A Celebration of Douginess

On May 20, a small group of friends and family gathered to celebrated Doug’s retirement from Myovich Trucking. Cindy did a great job of organizing the event at Kyle and Niki’s house. Here are some pictures along with Cathy and my reflections on being Doug’s elder siblings. I hope that someday Cindy and her kids will post their presentations. Adriana has some recorded clips that may be added here in the days to come.

Sammy;  Our father was a man of few words, and he had a knack of using those few words to state simple but powerful truths.  Cathy, for reasons that are not altogether clear, decided many years ago to ask dad one day why he liked Doug better than Cathy and me.  If Cathy was expecting some nuanced answer that would affirm our father’s unconditional love for all of us, she was sorely disappointed.  Dad’s blunt answer was:  “Because Doug’s easier to like.” 

Cathy:  It’s not as if Sammy and I are not likeable.  I have many close and dear friends.  And Sammy . . . , well the point is that it is really easy to like Doug.

Sammy:  Yes.  I live my life on two core principals.  One:  if you can’t buy it at Costco, you probably don’t need it.  And two:  if you don’t like Doug, that’s on you.

Cathy:  Douglas Leland Myovich was born on September 25, 1956.  He weighed 13 pounds 1 oz at birth.  But it was not an easy situation for mother or child.  We do not know all of the details of what happened, we do know they spent several days in the hospital.  Family folklore has it that Doug’s 13 lb, 1 oz body was quite a site in the incubator.

Sammy:  Our dad was an orphan.  Our mom’s parents and brother provided our dad with the family he never really had.  Our grandma died in a car accident the year before Doug was born.  Our grandfather died not long after Doug was born.

Cathy:  The fact that Doug and Mom survived the difficult birth surely made him the focus for special love and joy for our parents, our family and friends.

Sammy:  Doug was born at about the same time as Myovich Trucking started.  Dad sold the cows from his small dairy and used the funds to buy an array of flatbed trucks to haul ten gallon milk cans.  About the time Doug was born, dad bought his first tanker.

Cathy:  I remember both the can trucks and Dad’s first tanker. 

Sammy:  And no one should ever question that. Questioning Cathy is a lesson I learned the hard way!

Cathy:  It’s why I have a glass of wine in hand right now!

Cathy:  So, as our dad moved from the dairy business into the trucking business, life changed for us all.  Our mom, who was a graduate of business college, kept the books.  Myovich Trucking was family business from the start.

Sammy:  Among our favorite childhood memories were those summer mornings when dad would get us out of bed at 2 a.m. and let us ride in the truck with him.  We would sit on the bench seat and huddle as close to the heater as possible, as our dad loved to drive his truck with the window down (probably to help him stay awake).  There is no greater smell than that of freshly mowed alfalfa at sunrise.  The overnight milk pickups would always end with breakfast at Hall’s restaurant.  There is no doubt that those childhood experiences with milk trucks created deep connections between Doug and Myovich Trucking.

Sammy:  You also have to admit, Cathy, that you as well as dad, always liked Doug better than you liked me.  I don’t recall Doug ever being pinned on the ground watching a loogie drool out of your mouth.  And I don’t think Doug has teeth marks on the back of his shoulder from one of your bites.

Cathy:  Well, Dad was right.  He IS easier to like. And you have to admit, Doug was a great younger brother.  He took a lot of crap from both of us, while remaining a loyal advocate for us—into our adulthood.  But let’s not overstate the case.  I think that the years Doug watched me and you fight over just about everything gave him some sort of pleasure and served to even elevate him more in the eyes of mom and dad.  And let’s not kid ourselves, to this day, Doug likes to get us to argue with each other. 

Sammy:  I think watching us argue brings back fond childhood memories for him.  After all, we had a great childhood on Cherry Avenue.  

Cathy:    Sammy, I think that you and I made a great contribution in promoting those qualities that have made Doug a successful businessman.  His childhood was nothing less than a daily experience of how to handle bullheaded people such as me and you.

Sammy:  I couldn’t agree more!

