In looking back at my relationship with my father, there are a couple imperative emails that I need to log into the system.
This is a conversation from 2007 where I was intrigued about his relationship with his older brother Craig – who he lost in a motorcycle accident when he was in his early twenties. I never realized how close Craig and my father were, and I was interested in knowing how the loss of his brother changed his relationship with my soon to be future mom, Susan Sanders Hydle.
I remember him coming to my home in Golden and we went to the Bridgewater Grill for dinner on the creek…
On 6/28/07, Greg Hydle wrote:
Hey Dad… thanks for dinner and sharing stories last night. I never realized that Craig was so close to you in age… and how hard that has probably been for you to deal with. I like that bridgewater grill patio… good food!
On 6/28/07, Les Hydle wrote:
You’re welcome, Greg. I’m glad you asked me to come up. You are good company. I agree with you on the restaurant. It was good, the river nice, but no Barman! Your photos and videos are great, but you know that. Thanks for sharing.
Without me replying to this email… my father continued,
On Jun 28, 2007, at 11:03 PM, Les Hydle wrote:
Regarding Craig, and his death: that one event was probably the most pivotal event in my life. It was the catalyst for change in most of the ways I relate to others, especially family. It taught me that there isn’t always a tomorrow to tell people how you feel about them. I was always close to my mother, but this brought me closer to dad. I became a “touchy-feeley” person. My mom was that way, I guess I learned it from her. With Craig’s death, I gave myself permission to be that way with others. Dad was real “stand-offish” at first, but soon, he reciprocated, then initiated the action. To this day, I never leave RT or my sisters with out telling them I love them. and giving them all hugs.
Back in that time, your mom and I were dating. It was early in our relationship, but we were to the point of sharing our pasts, and family information with each other. When your “pre-mom” asked about my family, most of the information I shared was about Craig. I told her she must meet him, and how much I know she will like him. ( I was so over him stealing my girlfriend, Bonnie). I told her of our lives together, the teenage plans we had to ride motorcycles, and I told her how caring he was. I even told her some bad stuff too. I was excited to someday soon go back to L.A., show her the beach, tour Venice, demonstrate and teach her body surfing, and introduce her to my family, and to Craig. That was on a Friday night.
Saturday morning found me at work at Wheelchairs Inc. That is where I got the call that Craig was in a motorcycle accident, and was taken to UCLA Medical Center. It was about 9:00 am. At 11:00 I got the call that he did not make it. Of course I was devastated. Suser would never get to meet my Brother, but most important, I never told him how I felt and how important he was in my life.
That must never happen again.
So you can understand my hugs to you, your mom, Sheila, Jeremy, and Jessica, and all of my and Suser’s family. My obnoxious, repetitive stories and my feelings shared, perhaps too often. But those stories and feelings, and emotions should not go unsaid.
As a wiser man once said, “Now you know the rest of the story!” Thanks for reading this.
I love you!
On 6/30/07, Greg Hydle
I honestly never knew that A) you and craig were so close in age and B) that you lost him at a such a pivotal point in your life. I guess I always thought that he was the older untouchable brother to you guys… that he was even older then RT. And when he passed… that you were at such a young age that you didn’t really understand or relate too it that emotionally because you didn’t have that relationship built up. I never knew how close you guys were. It’s like Jer and me now… the relationship is so different then it was growing up. If something had happened to him when I was younger… I wouldn’t have the feelings that I have now. I guess that is the way I always thought it was with your brother… and losing him. How old were you? How did mom react to that happening… did it make you guys closer? In a way, I can see how something like that could advance or make you feel closer to somebody in a rapid sort of way… and maybe that happened with you and mom. I don’t really know. There is so much I don’t really know about you guys…
Thanks for sharing dad! This really might just be the “beginning of the story”.
On July 2nd, 2007, at 12:29 AM, Les Hydle wrote:
Craig and I were close in age, Darwin also. When we played baseball, I was the pitcher, Craig was my catcher. The league we were in, we had the “majors”, and the “minors”, with the majors being the better, older, players. Since he was a year older than me, he could’ve gone to a team in the majors a year before me. Instead, he chose to stay in the minors when I first started playing in this league. He was already on the “Indians” and that is where I joined him. We were a team. We practiced constantly. These practices are where I learned the throw the “junk pitches” our coaches loved (I know you remember the Knuckle ball I showed you). One time I misplaced my cap, and Craig gave me his. I told him no, I will have to just buy my next one. He said he still has his from last year. I told him that one was very dirty, and to keep it. He handed me his cap, one more time, and demanded I take it, as he is a catcher, and no one sees his cap anyway. At that time, I was 9, Craig was 10. I tell you that to illustrate that Craig always would give to others even if he went without. I’m sure this was not the first time his generous nature came out with me, but it is the one I remembered first. (By the way, when Craig was too old to play in our league, I still had a year to play. No one could catch me very well, and I went through 3 different catchers that year.)
Craig and I were close. Somewhere there are photos of us on those teams. I was, what, about 23 or 24 when he died. Sheila was about 4-5, Jeremy, about 1. The call I received that day came from Sheila and Jeremy’s mother.
Suser and I had some good friends who helped me, us, re-enter the normal world. One of these friends, Scott, loaned us his condo in Silverthorn. The thought was to get away a little longer, recover from the funeral, then return to work with a more positive attitude. I think that really helped. By the way, that person was Scott Manley.
I think that time did help our relationship. Oh, Suser and I had alot of problems, and a rocky road to climb, but perhaps Craig’s death, and Suser’s availibility to me to safely share my feelings with, probably helped alot in bringing us closer together.
As a sidelight, I mentioned to you before, that Craig and I talked alot about “Someday, we’re going to have big motorcycles, and tour the country” We talked alot about this, but I could not see how it could be done. I did buy a dirt bike, but Craig now had a big Honda 750, four cylinder road machine! This was the biggest bike Honda had ever built! (I was with him when he he got his first speeding ticket on it!) I could not see how we could continue this dream. After all, he was single, just discharged from the Army, and living at home with mom and dad. I was married, and a new father. Money was tight, but I got a job offer in Colorado, so maybe, some day… You probably know about this, I know I told Sheila. But, next time you come over, look on the Venture. Craig’s Army “dogtags” have been hanging on it since I’ve owned it. The reason? So “we could have big bikes and tour the country.” My father’s tag is there also, but that is another story!
Thanks for your interest, Greg. I have not thought about some of this stuff in some time. I don’t mind you asking though.
Love , Dad