Quote of the Day: “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Happy Father’s Day to me. We went from OKC to Kansas today so it was a bit transitory but I got my cards and some Under Armour (Protect This House) shirts to include the nice collared one that will likely not leave my body for the foreseeable future.
I remember before the kids were born, this was a very depressing day for me. I wanted kids but we waited 5 years. I think I probably tell this story every year on Father’s Day but oh well. Now I get to reap the benefits of fatherhood which include, you know, gifts.
Seriously, “father” is one of my most cherished titles standing side by side with husband and Marine.
Before we left, Mom wanted to make sure we were packed with food because she’s Mom. We furthered yet another tradition by visiting Jimmy’s Egg, a restaurant that the entire population of Oklahoma City rushes at once. I think they bus in some Texans and Kansas folks just to bump up the wait.
Joining us was Uncle Nick or as he was known, Uncle Bug. Grandma claims it was short for “cute as a bug” but my Mom has a different opinion. He is the youngest of my mother’s siblings, she being the oldest. In between is my Aunt Maria and Aunt Barbara.
Uncle Nick is named after his father and shares his name with Alex (middle name “Nicholas”) whom I named after his great-grandfather. I figured if the boy wasn’t going to LOOK Mexican, he can at least carry the name. I insist that it’s pronounced the Mexican way (neek – O – loss’).
The drive to Arkansas City was memorable. Not because there is much to see (look at a map. A straight shot north from OKC to the border of Kansas). In fact, it’s mostly fields but it’s populated with the memories of my childhood. Innumerable times my mom drove us there as we impatiently waited to see Grandma, playing the ABC game knowing that the only “J” on the entire route was a Stucky’s sign that advertised jelly.
We stopped halfway, in Perry Oklahoma which is where we used to have enormous family reunions. My grandmother is one of 13 kids so all the various branches of the family tree would show up and for a kid, it was indescribable fun and excitement. Everyone there loved you and there were hordes of kids to play with as we took over the block and swarmed from house to house.
In recent years, it attained a certain amount of fame by being the place they caught Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber. I had a relative who was in the guard force leading him out of the jail and into the waiting van when they wouldn’t give him a bulletproof vest and he thought he was going to get shot Oswald-style.
The only person left to visit was my grandmother’s sister, Aunt Virginia and like I have done over the years, I stopped by unannounced. Unfortunately, she was not home and our stop was only for the memories and to show Killjoy a piece of my childhood.
When we got to Ark City, I pulled the rig-o-Truckasaurus with Uranus in tow down the brick streets of the town I was born in. It was Father’s Day, as I’ve mentioned and that meant I should probably go see my Dad.
I don’t get along with my Dad all that well although this would be a surprise to him. He wouldn’t understand that most of what he says flies right into the face of who I have become and our outlook on everything including life itself is polar opposite. But I’m his son and he’s proud of me so I go visit him.
After the visit, we made our way out to my Aunt’s house but they were not there. They had gone over to another house where they were enjoying the pool so when my kids heard that, they went nuts. We unloaded our stuff and made our way over there. (In Kansas, you “make your way” everywhere. Slowly. And rest when you get there.)
Poor Buster had to stay though. With two dogs and a cat somewhere on the Ponderosa, Buster had an olfactory bonanza going on. Unfortunately, he had to be locked up and wait for us to get back and when we did, he got a full dose of annoying little kid brother dog. My aunt’s dog was a little white puff with the energy level of a hummingbird on PCP. At first was like “cool, a little buddy.” But after awhile, it mutated into “get away from me you annoying little ()” (I had to chastise him for using such language. He gets that from Carrie.)
My aunt’s other dog is a big old fat basset hound and once again, I reinforced my wife’s ultimatum that we will NEVER own a female dog because every time I saw that ugly mutt, I would say “Hi Sassy, you ugly bitch!”
It just never got old. Ever!
Today was good. To be a father and to see your father on this day, what could be better?
Free Advice for Today: “The book, the book, the book is all packed, we don’t need no book, let the mother…. burn, burn mother….. burn!!!.”