How I See Things

How I See Things
Cartoon-like drawing in shades of dark to medium purple. Eyes with beautiful eyelashes, looking through a pair of glasses.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Reach for the Stars

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. Ok, well, my brain actually never shuts off.

One thing I have been thinking about (am constantly thinking about) is how much I miss my dad. I think about him every day. I think about him often. And I would just like to indulge my own emotions here and share some tidbits about my dad.

[A photo of my dad and me. He is wearing a yoyo t-shirt. Photo from October, 2014]

My dad was Stuart Crump Jr., also known as: "Professor Yo-Yo." He lived in the Washington, DC area his whole life. He would say "I'm the only Yoyo in Washington who knows what he's doing."

My dad entertained audiences at The White House for the Easter Egg Roll. Many years he did that. My dad entertained at The White House for the 4th of July event on the White House Lawn; an event for staffers. One year, after the war in Iraq known first as Desert Shield, then changed to Desert Storm, the soldiers came home in a big parade. My dad and I marched in a parade, doing yoyo tricks, to welcome home the soldiers from Iraq.

My dad entertained at countless schools, birthday parties, Bar Mitzvah's... he taught yoyo classes annually at the International Juggler's Festival in Las Vegas. He competed in countless yoyo contests, winning many in his age group over the years and over the various age groups.

My dad's entire goal in life was to bring happiness and joy to people around him. My dad inspired hope for a happy future. My dad, I feel, embodied kindness and hope to the nth degree. I believe that everyone he met, considered him to be a friend of theirs. I believe my dad felt absolutely the same way about them.

My dad was a single dad of me until I was 8. Then he married my step-mom. They had 3 boys together who are all a lot younger than I am. I feel like they are my full-blooded brothers. I love them all. My dad was so proud of all of them.

My dad was a Boy Scout. My dad never made Eagle. My dad said, "if I ever have a son, I want him to be an Eagle Scout." Guess what. All 3 of his sons became Eagle Scouts. All 3 of them can also wield a yoyo with panache.

My dad left a legacy behind him of yoyos. He was awarded the first trophy for a Lifetime Achievement Award from the yoyo community. It is housed in the American Yo-Yo Association museum in Chico, California. My brother who lives out there visited it a few weeks ago and sent me the photo of the trophy with our dad's name on it. I am so grateful that my dad's legacy lives on in various ways.

In addition to being a delightful entertainer, my dad was a prolific writer.

He wrote for his school yearbook in high school. One of the years, they made their yearbook into a record / an LP. A vinyl record. To be played on a turntable / a record player.

My dad took countless sports photographs. Every day since 7th grade he carried a camera with him. He always hoped to see a UFO some day. He wanted to be sure to have his camera with him when he saw it. The only day he didn't carry his camera was the day he married my step-mom.

Many of my dad's sports photographs won awards. Many were in the school yearbooks for high school and his college - Brown University. Many were in local papers.

One photo my dad took was of a Brown University student who did a prank. President Johnson was riding in a motorcade, visiting Providence, Rhode Island. My dad went and saw the parade, and snapped a photo of the President in the motorcade.

After he developed the photo, he realized that one of the guys on the car was a Brown University student. The kid was dressed in a suit and tie, same as the bodyguards. At some point in the parade, the kid just ran out from the crowd and hopped on the car like he belonged there. Yikes! My dad got a photo of that. I believe it ran in the local paper of the day. Quite the scandal of the day!

Another photo my dad took was of a student doing the long jump at a track meet, and as his arms went up and over his head, the framed a United States Flag over head quite nicely. My dad planned the shot and sat there. He waited all day to capture that photo.

My dad called that photo, "Reach for the Stars." It was one of his favorite photos he ever took. It's really neat looking. That photo is in my book, "Mere Creativity." You can purchase it on

So, with my dad's yoyo shows, one of the things he always said at the end of every yoyo show was, he would do a "Shoot the Moon" yoyo trick. It's a dangerous trick that brings the yoyo very close to your face. My dad had a scar between his eyes from a red Duncan Butterfly yoyo that he used when he was learning the trick. He would do the trick, "Shoot the Moon," and say, "Reach for the Moon, because if you miss, you'll wind up among the stars."

My dad wrote so many books on yo-yoing. He also wrote books on other topics too, but I will share those in a future post or 5. Probably more than 5. Knowing me. I have a lot to share about my dad, and folks like learning about him.

You can find many of my dad's books on too:

I have been wondering recently what vision issues my dad had. I know he had near-sightedness. I know when I was a girl, that he would close his eyes and say, "I'm resting my eyes."

I know his prescription was much stronger than mine is. I know he had cataract surgery when he got older. I wonder if he also had spatial issues like I do, or other vision issues. I know he respected that I had vision issues. I will write about that in the next blog post.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a little about my dad. I have more to share, but this blog post is way long at this point, so it's time to close.

As any good stage person would say: "Always leave them wanting more!"

And, as my dad would say: "Just say 'YO!'"

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