July 26, 2012

Ernie Sailer, 1917-2012

My father has died at age 95.

Here are a few pictures.
L.A. County Art Museum, 1984
This was taken during the 1984 Summer Olympics, when my father was 67. A general theme in these photos is that he usually looks about a decade or more younger than he really was, which reflects his robust health.

Cabo San Lucas, 1985
Two striped marlins, mine 110 pounds (took about 45 minutes to reel in), my father's 155 (took 75 minutes). We thought we were hot stuff until the next boat brought in a 506 pound blue marlin.

Honda 90, about 1967
I hadn't previously noted my Dad's resemblance to a French comedian. The child actor looks like a drip, though.
Hiking in Topanga Canyon, late 1990s
Atop Lembert Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite, October 1986
Atop Sugarloaf, Rio de Janeiro, May 1978

301 comments:

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IHTG said...

My condolences.

SFG said...

My condolences, sir.

Seneca said...

Sorry for your loss Steve. My condolences.

blighter said...

Condolences, Steve.

AMac said...

Thanks for posting this. Sharing a few reminiscences of a good man with your readers.

Condolences.

Anonymous said...

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis, dona nobis pacem.

Anonymous said...

My condolences, Steve. Sorry for your loss.

Chris Anderson said...

My condolences, Steve.

Svigor said...

My condolences Steve.

Somebody said it better than I would have on the other thread:

Shame about your dad but I guess it was his time. Take comfort in knowing he lived through probably the most pleasant times in human history.

I'll add that 95 is a hell of a run. My dad only made it a couple years past half that. My grandad almost got that far, though.

Those of us who grew up in intact families with good relationships with our fathers should count our blessings. Seems like every other guy I bump into hates his old man, didn't really know him, etc. Mine was my best friend, and from what I can gather you and yours were very close.

Rob in Windham County said...

What a great childhood you had! And what a full life your father seems to have led! The photo on the moped was priceless. He looked so content and confident.

Rob in Windham County said...

Great pictures! What a childhood you had! And the photo of your father driving the moped was very evocative. He is smiling and looking up and into the distance. So content and confident. Everything is right with the world. What a great life he must have led!

The Anti-Gnostic said...

God rest his soul, Steve.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

May he rest in peace.He seemed to have lived a long ,productive,and happy life in no small part due to you.

My condolences.

theo the kraut said...

A life well lived. Condolences, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Very sorry for your loss, Steve. May he rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you guys had a lot of great times together. You've often mentioned the insanely stressful job he had. You'd never know it looking at these joyful pictures.

Wes said...

Sorry for your loss. He was a quite an accomplished gentleman and lived a good, long life. Has the world ever changed as much as did during his lifetime? The things he saw. You are all in my thoughts.

keypusher said...

Condolences, sir. You were proud of him, and I hope he was equally proud of you.

milam command said...

You were lucky to have each other. A wonderful family. Wonderful life. I grieve for you.

Anonymous said...

My condolences. Very sorry to hear this news. Thank you for giving us a portrait of him in your posts over the years. A life well lived.

May he rest in peace, and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Laban

Joe Schmoe said...

Terribly sorry for your loss. Your father was obviously a great dad; the pictures, and your occasional references to him, demonstrate that. I am sure that he was proud of you and the way you have raised your son.

Hunsdon said...

My condolences, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Steve - do you have any pictures of him during WWII or Korea [or even Vietnam]?

Or is it all still classified?

Thanks.

PS: Bonus points if there are any fighters or bombers [or, God forbid, either The Dragon Lady or The Blackbird itself] in the background.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, Steve.

Steve Sailer said...

A commenter on another thread said:

"Take comfort in knowing he lived through probably the most pleasant times in human history."

Yup. His family moved to California in 1929. He worked hard to have a good life, but it was definitely a good life.

He was skiing 70 years ago, before there were ski lifts -- put your skis on your shoulder and hike up. He was there when somebody lugged a Model T engine to the top of June Mountain and hooked a rope tow to it.

In the 1930s in Malibu, he'd swim out past the breakers to the kelp beds, dive down to the ocean floor with a knife in his teeth, and pry Giant Abalone off the bottom, then roast them in a bonfire on the beach.

NOTA said...

My condolences.

elvisd said...

He's smiling in every picture.

FWG said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, Steve. I'm sure he is very proud of his son. Great pictures as well.

Zachary Latif said...

My condolences for you and your family's loss.

