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A Tribute to My Extraordinary Father

Edgar W. Baxter on June 12, 1930,

a little more than a year before I was born.

"genius  .... 5 b:  extraordinary intellectual power esp. as manifested in creative activity."

My father, Edgar W. Baxter, born June 23, 1907,

died February 27, 2001, had these characteristics of

Webster's definition of GENIUS.

Since this is my web site, I thought it should include a brief mention of the many activities in which my dad excelled. I do not find many men who have had such a wide spectrum of interests. I have not pursued nearly as many different endeavors myself. I have tried to specialize and discipline myself to develope a few of the gifts the Lord gave me. I am amazed when I think back to all the activities that my dad did so well. My sisters commented on it when we were trying to write his obituary. They said, "He was a GENIUS." I had never realized that before, but now I do. This is my way of telling everyone who has any interest at all.

E. W. Baxter was good at electronics. He was a licensed amateur radio operator (W0ESS), a licensed amateur TV operator, a licensed commercial radio operator who ran a large radio station, and TV station, in Sioux City, Iowa.

His main work in life was Real Estate. He was Secretary of a private corporation in downtown Sioux City, the Fifth Street Company, for which he kept the double-entry financial records. The company was engaged in property management. He was a good bookkeeper and investor.

He was a musician. He played the tower bells at First Methodist Church, Sioux City, Iowa, for sixty years. He played trombone with the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra one season and English Horn with the Sioux City Symphony one season. He played piano, memorizing the entire second movement of the Schumann Piano Concerto in a-minor.

He was a sportsman. He won many tennis and table-tennis tournaments, playing both until he was in his seventies. He won a race in speed ice-skating in his youth. Tennis was probably his major avocation. In his younger days he skied with my mother. They also learned archery, but he did not like to hunt. He was loathe to kill anything. He had a strong appreciation for life.

He was artistic. He painted a large oil painting of a ship at sea. It is 38 x 24 inches.

An artist gave me this evaluation of the oil painting.

"Thank you very much for sending me a picture of your fathers painting. I must say, I like it, especially the choice of his colours and the movements on the water. He expressed it very well. I can tell you it is one of the most difficult things to paint. Water is a game between light and shadow that constantly changes. You have to catch them in one moment. It is very well done, you can feel the storm....It is easier to paint a lot of sky, but your father didn't. He took the challenge! About the composition, it is very unusual, I think. The horizon falls just a little beneath the half, he saw it right. Never put a horizon in the middle of a painting, no good). Your dad also cut the sail of the boat, and placed the boat rather on the right side. That's good. So the attention of the painting goes out to the boat and the water in front. The sky is of minor importance here. What also attracts my attention is "20". I think he wanted to give it a personal touch by doing this, a sort of signature. Although your father was 20 years old when he made this painting, it has something nostalgic and ominous. I like that very much... those sober colours... From here I can't see what his pencil or knife touch is. Therefore I have to see it in real or close-up. It is also interesting to see that. I think he used different touches (strokes) between the water and the sail, but I am not sure about that. I think your father had it in his fingers. You can see he enjoyed making this painting. Very nice."

I thank the artist, Tine Ingelaere, for these discerning comments

and appreciative evaluation of my father's painting.

My father was a first-class commercial welder in a submarine plant during World War II. He worked on two submarines that had distinguished service in the war. He was pleased that one of them was particularly noted for saving many lives at sea.

He played excellent chess, bridge, checkers, and "500." He was an avid and competitive gamester. He taught me to play chess at the age of four or five.

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