie was always excited to see my daughter Julia, he loved her curious and interested nature.

Dad taught himself the computer in his early 70’s. I remember his old DOS-based computer and printer in his office. He typed with two fingers. Charlie bought the computer because he wanted to catalogue his collection of stamps. His office and files were filled with philatelic material, stamps piles and filed, purchase documentation and correspondence, books and reference material.

At age 72 he wrote a book about his stamp collection, which was a one-of-a-kind philatelic compilation on the postal history for the Nebraska Territory. His book was published posthumously in 1999. Charlie is considered a preeminent expert on how the postal routes opened and evolved in the territory and eventual state of Nebraska. After he died, my Mother and I accepted an award of excellence from his Philatelic associates in San Francisco.

My father thrived on learning new things. He was never lazy about pursuing knowledge. He tried very hard to be an interested listener and questioner. I remember family dinners and vacations where everyone wanted to talk to Charlie; he engaged others to know what they were doing.

My Dad was the epitome of someone who wanted to develop himself and be educated on new things. He never stopped learning. Charlie was very good at communicating, engaging his well-hewn conversation skills. My mother and my whole family found him an appealing and thought-provoking person. He showed all of us what it was like to seek out new knowledge and apply it. My Dad instilled a high-achieving nature in all his children.

Frequently when I am learning something new or taking a new class, like my Marketing and Social Media course with Professor Belew, I think of my father. He would have enjoyed hearing about blogging and the world of Social Media. My Dad probably would have started his own blog if he had lived long enough to see the virtual world of the Internet come alive. I’m thankful for the learning I receive in my doctorate classes and remember the legacy of my Dad–Charlie Winter, who never stopped  learning.

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

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