My dad, Gene Hancock, has held many titles in his 73 years of life: farmer, athlete, soldier, general contractor, business owner, and now…musician.
Yep, when dad retired and years of hard work forced him to have major knee surgery 18 months ago, rather than resting on his many accomplishments or feeling sorry for himself, he embarked on a new challenge: the guitar.
He went to a pawn shop, bought a guitar and enrolled in a “guitar for beginners” class at the local community college. And a year and a half later, last Saturday night, he performed at an Open Mike night at a local coffee shop, with his friends and family as well as many adoring fans there to enjoy his new talent.
I have always been proud of my dad.
As a child, I remember him always working so hard. He ran his construction business from our home, from sunup to sundown. However, he always had time to attend our school performances or fix our dolls when they needed repair. I remember my little sister’s “Pink Baby” doll’s arm came off and she said, “Don’t worry Pink Baby, Daddy will be home and fix you up with grey tape.” (My dad thinks just about everything can be fixed with “grey tape”.) And sure enough…Pink Baby was “all fixed up” and lived a full and happy life.
My dad ALWAYS is there to offer to help to anyone that needs it. Yes, he is the one who pulls over on the freeway if someone’s car is broken down, the one who stays late to help clean up after parties and the one that still gives the best hugs. He grew up in a poor family but with much love and pride and always, family first. And, regardless of how busy he was building his business, he always had time to stop and give anyone a big smile, or if you were lucky, one of his great stories.
But I’m not sure I have ever been as proud to be Gene Hancock’s daughter as I was last Saturday night when he performed with his music teacher, Tony, three country songs, dressed up like Johnny Cash. As I sat listening to him, enjoying the music, I thought to myself, this is why Dad has always been successful, in business and in life! He works hard, loves life, isn’t afraid to try new things, and appreciates and embraces learning and…is coachable. What an example he is to all of us, to never stop learning or challenging ourselves, whether in business or in new talents and skills.
My dad texted me after the concert, “Tony says most of his students would never perform in front of a crowd and asked me where I get my courage? I said, I’m 73 and can’t waste any time worrying! Love to you, Dad.”
His work ethic, love for life, strive to always learn and grow and generous spirit has served him well throughout his life and will certainly leave a legacy. And…I look forward to many more concerts. I love you Dad.
Angela Gange studied business administration at The University of Southern California, graduating with a degree emphasis in Entrepreneurial studies – where she was surrounded by great thinkers and many successful professionals. Right out of college, she found herself on the fast track and was achieving much of the business success she dreamed about as she was growing up. From retail, to advertising, to education, to publishing, to real estate, she excelled in all fields…all at the same time, raising a family of three sons.
Today she is enjoying running her own business and has put together a platform to help others do the same. Angie has traveled the U.S. as well as Europe – training on business management principals and customer service skills and systems and has created a culture that rivals any Inc 500 business model. She lives in San Diego, CA and is the mother of three grown sons: Charlie, Christian and Scotty.