Your post movingly typified, through family photos, the end to a carefree era and the beginning of a brave new world.

He seemed like a very happy man (judging from the photographs), which in this day and age can be quite the feat.

Zachary

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. Thank you for posting the lovely photos.

- A Solid Citizen

ben tillman said...

Please accept my condolences.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a wonderful long life. Great that you had so many years to know and enjoy him.

TH said...

Condolences, Steve. From your references to him over the years I always got the impression that he was a good man.

Prof. Woland said...

Steve,

I am sorry for the loss of your father. My thoughts are with you today.

Anonymous said...

Looks like he lived a full and happy life. My regards.

Anonymous said...

Condolences. Lost my daddy (88) a few months ago. Hugs from Italy

Aaron in Israel said...

My condolences. He seems like a good father who loved you very much.

stari_momak said...

From this, and what youve written about him previously, your father like a wonderful American, one of the millions of unsung who helped build the greatest, more powerful nation-state on earth.

Sorry for your loss.

Bruce Banner said...

Having never met him, I can sense what a great father he was. Sorry, Steve!

Neal said...

A life well lived.

FredR said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Anonymous Rice Alum #4 said...

My condolences to you and your family.

Mr. Anon said...

My condolences at your loss, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Condolences

Timothy Pitts said...

My condolences, too. I lost my father two years ago and I still find it hard to realize he's gone. I appreciate your fine photos and great memories. Thank you for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

deepest sympathies.

Frank C

Anonymous said...

"Take comfort in knowing he lived through probably the most pleasant times in human history."


What I find really sad is that America's political and economic leaders are working tirelessly to undermine the foundations of our good fortune. Comparing the situation 50 years ago with the situation now, I'd say that their efforts have been most successful in California.

kaganovitch said...

Condolences. A life well-lived is a thing of beauty

Florida resident said...

My condolences and fascination by your father.
Your F.r.

Anonymous said...

did you inherit any money or property?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting.

The marlin photo brought back fond memories of my dad and me fishing at the Deerfield Beach pier. No marlins were caught there, but a sailfish occasionally was.

Based on the photos, I can only hope that I'll be as good a dad to my son as yours was to you.

Dahinda said...

Sorry for your loss!

Anonymous said...

Sincere Condolences, Mr Sailer

Anonymous said...

Eternal rest grant, o Lord.

Anonymous said...

My sincerest condolences. We need more men like him (and you).

Theresa said...

So sorry about your dad, Steve. From everything you've written about him, he sounded like a great guy!

(And being the man who invented the red wine-applesauce slurpee he's a-okay in my book!)

Anonymous said...

Condolences for your loss. Take comfort in his having seen the best of America.

Glaivester said...

Sorry to hear about your father. I lost mine last year, and I know what it is like.

Carol said...

I'm so sorry about your loss, Steve.

Sure remember those Hondas...I bought a new 125 that same year. I wish I still had it!

Luke Lea said...

Sounds like you had a good experience. When mine died (at a similar age) it was like the final chord of a beautiful piece of music.

beowulf said...

I'm sorry for your loss Steve.

I always enjoy reading about your dad (mixing wine and apple sauce, genius) and I trust your stockpile of cool Ernie Sailer stories is far from exhausted.

beowulf said...

I'm sorry for your loss Steve.

I always enjoy reading about your dad (mixing wine and apple sauce, genius) and I trust your stockpile of cool Ernie Sailer stories is far from exhausted.

neil craig said...

95, compos mentis, fit & with you as a son.

I don't think anybody could have asked for much more.

Anonymous said...

My sympathies, Steve. It should be a consolation that your father had a son of whom he could be proud.

Kylie said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Thank you for sharing your stories and photos of him with us over the years. They showed a man who was fully alive and lived a full life. These last pictures are real treasures.

How lucky you were to have had him as your dad.

as said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I love these pictures and I thank you for sharing them with us. I think of the kids not lucky enough to have had such a father and I think I know you well enough through your writing to know you think of that often too.

I am very sorry for your loss, Steve, yet happy for you and the rest of your family that you had such a dad and had him for so long.

Be well.

Anonymous said...

Amazing Grace.
Robert Hume

Hereward said...

Very sorry to hear it, my condolences. It sounds like he had a long, good life.

Anonymous said...

You and your father were both very, lucky to have each other. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

Josh said...

Condolences, steve.

Praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss Mr. Sailer.

