Dean Owen

5 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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The Man behind the Father

The Man behind the FatherPa
Coogpe:
ova
ane B03.
LEN “ae
FR
4 ed

     
 

THE BACING
(erg: H /

Arthur Owen

It was in a lodge near the Paro Valley that we struck up a conversation with an elderly couple whilst digging in to a tasty yak butter milk stew. We shared our adventures and toasted our climb to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, some three kilometers above sea level. Conversation shifted to Blighty, and within minutes they were quick to realize who I was.


“We knew your father!” said the elderly gentleman.

I hated that these complete strangers knew my father and I did not.


“Ohh? Tell me, what was he like? Is it true he married seven times?”


“We were business partners once, built a chain of electronics stores. He was a right crook”


I’d had enough. I asked our Bhutanese hosts if they could send up some hot Chai. We took a courtesy group shot with the couple and wished them well on their journey before retiring to our cottage for the night.


Truth is, I never really knew my father. Growing up, it was Saturdays that he came to visit, take us for lunch, then Chessington Zoo, Madame Tussaud’s, the cinema in Victoria to see Flash Gordon, or if we were really lucky, Hamley’s toy shop. 

Then one day I got fed up, told my mother I was fed up, and went to live with him. That didn’t last long.


Before long I’d moved to Asia. It would be years, decades even that I did not see him. I knew he was a true British gentleman, bit of a playboy in his time - Jeweler, restaurateur, entrepreneur, racing driver, and to top it off, a crap father.


Years went by, and finally I thought, well, he will never make the effort, so why not pay him a visit. I took my fiancé to see him in Portugal where he had retired. He never really retired, setting up the famously mediocre Snooty Fox restaurant at the Vilamoura marina for the rich and famous. You see, no matter how bad our fathers are, we still love them. That trip to the Algarve to see him was perfect. He looked happy, and adored my fiancé. We’d decided to make the trip again the following year, and this time to get married in Portugal just so dad could be there. It was not to be.

A few months later, whilst in Tokyo, I got the call from my brother. That call marks a turning point in ones life. I was devastated.

“He died in my arms” said my brother…

It would be years before we recovered.

I hated that I never got the chance to know him. I once asked him about his previous life, you know, before my mother. He never spoke a word on the subject.


In a bid to know more about the man I turned to Google. There was the odd snippet, British Hill Climb Champion, he’d won the Malaysian Grand Prix and placed third in Japan’s first Grand Prix at Suzuka. Of more interest was a book that I discovered he had written. I found three copies of "The Racing Coopers", one from an antique bookstore, one on eBay, and one on Amazon. I bought them all.


The first arrived at my office in Tokyo. I tore open the package, and opened up the book. Inside the cover I saw the signature. I’d seen him sign many bills during those Saturday lunches. It was unmistakably his. I felt the words with my finger.

“Best Wishes, to Spencer. Arthur Owen”


The Man behind the FatherPa
Coogpe:
ova
ane B03.
LEN “ae
FR
4 ed

     
 

THE BACING
(erg: H /

Arthur Owen


As soon as I got home I devoured the book. Forward written by Stirling Moss. This was going to be good.

This was the first time I learned of him as a man, not a father.

I loved every single word. Imagine that. Discovering your father through his written word. It was priceless.



To my daughters, Jenny, Nathalie, Ashley.

I write for you. You may be reading this now, or it may be years before you take an interest in discovering your father’s online footprint. Take your time, my written word will be here, waiting for you. 


These articles I leave here are for you. I write on food, travel, life, business, love, struggle, success. They will tell you who I am.

The man behind the father.



Dean Owen is Co-Founder of Quimojo, a revolutionary new concept in Global Campus Recruitment


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Comments

CityVP Manjit

5 years ago #35

#48
Dear Dean, Nicholas Fester's recent posting about the passing of his brother Steven https://www.bebee.com/producer/@nicholas-fester/steven-was-in-my-real-world is the kind of thing that sticks in my mind because it triggers something highly conscious in our own consciousness. I value my grandparents like I value all my ancestors, as people whose DNA runs through my bones and in the blood of my children and grandchildren. Our consciousness in part is produced by the systemic relationship. Not only will I zoom into the courage of love - and Nicholas describes Steven Fester's last moments of life as momentous courage of love, but I will zoom into how the system shapes our relationships and for the most part the Western world has lived through centuries of a system that was built for work and production rather than our humanity where the meaning draws to our work rather than our home. Your father was a race car driver and he found a family in that profession. I got the book cover from a tweet from https://twitter.com/zdravkost Dean I would never give anyone my business card in this online space because personally it is not sacred for me to do so, for this space is holy enough for me to piece together that which I see lost i.e. that meaning moved from our homes to our work. So what I am think here is strictly for my learning journey, and this is why this journey is important to me. When there is balance in the professional where meaning is found again in the home, I will value the professional more - but what I read here is another human being rediscovering meaning in their home. I support that 100%.

