This Sunday is Father's Day

Here is hoping that you and your whole family will be together to share a long weekend with dad, maybe HIS dad will be there as well. My father has been gone now for a couple of years, but of course, I will always have my memories of a man who carried his guitar around the elementary school grounds he worked at, he was a principal for over 3o years. I have a sister who is one year younger than myself, we lived in a modest middle-class neighborhood, and like all families, we celebrated the holidays with great anticipation ( sometimes too much, as one Christmas early morning we both unwrapped ALL of our presents before mom and dad got up )

My little league coach, my dad who carried a clipboard

I remember him on the baseball field, as my coach and dad - carrying a clipboard with I'm sure important notes like "Only play my son if we are ahead by like 100 runs..."  I was one of the worst players on the team, however, on one miraculous swing, I almost hit a home run, missing a round-tripper by inches as the ball bounced off the fence. Standing on second base I captured my dad's look of pride on his face as he lifted his clipboard high in the air ( footnote though, I think I struck out like 36 times in a row after that ).

A moment that still haunts me 49 years later

You know those moments in your life you can't forget, maybe some of them you never want to, but this one is impossible to not see in my worst nightmares - even 49 years later. I was 12 years old. My sister and I had a dog named Andy, a loveable mutt that roamed our backyard, and sometimes would find himself digging a quick hole under the fence for a quick bout of freedom. One day I left his leash on, probably too lazy to take it off him, he escaped once again and was gone for like a whole day. I came home from school this particular afternoon, peered through the kitchen window, and Andy was back! As I ran out to the back, time slowed down, I remember every second as I reached out to touch my dog, whose eyes were like glass. Someone had thrown Andy over the fence, tied part of his leash to the top, and the bottom, leaving him unable to touch the ground...hanging. That very same moment I heard my dad drive into the garage, and as I fell backward in fear, we shared that same frozen shock. The look on my dad's face will never leave me, ever.

A reward that was never collected

I just remember that fliers were printed, police called in, and a reward was put up from my dad for any information, any witness to someone who would murder a family's dog, their beloved pet. We never did find out WHO did it...I only hope that karma caught up with this disgusting filth.

I've never been a father, so I have no idea how much it hurts a parent when their children are in pain

I wrote this article because it is father's day this Sunday, and I want to do my part to recognize all the dads here in Bismarck/Mandan. An early "Happy Father's Day" -  I can't even imagine the millions of times a dad or a mom feels pain when their kids are in anguish. I like to try and focus on the positive things in life, like a dad watching his son standing on second base, the sun beating down on him, basking in the warmth of his father raising his clipboard in pride.



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