The time Dad took me to the church yard (it was biiiiig) and started me off on my Honda CT 70. He had been a motorcycle enthusiast for years prior to having kids. He then went across the road and to the store for a bit. While he was gone, some people came to the church and started yelling at me to stop riding on the church lawn. They were teenagers and then an adult came and yelled at me. I was probably in 2nd grade. I was scared and humiliated. My Dad came back and found me seated on the bike leaning on its kick-stand and me with my head hanging low. He asked me what had happened, thinking it was a mechanical issue. When I told him I was chased off the church yard by some people, he instantly had a look of anger on his face (a rare occurrence). He hopped on the bike, started it and began to ride around on the lawn in a circle looking for someone to come over and tell him to get off the lawn. The adult came over and apologized and said he didn’t know that I was his son. We could ride if we wanted. Now, my Dad was WRONG in that we had no right to be riding on the church yard. But he was oh so right in that his actions showed me that he was my protector and had my back.
The time we were hiking in the woods and came across a grape vine hanging from the top of a tree. He tested it a bit and then took a run and swung out over the incline and made a Tarzan yell. Just then the vine let go and he went down with a crash. My Mom, sister, and I sure got a laugh.
Going to the lake when I learned to water ski. He would drive the boat and whip me around and then cut back towards me so the line would go limp. I’d have to pull the line hand-over-hand to keep the slack out of it so I could stay up on the skis. And then he’d take off again and we’d go around the lake like that.
Camping in the rain. I remember looking out the door of our small camper and seeing him in his yellow rain gear, standing over a roaring fire that he started in the rain.
Going to the big Initiation weekend when we were in the YMCA Indian Guides. I was in elementary school. It was my whole “tribes” first year so we were to be initiated. It was all so mysterious to me and a little scary. After dark we were at a huge bon fire and then went on a run to the next location through the woods and a field to where the initiation would occur. There was a rumor we would have to drink chicken blood. My Dad had Rheumatoid Arthritis pretty severely. And this really slowed him down on the run. He was “jogging” as best he could, really he looked like a “cripple”, and kids to the back of us were complaining about the hold up and how slow we were. It was embarrassing because it was kind of a physical test. Kids who knew me called me out and kept asking why I was going so slow. My Dad told me to run on ahead and he would catch up later. Another kid’s Dad offered for me to run ahead with them. I refused to leave my Dad’s side. He was my Dad and no way would I leave him behind at this moment that seemed so significant to me at the time.
I could go on and on but for some reason, these are the things that came to mind.