A tribute to Dad from South Africa

by Greg Gottsacker

I heard Jim Gaffigan compare Dad to the Vice-President of the family.  That can be interpreted in many ways...but he ultimately plays second fiddle to the Mama.  

And despite what he thinks, he was probably chosen (indirectly elected) by Mom’s campaign team of clucking birds and sisters. (Electoral College).  

We all have special relationships with Dad..and as Father’s Day is behind us and I wasn't able to spend it with him, it is time for me to thank pops for everything he does for me.  

I have memories of fights and arguments with my dad--like struggling with math homework in middle school as he showed me his way to do it, curfew violations and explaining suspicious empty cans in high school, and the kicker---religion and politics later in life.  

Those tensious moments will never be forgotten, and they shouldn’t be.  Those moments shaped me as a man, and they defined the role of father in another….as did another thousand joyous moments.   

….like sitting in the bottom of a duck boat when I was 5-years old, sleeping, as my dad and friends sprayed lead into the marsh and dropped mallards…..

...and my dad teaching me to hunt in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, sitting patiently in the cold and seeing me get a deer year-in, year-out, despite him never getting one... 

...and traveling in Europe on a midnight train perched on a bunk bed above a lady of the night named Kyra Ice all the way to Budapest, Hungary after attending the Oktoberfest…..

….and like brewing beer with my dad and brother in Northern Michigan and singing just ridiculous songs….

Many of the experiences I had were outdoors, exploring and learning about our surroundings. Whatever the memory was, an argument or a weekend at deer camp, I have always learned something from him--whether he knows it or not.
So in the spirit of the outdoors, learning, and my recent trip to South Africa, I want to share a couple fun outdoor and African experiences with Dad (and you) via this newsletter.

  1. Giraffes don’t have 2 hearts--but just 1 really big one.  A giraffe heart is about 2 feet long, weighs 25 lbs and goes 150 beats per minute pumping blood through its long body.
  2.  Hyenas are fratricidal: baby hyena cubs bully each other until they are dead to prove dominance.  Mom does nothing.  Happy Father’s Day.  
  3. The Hippo is the most dangerous African animal.  This unpredictable herbivore kills 3,000 humans a year.
  4. Dave Matthews, Steve Nash (NBA) and Roger Federer are all originally from South Africa.
  5. TAB soda is still proudly displayed in convenient store coolers. 
  6. Pinotage is South Africa’s signature varietal.   Kanonkop Wine Pinotage 2013 was my favorite while on vacation.  
  7. A friend of mine recently won Young Winemaker of the Year in the Swartland Region. The domain is Allesverloren, especially known for its port wine and can be found in St. Paul, Minnesota!  

 Wine and Whiskey: A South African Combo

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Enjoy all the benefits of Helicium by ordering today!

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 Order Now before the end of June!

By entering "AFRICA" at heliciumglass.com, you will receive 25% off all orders until June 30th!

Hope you all had a great Father's Day, and please enjoy a moment with your Dad this summer on the braai with a glass in your hand!



Greg Gottsacker 

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Gregory Gottsacker
Gregory Gottsacker