One year, mom bought dad a hammock for Father’s Day. As kids, we thought it was the perfect gift, and immediately took it over. I don’t remember dad lying in it–ever. Not because it was filled with kids, but because he was always tinkering, repairing, fiddling (not the music kind), mending or inventing. He always had something on the drawing board.
Here are some cool things about my dad:
#1–He can build things: You think MacGyver was a bad-ass? My dad makes MacGyver look like a Keystone Kop. Give my dad a toothpick, an empty Coke can, a Ziploc bag and a pair of tweezers–and he can make a working, life-size replica of the Red Baron’s triplane. He can build anything from wooden toys to high-tech, space-age cameras. And that’s just in his spare time.
(I picture my dad flying through the air, laughing hysterically.)
#2–He’s an Ultimate Treasure Hunter: Using his Indiana Jones-like intuition, my dad can find pirates’ treasure, Incan gold or my lost library book. He can also determine the value of any item in such a way to make the guys on Pawn Stars look like imbecilic rookies. Arrowheads, dinosaur bones, infamous air pirate D.B. Cooper–there’s a good chance he knows where to find them. It’s entirely possible my dad is D. B. Cooper.
#3–He Never Slows Down: I called my dad on Father’s Day to see what he was up to. Well, he was up a tree, trimming branches at a local museum. Typical dad behavior. Other examples: “Hey, Peri. I just finished making a spinning wheel out of a fallen log (see #1).” Or “Hi, honey. I found a cache of sapphires in my backyard (see #2) and I’m making jewelry to sell at the farmer’s market.”
(A cool marble tower my dad built. He also built the banjo, and probably the cassette player.)
#4–He’s an Expert at Blowing Things Up: Gunpowder is in my dad’s blood. My dad and brother spent copious amounts of time trying to pack explosives into rocket engines. Then they’d blow up the rocket and laugh like maniacs. The 4th of July was Dad’s pyromaniac paradise; as explosions rocked our quiet Utah subdivision, neighbors would hide in their bathtubs praying for July 5th to dawn.
#5–He Finds Value in Everything: Whether it’s an obsidian arrowhead or a wayward child, my dad doesn’t throw anything away. That old woodpile? Not kindling for the fire, but future toy trains, trucks or picture frames. An abandoned church? Nope, a potentially really cool home with all kinds of hiding places for great-grandchildren. Disobedient kids? Well, don’t we all make mistakes?
(My handsome dad and my nephew.)
Thanks for an exciting childhood, Dad! I love you.