Saturday, June 9, 2012

Patris Dies

 This post will also be found in Tehachapi's The Loop Newspaper
Sometimes I seem to have vast holes in my memory. But with Father's Day coming up I've been thinking back to some of the events my Dad and I have shared. My Dad has always had a wide variety of interests. And he helped me develop my wide variety of interests too. 

We'd watch the PBS show NOVA, and be amazed at the cool science going on. And we'd discuss things like Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV show. He also helped me out by keeping track of newspaper and magazine articles about Bigfoot, when I was keeping a map of sightings back in the 70s.

I also remember a hike/picnic he, my brother, and I took out into the desert, I think it was when we lived in Nevada, which means I was very young. And I seriously doubt that it was as long a walk as I seem to remember. And during the walk we discovered a pond, which thinking back was probably some kind of sewage pond, but it was filled with tadpoles and he explained to me about tadpoles and frogs.

As years went by, we'd take trips to places like Carlsbad Caverns and dozens of caves in Arkansas and Missouri. And we went to Glen Rose, Texas to see the dinosaur footprints. And trips to Houston to see the Space Center.

But we didn't share just science. We also shared science fiction. I read a lot in my teens and there was a time when my father was telling a story about how he used to read a lot when he was young. He said something about peanut butter sandwiches and reading out under a tree. He described one of the books he remembered, and I thought it sounded familiar. I then went to my room and took a book of my shelf and asked him if that was the book he remembered. It was.

And we read the books When Worlds Collide, and the sequel After Worlds Collide together. And we both liked the second one better. But that didn't stop us from watching the old movie they made of When Worlds Collide. And he introduced me to other classic movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet.

He was also responsible for the best hamburger I have ever eaten. When I was in tenth grade, I spent two weeks in the hospital on a bland diet, due to a stomach ulcer. Yuck. Well, after that time they decided that the bland diet wasn't really helping, so I was going to go be taken off the bland diet and allowed to go home. Well by the time the decision was made, dinner was over, boiled potatoes and scrambled eggs, just like every meal. But I wanted real food. So my dad went across the street to the Dairy Queen and came back with a burger. And I know it probably wasn't really that good, but still I remember it fondly as the best hamburger ever.

All these things, and many others, like trying to teach me trigonometry and being willing to be the villain in my childhood superhero games, have gone into making me who I am. And for him and all the fathers out there, doing the big, and the little things that make us who we are, I want to say Happy Father's Day.

 (Patris Dies is Latin for Father's Day (at least according to Google Translate).)

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