This month we celebrate the 60th birthday of Richmond magazine's publisher, Rich Malkman — otherwise known as our dad. For the man who has everything, it's often difficult to find that perfect gift. Years ago, we switched out Dad's monthly column, First Word, and surprised him with a few words of our own. With this year being such a milestone birthday, we thought it was time to pull another switcheroo. Dad, here's to you!
Throughout his 60 years, Dad has done some amazing things.
The ultimate movie buff, he doesn't only like to watch movies. He actually made his acting debut back in 1988 when he "starred" in a TV miniseries called The Murder of Mary Phagan. He had a bit more than three minutes of screen time, but he was proud to be in the company of the legendary actor Jack Lemmon. Too bad he never got his Screen Actors Guild card, because the producers thought he showed real promise.
Dad is also a music connoisseur, across all genres, everything from the Bee Gees to the Beastie Boys. He loves to scour through piles of CDs or search area libraries to learn about musicians he's never listened to before. Guess he hasn't heard of the Internet! He downloads every CD into his Request music library, which now has just over a bazillion songs. In fact, everyone in the family has a "playlist" he created with songs that remind him of us — we think he even made one for the mailman.
But Dad's proudest accomplishment is being a wonderful father to his daughters and a Poppi to his grandchildren, Cady and Ryan. He has always been involved, despite a busy work schedule. When we were young, he made an audiotape of himself reciting the multiplication tables so we could "learn" while we fell asleep. We looked forward to nights when our mom went out because we knew that this meant that Dad would entertain us with his karate moves, despite his lack of formal training. And Dad is always a repository of useless information. When he says, "I got a little trivia for ya," grab a snack, because you're not going anywhere anytime soon.
As a Poppi, Dad transforms from a successful businessman to any number of characters with matching voices. There's "Stefan," the hairstyling salon owner, and "Dr. Shmenman," the doctor who treats Cabbage Patch Kids with Hand-Foot-Mouth disease. And who could forget "Neighbor Gladys Kravitz" who visits with Cady on the potty? She probably has a playlist, too.
So happy 60th birthday to the movie buff, music fanatic, phenomenal dad and beloved Poppi!