Sammy and Cathy:  You’re welcome, Doug!

Sammy:  From an early age, Doug had a way of accomplishing great things without being in the spotlight.

Cathy:  That principle of accomplishing great things without being in the spotlight fits with his athletic accomplishments.  He played those positions that do not tend to get much glory or attention.  He played catcher in baseball, and no one is more important to managing a defense in baseball than the catcher.  And in football, he was the center.  Everyone who knows anything about football knows that games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage.  Right in the middle of the line of scrimmage is that center, and that was Doug’s position.

Sammy:  Yes.  He was in the center but he was not in the spotlight.  Everyone here needs to know about the time Doug absolutely dominated Pat Howell in a game in which the major underdog Washington Union Panthers lost to the number one team in the Valley, Fresno High, by only one point.  Pat Howell, for those who do not know, went on to become a consensus All-American at the University of Southern California and was a top 50 NFL draft pick in 1979.  And in 1973, Doug kicked his tuckus.

Cathy:  Sammy, you are exaggerating a bit.  I saw the game too, and Doug did not dominate the 6’5”, 250 pound Howell in the way you suggest.  Howell was playing middle linebacker in a 6-1 defense, a role not suited to his impressive physical frame.  There’s a reason why Howell’s college and pro careers were as an offensive lineman.  We both know that Doug could crab walk better than he could run upright, and that was the key to his success against Howell.  He would crabwalk into Howell’s thighs while Curtis Mason would jet through the brief hole created. 

Sammy:  I don’t care what you say.  Doug was a badass, I mean, a goodass offensive lineman.  And he dominated that night in Radcliffe Stadium.

Cathy:  The point here is that this is another example of how Doug could always find a way to do what it takes to get the job done right.  In this way, his sports career anticipated his business success.

Sammy:  As always, Cathy, you are right. 

Cathy:  Doug’s college football career took him to Reedley College, where he met Cindy.  She was then, and will always be, his biggest cheerleader.  But she is much more than that.

Sammy:  Absolutely.  She’s also his best coach and trainer.  Doug’s retirement is also the story of Cindy.

Cathy:  And there is so much to say about our amazing sister-in-law.  But let’s keep the focus on Doug a moment.  Do you have any more stories that you feel everyone should know to better understand Doug’s successful career?

Sammy:  Indeed, I do.  I have a couple of stories that encompass Doug’s commitment to key life principles.  During one point in our lives, Doug and I loaded produce trucks.  These involved long days and nights—the job wasn’t finished until the last truck was loaded—sometimes after midnight.  As a result, we often had to skip meals to get the job done.  Doug and I were working at a produce company loading trucks.  Our shifts would begin at noon and end when the last truck was loaded, usually well after midnight.  One night several of us headed to Tiny’s where Doug and his friend Jon proceeded to eat ALL the meals they had missed, including dessert!

Cathy:   But he also had notable achievements in dieting that should not be forgotten.

Sammy:  Indeed, the weight loss challenge he had with Robert Snyder was a process that resulted in one of the great days in recent Myovich history that did not involve a wedding!

Cathy:  Even Doug’s business principles and sense of fairness went well beyond expectations.  Remember, the competition with Robert was not over who could lose more weight, but who would weigh less on the assigned day.

Sammy:  Doug probably gave Robert at least a 40 pound head start in that competition.

Cathy:  Pretty much for every pound Robert lost, Doug had to lose two!

Sammy:  It seemed like there were many months during which all Doug would eat was poached fish and steamed vegetables.

Cathy:  And people say I’m competitive.

Sammy:  Well, that competition shows our brother’s dogged determination and ability to embrace challenges.  That seems to me the basis of success in both business and life!

Cathy:  Dougie, there is so much more that we could say about how proud we are to be your siblings and how happy we are that you have been able to grow dad’s business and hand it along to your children.

Sammy:  And in honor of that, we’d like to present you with a token of our appreciation with these three bottles of wine from J. Lohr, a man who also successfully committed himself to business and who has also recently passed his thriving business along to his children. 

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