The above is a picture of my old man back in Dubya Dubya Two, the Big One. I have to say this: that is one cool picture. Growing up, my father and I never got along and I thought he was the biggest drag ever, but even back then I had to hand it to him, that picture is hard to beat. He trained pilots to fly for the Navy, which explains why he’s shown standing in front of a Navy trainer (as indicated by the Donald Duck insignia). He never flew a plane before he enlisted and never did after the war was over, but he showed such an aptitude for flying the Navy kept him stateside to train others to go overseas to give the Nips and Jerrys a little something to remember Uncle Sam by.
The closest thing I have to a picture my kids and future grandkids might be proud of is a shot of me running in a 10K race back in 1985. It looks like I’m about to win the thing, but actually I was in the middle of the pack. The photo catches me right in mid-stride; my hair is flying and it looks like I’m reaching down for that little something extra to put the rest of the field away. It appears I’m just brimming with health, and nobody would ever be able tell from that photo how I had stayed out late the night before and was still slightly hung over from those shots of Jack Daniels I used to drink. However, I wasn’t making the world safe for democracy in my picture like my dad was in his. No sir, far from it.
My father is 87 now and in good health. He stills drives a car, does the yard work, pays the bills, and gets together with my sister, my brother and I once a month to play cards. He and I are always partners when we play and, for the past year or so, we’ve given my two siblings a pretty good pounding on a regular basis. He always needs to be refreshed on the game rules at the start of each session, but then he’s okay. My father and I have been good friends ever since I hit 30, a change in our relationship for which I’ll eternally be grateful. Yep, he’s tops in my book, my old man is. He’s the real deal.
The day before Father’s Day (last Saturday) I made my second annual bike trip from Boston to Provincetown, exactly 125.4 miles. Last year I suffered through it and vowed never to do anything so foolish again; however, on the ferry ride back to Boston, I experienced a change of heart and decided to actually prepare for this year instead of just showing up the morning of the ride in so-so shape. It was this Boston to P-Town tour that kept me pedaling my bike on a trainer in my basement during winter snowstorms, and inspired me to ride a hilly 15 mile route every morning to work and participate in 40-60 mile excursions on the weekends. What a difference being in condition makes! Of course I’m no threat to Lance Armstrong’s legacy or anything, but what a feeling it was to cruise by all the spots I was forced to take a break at last year, especially when leg cramps made it impossible to pedal my bike any farther. And guess what? I’m already looking forward to next year.
That is all.