Friday afternoon, my father wore his judge’s robe for the first time. My 85-year-old grandmother flew out from Michigan to help him into it during his investiture ceremony.
My father’s 14 grandchildren sat in the jury box (which has 14 seats)—all except for his namesake (and my son) Kenny, who stayed home sick. His brother Patrick proudly carried Kenny’s framed photo around as a substitute. Dad gave a little speech, acknowledging his parents, his wife Nancy and each of his kids, including the steps (as I’ve called my step-siblings since even before my father and their mother married). Then he found and used his gavel for the first time to adjourn the event.
Afterward, we gathered for a reception at La Casa Grande in Beloit. My mother did me a huge favor by watching my kids (and a few extra to boot!), with help from Missy Henderson and Dana Bull-Beckwith.
Saturday morning, we woke up to find the event as front-page news in our local paper. We couldn’t be prouder of Dad, of course, and we think Rock County is as lucky to have him as a judge as we were to be his kids.