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #34

#47
All I can say is WOW, that was such a moving comment CityVP Manjit!! And, yes- Dean you have begun to write your book. I agree with CityVP, you are an excellent writer.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #33

What an incredible comment (as usual!). I can totally relate. Sons and daughters are perhaps equally perceptive of their parents feelings and know when not to bring up a subject. But I wish I had. I wish for an afternoon where I could interview. I only discovered my grandfather's name a few months ago. Once in a while I get strangers reaching out to me asking for information and the typical question, "When did he die?". I do hope you find some way to explore and discover your grandmother's story CityVP Manjit. Our lives are so well documented now that our grand children will probably just perform a "Search". Not quite so easy for us...

CityVP Manjit

5 years ago #32

I wish my grandmother had written something for my father to keep and she is the one person he can never talk about, for the pain is so searingly deep. The only time I asked about her, I knew immediately never to go there again - that pain of never knowing his mother, of losing her came screaming out of his face, I watched the complexion of unbearable pain of being in touching distance yet cruelly taken. It is a cliche to say "that's life" for things that one cannot change. It pale's in comparison that I did not really know any of my grandparents but it is a different perspective for the third generation, there is no history or immediacy to fight, only things to know - and here I am in the same place as your daughters - for here history is a curiosity rather than searing spiritual amputation. History has given you something and here I am reading how you are now accepting that gift - call it redemption, call it salvation, call it whatever you need to call it, for the emanation here is in the uniqueness of your own heart. All I can do is take careful pause because I came here after reading "Those Magnificent Men in the Racing Machines". When you were restoring that racing car picture you are saying "Dad I love you" - for I don't see this as simply someone piecing together lost history - and it is good to see a man love his father this much, for even in the things he did not do or could not do - that in itself made you and maybe Sinclair. You are coming to terms and that process, that love which is natural within all of us beyond measure, has a pathway and it isn't redemption, it isn't comparing or trying to be better than him - it's love Dean. Pure love. Write the book in love man, that is all I can say reading this - because here I have already read the first page, so you know how to write, but who among us knows love as it really is - not suffering or loss or affection, but the courage of love.

CityVP Manjit

5 years ago #31

I wish my grandmother had written something for my father to keep and she is the one person he can never talk about, the pain is so searingly deep. The only time I asked about her, I knew immediately never to go there again - that pain of never knowing his mother, of losing her came screaming out of his face, I watched the complexion of unbearable pain of being in touching distance yet cruelly taken. It is a cliche to say "that's life" for things that one cannot change. In pale's in comparison that I did not really know any of my grandparents but it is a different perspective for the third generation, there is no history or immediacy to fight, only things to know - and here I am in the same place as your daughters - for here history is a curiosity rather than searing spiritual amputation. History has given you something and here I am reading how you are now accepting that gift - call it redemption, call it salvation, call it whatever you need to call it, for the description here is in the uniqueness of your own heart. All I can do is take careful pause because I came here after reading "Those Magnificent Men in the Racing Machines". When you were restoring that racing car picture you saying "Dad I love you" - for I don't see this as simply someone piecing together lost history - and it is good to see a man love his father this much, for even in the things he did not do or could not do - that in itself made you and maybe Sinclair. You are coming to terms and that process, that love which is natural within all of us beyond measure, has a pathway and it isn't redemption, it isn't comparing or trying to be better than him - it's love Dean. Pure love. Write the book in love man, that is all I can say reading this - because here I have already read the first page, so you know how to write, but who among us knows love as it really is - not suffering or loss or affection, but the courage of love.

David B. Grinberg

5 years ago #30

Awesome read, Dean Owen, very touching. I shared with "College" hive of 50k. Also, many congrats on being a beBee ambassador!

Dean Owen

5 years ago #29

#42
Yes I guess kids assume we will be around for ever so don't really take an interest, but after we are gone, they want to know everything and regret not having talked when we are around. Perhaps mother daughter relationships are closer. Thanks Aaron Skogen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #28

#39
That is a beautiful suggestion Sarah Elkins, and I think I remember how to use a fountain pen!

Sarah Elkins

5 years ago #27

Why do we write? To express ourselves? To heal? To help others? For money? As a legacy for our children? Perhaps all of those. How do you want to be remembered? Great post by Dean Owen.

Sarah Elkins

5 years ago #26

When my father died two years ago, I knew him well. I like to believe I knew him more deeply than anyone - but I think we'd all like to believe that about someone we love. And yet... after his death I learned more about him. People shared stories I had never heard, about his wild childhood and about his later years when I lived far away. I don't think we ever really know a person until we've heard from others who know them in completely different ways, and until we allow ourselves to know them beyond what we choose to believe and remember. As I've written before, perspective is a very strange thing. In the meantime, my friend Dean Owen, I highly suggest you make a habit of hand writing a note to each of your girls a few times each year. I went back through a memory box this week to look for something and found a few cards with my father's handwriting. Those are far more important to me than his digital footprint, though I've kept the email messages he sent to me through the years. But that's why I write a letter to each of our boys every once in a while. You can see deeply into someone's words when they're handwritten.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #25

#35
I must say that the betel nut is the absolute strangest thing I have ever placed in my mouth, and doubt I will ever be tempted to do it twice, especially after reading this:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31921207 and this:http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/04/world/asia/myanmar-betel-nut-cancer/

Dean Owen

5 years ago #24

#29
#30 Lisa, Javier, you are too kind.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #23

#28
My father used to say "Seasons change, people don't". I like to think he was wrong.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #22

#27
That is so nice Joanna Hofman. Do you still have the poems? I know for me, moving house and country so many times, these things get lost....

