Dag Johnsen was my second father, and for several years I was blessed to have both "Dads" in my life. Dag was my Father-in-Law, and even though his daughter and I were no longer married after Oct. 2003, my in-laws never divorced me, nor did any of the relatives on that side of the family. Heck, I was family for about thirty years,so they were not about to change my status over something as ephemeral as a divorce. Any rational divorce where there are children, relatives,and shared history is more a re-definition of relationship than anything else. I always saw "Mom and Dad" when I went back to Seattle. In fact, I spent Christmas Eve with them this past holiday season.
Here is a pic of my daughter, Anea, hugging her grandpa at Christmas:
Dag was one of the greatest guys I've ever known — world traveled, well read, and filled with a joyous sense of adventure. This is a fellow who "went away to sea" when he was fourteen, spent 6 weeks in a life raft in the Atlantic Ocean after having his ship blown out from under him in WWII, and was awarded a medal by the King of Norway, He was friendly beyond description, intelligent, gregarious, and blessed with sea legs equal to his remarkable sense of humor. I always enjoyed time spent with him, and in the over thirty years that he was my "Dad," we had some of the best times of my life.
Thank God for home movies (8mm), VHS and DVD. When my father passed away, I spent many hours playing back videos …hearing his voice and reliving past experiences. All my home movies of Dag Johnsen are in Ballard in what was his home, now his daughter's. No doubt I'll watch those home movies again and again, treasuring the moments and memories…