When he wasn’t handling a huge airplane, Parrish was involved with the Main Street Methodist Church, built sets for Ole Olson, dabbled in architecture, and juggled pots and pans in the Parrish kitchen.
“My dad was a great cook, as good as any in a restaurant,” Parrish says with pride. “My mother is a very good cook. But when we had company, my dad did the cooking.
“After he died, as a way to stay close to him, I started cooking. I could never compete with him, but I’ve learned some of his recipes and mastered a few.”
Asked what his father had left him, Parrish pauses, then: “A general philosophy of life. He used to tell children when he gave talks that when a wave comes, you have two choices. You can either drown or surf on it.
“I found myself on a wave after he died. I could either drop out of school and become a recluse, or I could make him proud of me. I chose the latter.”
And, of course, making his mother proud, too, is a given.
After our lunch, I recalled my strolls at Pipe Creek. I remembered seeing Parrish and his mother ambling down a hall with her arm over his shoulder.
He’s a lean, 6-footer now, who towers over her 5-2½ frame. But he knows her arm will always be over his shoulder — figuratively if not always literally — as he moves forward doing important things with his life.
Ray Moscowitz of Bloomington is a retired newspaper executive and former publisher of the Peru Tribune. Contact him at email@example.com.