On March 1st, twenty-four years ago, the world became a lot brighter place for me and my immediate family. As the years have gone by that brightness has shone into many other lives as well, and continues to illuminate and enhance somebody’s day, day after day. Zak Strezo is the light that blazed onto the planet on this date in 1994, and that he calls me “Dad” is among many blessings life has tossed my way. Indeed it is a privilege. He was and remains born for adventure in the truest sense. Not happy to be idle if there is a discovery to make, a friend who needs a hand, a question in need of an answer, or a front-end in need of replacement, you’ll find Zak on the scene with the tools to do the job. Handy outdoors. Wicked skateboarder. That left more than a few scars. Man can he cook. Hell of a musician too. A member of the 98 Rocks family who was a remote broadcast board-operator and producer of the Friday Night Scoreboard while still a Magnet High student. Before graduation he paid a visit to the all-new Great Raft Brewery and had his “moment of clarity, ” when though not yet 20, he made up his mind he would land a job brewing beer, and truth told, he was on their doorstep and hired the day he turned 21. My relationship with my son (and daughter, for that matter) is beyond my wildest imaginings. Sure we had a rough spot or two, and I know I spoke some regrettably harsh words at times. I wasn’t around when I should have been at other times. If only we could turn back the clock and erase those times we really blew it. Now we enjoy our time together as much as when we dug in the mud at elaborate backyard leggo construction sites. We never had a real yard in back now that I think of it. It existed only for the kids and their pets to build rivers and tunnels and bike trails and then destroy them just to create them anew. A place to be muddy and dream and grow and live, live, live! Zak’s free-spirited curiosity is infectious in that wonderful way that always attracts a good time, and I know something about good times. So my Son, thanks for all you do and all you brew and the many ways you help all of us tap into the sweeter side of life! Happy Birthday with Love.
Wish Zak a Happy Birthday if you see him, but my bet is he’s at the brewery readying the new 318!
Hayley Renee East & Zak Strezo