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #21

#29
Javier C\u00e1mara Rica, your comment was very moving too! I agree, Dean's writing is diverse and always carries such special messages

Javier 🐝 CR

5 years ago #20

This is why Dean Owen is so important to us. Probably you shared your best story ! I am lucky my father and my mother are alive, they love me, despite of my mistakes, and I love them. Thanks Dean. You brought me tears to my eyes.

Sara Jacobovici

5 years ago #19

#20
Your awareness, efforts and choices are definitely leading you in the right direction Dean Owen. Forgive me for another Viktor Frnakl quote but I thought this is appropriate. "When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #18

#25
Dean Owen I think we all feel we could be a better parent or do better? Maybe that's a good thing because it only pushes us that much closer to our children if we act on our thoughts. It doesn't necessarily mean we are not great parents. I am very hard on myself and my daughter finally told me how much she loves/respects me. It was a very deep conversation and she really changed my views on my parenting.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #17

Lisa Gallagher, Oh to be worthy of the praise in these comments. Truth is, I need to be a better father. The first step was realising this. I am extremely proud of my daughters, but I need to earn their pride.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #16

#18
Thank you Irene Hackett. I am truly blown away that you and others took the time to read and comment, and more so that I managed to provoke a genuine emotional response. This is not my sob sob story. I am not like that. This was just a message to my daughters. Hopefully they don't discover it too soon!

Dean Owen

5 years ago #15

#16
Paul-sensei, I am convinced you are the perfect father. Some men are just not cut of the right cloth. I was one of them. Hopefully I have time left to change.

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #14

Dean Owen's comment and realized I wasn't the only person who cried. I cried for you, for your father, tears of joy you found out such joyful things about your dear dad after he passed and tears of joy for your daughters. They are very lucky to have you for a father, your love for them shines. I'm sure you will say the same, you are lucky to have them as your daughters!

Dean Owen

5 years ago #13

#16
Paul-sensei, I am convinced you are the perfect father. Some men are just not cut of the right cloth. I was won of them. Hopefully I have time left to change.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #12

#15
Oh I wish I was deserving of such praise Sara Jacobovici. Truth is, I am my father's son. I was selfish for many many years, and that haunts me. The latter art of my life may well be a story of redemption, but it must be earned...

Dean Owen

5 years ago #11

#14
What a beautiful comment Praveen Raj Gullepalli. Very perceptive. I never tried Churpa. Doesn't sound all that appetising. I did have quite a lot of Yak jerky which I grow fond of. You have given me an idea for a buzz. The betel nut. Perhaps next week....

Sara Jacobovici

5 years ago #10

#1
OK Dean Owen, I just want you to know that I can't remember the last time someone made me cry. You just made me cry. It's the package deal; your talent as a writer, storyteller and the fact that you are a deep core down to the soul great guy! There are literally an infinite number of ways for someone to grow as a man with your life experience. Your daughters are fortunate that their father chose the right way. I am honoured that I had any connection to the timing of this story being written now. Thanks Dean.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #9

Kevin Pashuk, thanks for your kind words. I am simply blown away that you take time to read what I write, to the point where I write less frequently so as not to be a burden...

Dean Owen

5 years ago #8

#4
Thanks Amour Setter has read the first few chapters and encourages me to finish, but I just don't think it is good enough and may very well start over one day. Much appreciate your kind words, your fellow affinity nutcase!

Dean Owen

5 years ago #7

#3
Thanks Ken-san. Always worry if not enough to paint a picture or too little that the meaning will get lost. Lots of unanswered questions yes, but I am fine as it stands. And Yak butter milk tea is not even something I would give my dogs! But the stew, really not that bad....

Dean Owen

5 years ago #6

#2
Thanks Gert. I am simply blown away that you and others spare time to read and comment on my writings. Truly honoured.

Kevin Pashuk

5 years ago #5

Truly your bezt yet. Your kids will truly appreciate this in years to come ( along with ice cream for breakfast)

don kerr

5 years ago #4

Lovely. Moving. Revealing. Brave. Thanks Dean Owen

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #3

Classic Owen (Junior). Just enough info, Dean-san, to leave the reader in suspense and asking questions - possibly the same unanswered questions you have? 🤔 Never thought I'd read "tasty" and "yak butter milk stew" in the same sentence! 🤑

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #2

Dean Owen To me this is your best yet. Honest and inspiring. Fabulous!

Dean Owen

5 years ago #1

Sara Jacobovici, this one has been in my head for a while, but your creation of the Hive "Why I Write" prompted me to pen this early.

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