It was the spring of 1977, and my dad was on a mission. He wanted to win one of those Dennison Manufacturing college scholarships.
He was 0 for 2. My older brother and sister had been turned down, but he said it was going to be different with me.
I didn't share his optimism.
I was a good glove, average bat infielder with a decent grade point average. Not exactly scholarship material.
He said we would sell them on the dream. How could anyone in suburban Massachusetts turn down the future play by play man for the Boston Red Sox?
His game plan worked. I got one of the scholarships. It wasn't a huge amount, but that didn't matter. It was more about the process than the cash, and I had someone who believed in my dream.
I learned many valuable life lessons from my dad, but it's the goofy moments we shared that I remember most.
One summer, due to a family car problem, my dad and I were forced to ride our bikes to work. It was a 20 minute ride that required us to cross the busiest road in our town of close to 80,000. It was a fairly uneventful ride in the morning. We got started at 5:30 a.m. It was a different story on the way home.
I don't know how we survived that summer. My dad was a shaky bike rider, who wasn't very patient. He was probably just a few steps ahead of Mr. Magoo. I'd say we irritated drivers at least three days a week.
Dad and I also mowed lawns. On this day, we had borrowed by my grandpa's mower, which happened to be his most prized possession. About ten minutes into our ride to the job, my dad hit the brakes, and the next thing we saw was my grandpa's mower rolling down the road behind us. The mower didn't get destroyed, but it got knocked around. I don't know exactly how he explained the damage to Grandpa, but there was no mention of the mower falling out of back of the Sullivan station wagon.
I've also had my share of goofy moments with my girls. I can't remember the exact year, but I think the girls were around 6- and 9 years old. We were playing chase at the park, when I made a game-ending move.
I tried to escape the girls by going down the slide. It still hurts to think about what happened -- I got tee boned by the bar on the slide. Nose hit bar, and I was done.
I can still remember that ride home. I was trying to pretend nothing had happened, and the girls were horrified. I didn't break my nose, but I did end up wearing a band aid on the news for a couple of weeks. Former Channel 4 news and sports anchor Dave Woodman, when asked what happened to my nose, said all he knew was that it involved a bar and two young girls.
Some good, goofy Father's Day memories.
Happy Father's Day!!!