Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Day Memory

When I was a child both of my parents worked, so once when my Dad went on a short trip out of town, he took me along, but Mom stayed home.  We left the family car with her, packed a single suitcase and took a Greyhound bus across the state to a small town. I was 4 years old at the time, but remember bits and pieces of the trip vividly.  It was before people were in the habit of carrying personal bottles of water, and on the bus ride, I remember telling Dad I was thirsty. He told me to chew a stick of Doublemint gum until we got to a rest stop, and indeed, it helped.
After we arrived at our destination, we spent the afternoon hanging out downtown before later being picked up to spend the rest of our trip with my grandfather.  Man, that was a fun afternoon!  Just Dad and me, bumming around a rustic, sloping, sleepy, concrete town.  We hung out at a soda joint, eating burgers and fries.  We played pinball, which turned out to be one of Dad's hidden talents.  He racked up lots of points in several games, as well as, taught me how to shoot the metal balls to hit the various targets, setting off bells and whistles and lights.  We spent time in a magazine-smoke shop and a record store, plus encountered a charming, elderly lady on the street who recognized Dad and seemed happy to see him.  She referred to Dad as my grandfather's “baby boy,” and I was surprised and delighted to hear it.  We finished off our afternoon, back at the soda shop, sharing a banana split before our ride picked us up.

A few years later, we became a two car family, but nothing tops the trip where we had to board a Greyhound bus, kill time and wait for our ride.  Happy Father's Day to fathers everywhere!
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