("Kvell" is a Yiddish word meaning to be proud.)
I am proud of all my kids. Nameless is brilliant, Blake has been a tremendous help to Bud & me as we've gotten older &
semi more decrepit, but this post is about Matt.
When my kids were small I read to them every day. They all wanted to sit next to me. (I don't know if that was because they loved me or they wanted to see the pictures in the book.) That created a small problem. Three kids, only two sides. Matt would relinquish his seat next to me & let his brother or sister sit there if they arrived late. I don't mean to say that he was perfect, by any means. He deliberately rode his bike into a construction pit, jumped off the front porch (a one story fall) using an umbrella as a parachute, & wasn't too fond of bathing as a child. He once wrote his opinion of showering on the steamed up mirror. ( He wrote "fucke" instead of "fuck"; it looked as if Shakespeare was swearing!!) He's always had a good sense of humor, even as a child. A friend of ours had an operation to have part of his colon removed. We were discussing this at the dinner table & Matt asked us, "If he had part of his colon removed, does that mean that now he only has a semicolon?"
Matt & Linda got married in 1988. Before they got married he told me that a friend was getting married because he had gotten the girl pregnant. He added that he thought that was the right thing to do but he said he was marrying Linda because he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. I love Linda. I still tell Matt that marrying her was the smartest thing he ever did!!
He met Linda while he was working at Chapman College & she was coaching (& playing with) the men’s water polo team. She is totally at home in the water & their home is filled with fish pictures, statuettes, etc. With our name being Fischer, they are now “Fishman” & “Fishlegs”. I remember in the evening after their afternoon wedding there were a dozen or more of us (but not the newlyweds!!) laying on or near our hotel bed eating pizza & watching "Moonstruck" on the TV. I designed a fish bride & groom cake decoration, about 5 or 6 inches tall, with a veil, wedding bouquet, top hat & bowtie & had it made by a glassblower on Olvera Street. I don’t know what movers they used when they left for Connecticut, but they should have used someone else. Linda told me the first question they asked her was if she had any bubble wrap. Below is a drawing of how I remember it looked before it was (unsuccessfully) moved to the east coast.
It looked like this, only cuter & more detailed,
& it was about 6" tall & made of glass:
Since their home has a definite fish motif, I also made them these:
I know he loves us, too.
He got our pictures tattooed on his arm:
Matt wasn't always an avid cyclist:
In the fairly early years of their marriage, he & his wife Linda (who is a licensed physical therapist & certified exercise fanatic) decided to go with friends on a 50 mile bike ride. Linda was in great shape--Matt, not so much. He had skipped breakfast; not a good idea for a diabetic. My son, of course, crapped out after not too many miles. Linda gave him some fruit & water out of her fanny pack & made sure that he was all right. They agreed that he would wait there & that she would meet him on her way back. I told him that next time he took a 50 mile ride he should take some bananas. He told me, "Next time I take a 50 mile ride, I'll take a car!!"
All that leads me to what I'm proudest of him for.
He & I both have diabetes & for several years he's been doing 100 mile bike rides to help finance a cure. We contribute a fair amount of money to these rides & he's chosen to honor us:
A close up:
He sent this to a daughter of a friend of his:
Her mother's reply:
Matt & his brother Blake on the Death Valley ride:
For two years in a row Team Fish has earned more money than any other riders!!
Several members of our family ride with him, too:
Allow me to identify them for you:
Mikerel--My nephew Mike
Hopalong--My niece Teri, survivor of many surgeries
Flounder--My son Blake
Brifische--My grandson Brian
and the non-riders but helpers:
E-Fish out of water--Mike's wife Evie
Lisafisch--My granddaughter Lisa
BriFische, Flounder, Hammerhead, Hopalong, Fishlegs, Fishman, Mikerel
Hammerhead is Teri's friend/riding partner Joe.
He is also appreciated by others.
He & Linda were taken out to dinner recently & he was given this:
It looks exactly like him:
That's my boy!!----fishducky