by Russell Gordon Follansbee

And I’m supposed to follow that!

In the summer of 1964, this church held its annual "Vacation Bible School".
Our mother helped during that week, and the theme song "Dare to be a Daniel" stuck with her.

"Dare to be a Daniel
Dare to stand alone
Dare to have a purpose firm
Dare to make it known"

Ten months later, she gave birth to her third child and she named him "Daniel".
Fortunately, for us, our parents and grandparents took several instamatic slides of our
childhood. We enjoyed many evening slideshows which reinforced our memories and
allowed our parents to fill in some of the background details. Those slides have all been
digitized and will be part of a slideshow during the reception which follows.

My earliest memory, as a 4 1/2-year-old, is of Linda and me playing in our grandparents’
yard while Mommy was away for a few days. When she came back, we met Daniel.

As a child, Daniel was my closest sibling. Mostly because we had bunk beds.

Our parents introduced us to card games such as cribbage and whist. Which led to hours
of fun and bickering together. Not always in that order. Later, Duane Huntley taught us the
card game Rook. Duane also showed us Strat-o-Matic baseball. It didn’t appeal to me, but
Daniel and David Drescher quite enjoyed it. I introduced Daniel to Monty Python. Which
began a lifetime of swapping quotes back and forth. I did not introduce him to AC/DC.
While still a teenager, Daniel went to see AC/DC with his friend Mark Mills chaperoned by
Mark’s dad Ron. Ron is a hero.

Throughout the 1970s, our family made summer trips to the White Mountains with our
grandparents. We reinforced our love of ice cream with visits to "The Lone Oak" in
Rochester, NH on the way. We climbed several mountains together as a family. Daniel
often had "Billy, the baby Elephant" strapped to the back of his backpack. Grampy Poore
emphasized that it was important to carry some quick energy with you, in the form of a
Hershey’s bar.

In 1978, Daniel’s was in 8th grade, and I was a freshman in college. During my weekend
visits home, the family noticed
  (with varying degrees of chagrin)
that I was gung-ho on computer programming. The following summer of 1979: Mom, Linda
and Daniel took a 5-week programming course at Northern Essex Community College.
Mom and Daniel enjoyed it and continued with two more 5-week courses.

Daniel was a smart young man. As Linda mentioned, Daniel completed high school in three
years. I take credit for the easy part – figuring out how. I had noticed, at the end of my
junior year of high school, that I had almost enough credits to graduate. I explained to
Daniel that if he could take a math elective and gym at the same time, he could qualify to
graduate in 3 years. He upped the challenge by working nights bussing tables at the
Captain Chris restaurant. He achieved the required credits, and then appealed to the
school committee for early graduation, and they replied: "If a college will accept you, we’ll
graduate you.
" Bentley College accepted him, and off he went.

Since he would live off-campus, he would need a car. I helped him shop for his first car, a
brand-new VW Rabbit. We got a quote from a dealership in Salisbury. I suggested we look
at one more VW dealer (just to be safe). We visited a dealership in Ward Hill, and behind
the sales desk was our family friend, Mr. Perkins. Suddenly, Daniel had a better offer.

I was proud to stand beside him, right here in 1991 as he married Lynne. Did I mention he
was smart?

Daniel and Lynne’s children Faith and Joshua are a source of joy for the family. I’ve enjoyed
watching them grow and playing the role of slightly weird uncle. I tried to encourage the
children in a math/science direction by wearing t-shirts with science themes. One such
shirt featured the nine planets. Yes, Pluto was there. Three-year-old Joshua looked at it
and said, "Uncle Russell, we are from Erf, what planet are you from?" Joshua has a degree
in astro-physics and is still trying to find the answer for himself.

In our final hike together, Daniel, Faith, Joshua, Denise and I climbed Mt Cardigan. At the
top we looked at each other and said: "I brought the chocolate".

We will meet again on a heavenly mountain, and I know he’ll have the chocolate waiting.