Sheila said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Steve. Thank you for sharing some lovely father and son photos.

Anonymous said...

Condolences, especially since he sounds like he was a really great father and a really great guy.

--bbtp

nooffensebut said...

My condolences.

Kai Carver said...

My sympathies. Beautiful post.

ArikSharon said...

I'm so sorry! What wonderful pictures to remember him by.

Anonymous said...

May God bless your father in heaven, your family and you.

Auntie Analogue said...

Tender sympathies tendered, Mr. Sailer. Grieve well and, when time brings ripeness, carry on.

Chief Seattle said...

My condolences Steve. Those are wonderful pictures. Clear evidence of a life well lived.

Anonymous said...

Hiking in Topanga Canyon... or somewhere else. The breeze on the leaves speaks softly about his family down there, and he smiles.

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace.

He led an enviable life and lives on through his invaluable son.

Tom Piatak said...

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

poolside said...

Steve ... I am sorry for your loss. Losing our fathers is a painful rite of passage, one that makes us seem both old and childlike at the same time.

Your dad appeared to be an amazing guy, full of life. I know you will miss him.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

I am sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

My condolences, Steve.

Anonymous said...

so sorry, Steve, from a long time lurker.

Reg C├Žsar said...

We'll miss him, too-- you've quoted him enough!

jz said...

looks like he lived a great life.

Anonymous said...

"He was skiing 70 years ago, before there were ski lifts -- put your skis on your shoulder and hike up. He was there when somebody lugged a Model T engine to the top of June Mountain and hooked a rope tow to it.

In the 1930s in Malibu, he'd swim out past the breakers to the kelp beds, dive down to the ocean floor with a knife in his teeth, and pry Giant Abalone off the bottom, then roast them in a bonfire"

Ok enough already - now I'm just insanely jealous.

Life well lived- condolences.

Dan in Dc

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss, Steve. He seems to have been quite a man.

eah said...

Sincere and heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

Fake Herzog said...

The stories you have written over the years about your Dad are wonderful (as are these pictures); I will pray for the repose of his soul. As others have said, it was obvious he led a long and good life and the world is a better place with him having brought you into it.

My condolences and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Requiescat in pace...
Poignant pics especially the last of you sawing and he watching. Can almost smell the sawn wood and feel the breeze and stillness thru the trees and the innocence of the times.
Your father lived a full life it appears and loved and was loved, may the same be said for all of us.
May you and yours be comforted in your time of sorrow.

Chuck Ross said...

A wonderful spirit. Shines through in the pictures you've posted.

Wade said...

My condolences as well Steve. Thanks for sharing the pictures and offering us a window into your childhood and upbringing. I bet your dad was a great man.

Wade said...

My condolences as well Steve. Thanks for sharing the pictures and offering us a window into your childhood and upbringing. I bet your dad was a great man.

Anne said...

May his memory be eternal.

Simon in London said...

He seems like a cool guy.

Ali said...

RIP.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Lisa said...

It looks like he had a good, long life. May he sleep in the arms of the Lord.

Anonymous said...

My sincere condolences.

rho said...

Cheers to you and your dad. May you live as long as he.

I love the photo on the Honda CT90. Somebody should start building those again, they were great little machines.

Anonymous said...

Cabo San Lucas, 1985

Somebody just went to see William L. Petersen as Richard Chance [had to have been - because Manhunter wouldn't be released until 1986].

You are so totally busted.

So. Totally. Busted.

I'll bet you can even whistle the soundtrack from memory.

LOL'ed.

Mark Seecof said...

I sorrow to hear of his passing. My condolences and best wishes to you and your whole family, Steve.

e said...

I'm so sorry Steve. Your Dad looks like an awesome guy.

Rah said...

Condolences.

Ray Sawhill said...

Sorry to hear it, condolences. Glad to know he had such a long and good life, though.

Jehu said...

I am sorry for your loss. I am sure his is greatly missed by those who he now leaves behind.

Anonymous said...

My condolences.

Syon

Anonymous said...

Compare the scooter photo from this images from Jacques Tati's 1958 film "Mon Oncle": http://www.ecrans.fr/local/cache-vignettes/L450xH381/arton6891-33221.jpg

I'm sorry for your loss.

Horace said...

Sorry to hear of your loss.

I remember you telling us how your father drove away an eagle (or falcon ?)that you were worried would attach your pet rabbit from your back yard.

Your dad figured out that you could do this by shining a mirror in it's eyes.

all the best,

Horace

dearieme said...

