A Toast to Pops

Baby WardIt takes a lot to make us who we are.  Genetics, environments and most importantly, people help shape the person that we become as we continue to get older.  I have been blessed with a number of good, warm people that have surrounded me as I stumble through this life.  Friends, family and on this particular day, Fathers, have been a major positive influence on whom I’d like to be whenever I finally grow up.

As I mentioned above, I have had a number of intelligent and very respectable men to look up to during my life.  Ernst Kadel came over from Munich in 1908 in relatively small boat at the age of 14 to make a new life with his widowed mother and family.  Great Grandpa Ernst had his name changed to Ernest, but the new world did not change his sense of character.  Ernest Kadel - Gladding, McBean and Co.He went on to help create a very successful Kadel family in America, eventually becoming the Head of Design and Principal Sculptor at the premiere terra-cotta design studio and plant, Gladding, McBean and Co.

One of his sons was Edward Ernest Kadel, Sr.  Grandpa Ed was cut right out of the mold of his father.  He was very driven and intelligent and an extremely hard worker.  He eventually went on to create his own family of 3 crazy boys and run the (then) Standard Oil Richmond Refinery, now owned by Chevron.

In another part of this land, a young man named Ronald M. Schroeder traveled to California with his father, a barber on the booming railways.  Grandpa Bud would eventually meet an elegant young lady name Doris, in a soda fountain.  Together they would form a close-knit family that included my mother, Donna Mary Schroeder.  They would eventually retire in a sleepy little spot in California called Napa.

Grandpa Ed’s oldest was the aptly named, Edward Ernest Kadel, Jr.  Here is where the majority of my luck came to pass.  Schroeder & Kadel Family WineryPops is, perhaps, the hardest working and most family-dedicated man that I have ever met.  He is sometimes coarse, yes…but he is the best man that I could possibly hope to have as my father and I’m very grateful for the many things that he has taught me throughout my life.  He is also an outstanding wine partner in crime and if you’ve followed my writings at all, you’ll see that we have had many special wine adventures together.

Pops, as well as the other three gentlemen that I mention above, make me proud to carry my full name, a collection of virtually all of their own: Edward Ernest Kadel, III.

So here is a toast to the men and fathers that have shaped me into who I am now and whether by memory or through wonderful shared experience, are still pushing me to be a better man:

A glass lifted to the first Kadel to start our family here in America…to Great Grandpa Ernst.

A couple fingers of a fine single malt from Islay lifted to Grandpa Ed and his incredibly detailed memory of years past.

A finely structured Napa Cab, lifted to Grandpa Bud and his sternly pointed index finger, whenever my behavior strayed.

And lastly, a glass of plush and darkly fruit-forward Merlot, lifted together with my father, Pops…thank you!

Pops & Me