Happy Father’s Day to all. I will add a few stories about my father. One think is certain my Father was there for me and I know many cannot say that.
My Dad coached my Little League Baseball team when I was 8. I was not one of the best players on the team, and I played the minimum. Sure I wanted to play more, but I knew that I had to earn more time on the field. Dad worked with me a lot at home and by 9 I was on the field for every inning and performing well……..or I would not be there.
My neighborhood had lots of vacant fields and we played a lot of 4 on 4 or 5 on 5 baseball as kids. One of the bigger kids was about to be thrown out and he slapped my glove and the ball went flying away. So I tried this in a game and Dad went nuts. He started yelling at me and got so animated that his dentures went flying out of him mouth. That was hilarious but you best believe I did not laugh.
Another time one of the neighborhood kids had a cousin visiting and he decided that I should fight his cousin. I was not on board with this but he definitely had it all planned out. Well I was winning when the 14 year old (I was 9) grabbed my arms and let his cousin punch me repeatedly. This was a Winter day and we must have had at least a foot of snow on the ground. So Mom tells Dad what happened and he loaded us up in the car. We drive to the 14 year old’s house and Dad (who was a giant back then) had a few words with the kid. Now as my Dad started to come back to the car I remember the kid saying…”Tell him….” My Dad was so pissed he grabbed the kid by the jacket with one hand and lifted this kid over his head and said, “I did not come here to listen to you, I came here to tell you”….Message was understood with the quickness.
Yet another day I was 17 in the summer of 1977 and playing in a tennis tournament in Terre Haute Indiana when a string broke on my racket. Now I always carried 3 rackets all strung with the same tension, and it was a first round match so I was wining rather easily. Dad had me toss the racket over the fence and he left immediately to get my racket re-strung. He always enjoyed watching me compete and was right there to see that my racket would be available for my second round match. He was dedicated like that, and I will never forget how me made me feel so important in his life.
One last story and I don’t have all the details but this story is just and example of my Father’s dedication and compassion. He was a pharmacist and when some lady needed a prescription for he sick husband the medicine was rare and had to be flown to Indianapolis. My Dad drove 30 minutes North to meet the plane to get the medicine and then drove to the house of the family to deliver the medicine. That is just who my Dad was, and although he passed on November 8, 1990 I think of him and the example he set for me daily. I won’ the lottery when it came to Dad’s.
Now I want to recognize the Big Man…passed away 6 years ago today. He is till missed today….RIP Big Man