Thursday, September 25, 2008


Warning: This post has nothing to do with cycling. Sometimes I need a non-cycling release. Turn away now. Okay, you've been warned.

Outside of a very few people who read my blog, Cathy Jo and maybe a few others, not too many people knew my Dad. Those who did learned to deal with his quirky sense of humor. "How's it hangin'?" was a staple greeting for my Dad at the gas station our family owned. It didn't necessarily matter if you were a man or a woman either, the greeting was almost always on the tip of his tongue.

Some years are harder than others remembering my Dad on his Birthday. Today he would have been 84 years old. As busy as I was today, my thoughts went to my Dad often today. Most of my thoughts were about baseball. He would be enthralled with the Twins as they try to make the playoffs right now.

Dad loved baseball and so did I. I played until I was 19. Then I opted for softball once USD dropped it's baseball program for "Club" baseball. For reasons I didn't always understand, Dad refused to come to my games. He did see me play softball (fast pitch and slow pitch) but never seen me play the sport that I was best at.

He never told me the story himself, but I heard that he was good at baseball as a kid as well. One day he hit a line drive that hit the pitcher and almost killed him. He never played again.

He always tried to take a break from working at out gas station on Saturday to watch a little Saturday afternoon baseball on TV (BC - Before Cable). We listened to our share of baseball on the radio: Dad listened to the Twins, myself the Royals. It was the one really strong bond that we shared.

Dad was a hard working, no nonsense type of guy and fairly non-emotional. The first time I seen him cry was when I left for Desert Storm. The one and only time I heard "I love you" from him was when he was going in for surgery and after I said it first. It was a moment that to this day was important to me though.

He'll be gone six years this Thanksgiving but it often seems so much longer. I learned much from him and also learned some things I didn't want to be as a parent. I know he loved me as my kids know I love them. Unlike my Dad, I rarely miss an opportunity to tell my kids that I love them. For those of you with kids, I hope you don't either.


Briman said...

I lost my dad a year ago, and I'm surprised that I think of him every day. Keeping busy with my sons helps me carry on - and it's good for all of us.
Carry on!

Tez said...

My dad has been gone for 21 years (Easter time) and my mom will have been gone two years at Thanksgiving time. Funny how these things happen around the holidays!

I still think of my dad often. My dad loved to watch me play softball and he was also a good player. He never cared to listen to it or watch baseball on TV even though my mom LIVED for her Cubs and sports in general!

The thing I always find odd is how thoughts / emotions just hit you sometimes out of the blue when you least expect it.

You are a great father & husband!

Twins are now in first place! Cubs are in first place!
All is right with the world!

Unknown said...

We have great memories of your Dad, Charlie especially has lots of fun stories, he loved Cecil's sense of humor and his "how's it hanging line!"

What I remember most about your Dad is how good he was to little kids. We moved to town and the station was basically in our back yard. As soon as Ashley was barely able to talk she would beg us to take her to the station most every day to see Cecil who always had some red licorice to give her.
It was just like Mayberry RFD!

Anonymous said...

I was once told that "pain shared is pain lessened".
Maybe it's true, but I still feel the pain of losing my dad to cancer four years ago. It brought tears to my eyes reading your anecdotes of your parents.
Time does help heal wounds I guess.