Todd’s Take: Happy Birthday to My ‘Old Man’, Don Lyons

Today is not just the last day of May but it is also the birth date of some notable folks. Clint Eastwood turns 92 today, “Broadway” Joe Namath is 79 and the late John Bonham would have turned 74 on this 31st day of the month.

For me, however, the most famous birthday today is that of my dad’s, Don Lyons. “Pops” was born in Oklahoma in 1945 but moved to Oregon and then Seattle as a child.

His job as a Clerk with the Burlington Northern Railroad moved us to the Yakima Valley in 1977. We’ve all lived here ever since and my dad still is in the same house I grew-up in out in West Valley.

My dad has been retired for 17 years now and enjoys spending time at the American Legion Yakima Post #36 on 34th Ave. and River Road. It is there that he is known as the “Music Man” as he will pump the jukebox full of money and ask fellow patrons what their favorite song is.

His love of music definitely rubbed of on me as a youngster. I was fortunate to get exposed to all kinds of music thanks to him. It wouldn’t be uncommon to hear Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, the Doobie Brothers, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John, The Guess Who, and Crystal Gayle in one sitting.

He also taught me the sports bug. He and I have conversed about baseball for thousands of hours in my life. His self-deprecating sense of humor is something I inherited as well. In fact, one year for Christmas I got him a box of business cards that read: “Don Lyons – Headmaster at the School of Born Losers and Hopeless Cases”.

If you you ever run into him, ask for one as he’s always happy to share.

Happy birthday, dad. I love you.

Todd E.