RIP. He played a fine innings.

Condolences, Steve,

Anonymous said...

My condolences.

Ian said...

Sorry for your loss, Steve.

Your father raised a man who has inspired and educated large numbes of people all over the world with his (your) clarity, insight, and courage - and that is part of the positive legacy of your father's time on Earth.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Steve. You have my deepest condolences.

James Kabala said...

Please accept my condolences.

DCThrowback said...

May he rest in peace, Steve.

"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." Exodus 20:12

Mitch said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like he had a wonderful life and clearly served as a great inspiration to you.

JayMan said...

My condolensces on your loss.

as said...

Thanks for sharing the photos.

I remember there were others from Chicago?

Anonymous said...

My condolences. My own father was born in 1915 and lived until nearly 90. He worked two jobs to support his family.

David In TN

Anonymous said...

RIP. What a great Father/Guy! Was he raised to be such by your Grandparents or did your Father get there all on his own gumption? Whichever, he pretty much had the best life has to offer for a fine long run!
Certainly his memory will be cherished by your family & his friends. Thank you for sharing a few of yours.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what sort of America I'll see if I live to his age. I'm 20 now.

Geoff Matthews said...

You have my condolences. It's good to see that he had a good 92 years, and a good son.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like quite a great Man and Father. My condolences to you and your family.

Whiskey said...

My deepest condolences and my prayers for you and your family. God bless you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Just by the photos it is easy to tell your father was a manly man and quite a guy. His posture, facial expressions and positive attitude. My condolences. My dad hit the wall at 94.

Marc B said...

Your father looked like a robust man who really enjoyed life. Those photos make me sad not only for your loss, but also because it reminds me that my own dad is a workaholic who forgot how to enjoy life the same way once he reached late mid-life.

My condolences.

Londoner said...

I hope you don't mind a perfect stranger offering you condolences, Steve, but I would like to do so. It sounds like your father was a terrific guy and will be much missed. A great American of the old school.

Lugash said...

My condolences.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

My condolences, Steve.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the pictures.

DCS said...

We should all be twice lucky enough to have a life like his and a father like him. RIP.

DCS said...

We should all be twice lucky to have a life like his and a father like him. My condolences.

Cyprian Korzeniowski said...

My condolences, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Well done Ernie, Rest in Peace.

Alat said...

My condolences.

Tom said...

So sorry Steve.

Tom said...

So sorry Steve.

Anonymous said...

Comb and crucifix cube(?)

Two marlins

Easy Rider(with son than nicholson)before EASY RIDER

Looking like Rio Jesus at Yosemite followed by Rio.

Any significance to these pics?

I wonder if Mr. Sailer Sr. had some Greek blood. He looked like John Cassavetes.

Charlesz Martel said...

Please accept my condolences. It seems like he was quite healthy right up until near the end. You are fortunate that you had him for so long.

Best Regards.

Steve Sailer said...

Regarding my December 1985 Cabo look:

"Somebody just went to see William L. Petersen as Richard Chance" in "To Live and Die in LA"

Yes, I saw the move within the previous few weeks. Good call.

Anonymous said...

The pictures are great. I enjoy reading about your memories, and your obvious admiration of your dad. So many people have strained relationships with their parents You were lucky to have had him around for so long. My heartfelt sympathy.

Jeff said...

Sorry for your loss. My condolences to all the Sailer family.

Sid said...

It does appear he lived a long, healthy, well-loved life.

Anonymous said...

I knew it!

The moment I saw that picture, I knew it!

Man, those were some good times, though, weren't they - California during the Reagan Administration?

Sweet, sweet memories.

Anonymous said...

Just curious. Why is junior trying to saw off senior's shoe?

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind another perfect stranger offering you condolences.


Sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully evocative photos, of your father and his time.

It's never easy to lose kin. But he looks like he lived life, and did it for 95 years.


--Erich Schwarz

Anonymous said...

My condolences.

Im sure a lot pilots and aircrews, flew safe thanks to your dad. And at that time, it was pretty important to keep those planes flying.

feral1404 said...

Condolences to you and yours, Steve. May your father rest in peace.

agnostic said...

He looks like an icon of California's Golden Age -- adventuresome, easy-going, and dignified. That shows the most in the Honda 90 picture, where he's got a thick head of dark hair at age 50, but is above having to show it off. Just enjoying the breezes run their fingers through it while taking his son out for a fun ride on a moped.

Grumpy Old Man said...

May his memory be eternal.

Dahlia said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad looked and seemed like such a spark!

Thank you so much for sharing his passing and these wonderful pictures with us.

Big Bill said...

You have my condolences, Steve. What a run he had, though! Worked post-war for a company with a good pension, robust health, thirty years of retirement. A good long run. The Lord truly blessed him.

Five Daarstens said...

My condolences.

Old Rebel said...

Looks like he was a good man who enjoyed a good life.

Anonymous said...

The pics prove that your Dad enjoyed life and time with you.
What a great legacy.
Plenty of fathers of this 'greatest generation' just didnt' seem to give a damn.
Glad yours did.
Condolences on his passing.
JFK was also born in 1917.

Ron Mexico said...

My condolences, Sailer

Anonymous said...

My condolences, Steve. Splendid effort to make it to 95, too. May you and all your family members have such longevity.

Semi-employed White Guy said...

Very sorry for your loss. He was obviously a great Dad.

Anonymous said...

Condolences, from yet another anon.

128b12fa-d777-11e1-b364-000bcdca4d7a said...

Condolences. And surely he was proud of you. Best wishes to your family.

RKU said...

Very sad...

Billare said...

Every time you wrote about him, your love for father shone through. My sincerest condolences.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family.

Anonyia said...

Sorry for your loss. I love the spirit of those pictures. It reminds me of my own grandfather, also of the Greatest Generation, who passed away a few weeks ago. They truly enjoyed the best years America had (or will have) to offer.

papabear said...

I'm sorry for your loss. May your father rest in peace.

kudzu bob said...

My condolences. He was obviously a fine man, and I am sure that you will miss him.

Anonymous said...

Countries are built by people like this.

Losing one's Dad - this is always a tough one.

Anon.

Carol said...

Ah, what great photos of a great relationship. Somewhere, someone is doing it right, now and then.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss Steve. No matter how old he may have been few things are more painful than the death of a parent.


Gloria

Anonymous said...

He was from a great generation of Americans, the same generation as my parents. In fact, he was born the same year as my mother. They didn't complain. They worked hard. They sacrificed for their kids. They understood personal responsiblity. How I wish we Boomers had turned out worthy of all that sacrifice.

Clutch cargo cult said...

Sorry about your loss, it's obvious from the pictures a life well lived.

Anonymous said...

Steve, your dad is gone now and so is California. Joan Didion writes about such extinctions. I'm very sorry for you and your family.

Skip G. said...

I'm sorry, Steve.

Anonymous said...

I wanna thank Sr. for the apple sauce drink. RIP.

PS. Born during WWI and lived through Depression, WWII, 50s, 60s, and the rest. Wow, his eyes must have seen much.

Harry Baldwin said...

Sorry to hear about your father. Looks like he led a great life and a long one.

Maya said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. May you live as long as your father did, and may your sons live longer. Those pictures are pretty inspiring.

Anonymous said...

My condolences.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

1917. Remarkable.

-Justin

Anonymous said...

Let me just add that as sad as it must be for you and your family, take heart in knowing that he obviously lived a very long and happy life. It's really something to aspire towards. May we all be so fortunate.

chucho said...

Sorry for your loss, Steve. What a great tribute.

Luke Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mac said...

My sympathies, Steve.

Bill said...

My deepest condolences for your loss.

Richard said...

Sorry for your loss, Steve. RIP.

Anonymous said...

My sincerest condolences, Mr. Sailer. We should all pay tribute to a life well lived, as you've so eloquently described your father's. RIP

Anonymous said...

Steve, I'm sorry for your loss. My dad passed away this year at the age of 89.

-meh

A Reader said...

Sorry for your loss Steve. He seemed like good man and great father.

Jeff said...

My sincerest condolences for your loss. I am sure your father died knowing that he had produced such a great man for a son.

Anonymous said...

Condolences Steve.

slumber_j said...

Your father looks like a lot of fun--for himself and for those close to him. My condolences to you and your family.

David Davenport said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your father, Steve.

Chad Buffington said...

Sorry to hear about your dad, Steve. Seems like he accomplished a lot and managed to live a great life. I'll consider myself very fortunate if someone can say that about me someday.

Acilius said...

Deepest condolences, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss Steve. Born the same year year as JFK. That's a good run.

Lara said...

It must take a strong desire to live to make it to age 95, and it looks like your father had that.

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