I didn’t see my dad much growing up and so the stories I have of him you’d think would be few. But, my dad is one of those people things happen to and everyone likes. He collects people like I collect rocks. He has the most interesting stories of all of the adventures he’s had. He always has a new hobby that usually involves dangerous chemicals and high powered explosions. He’s gone through the rocket phase-this one was documented on Discovery Channel…Dad’s rocket went Mach 2 which equates to about 1500 mph. He also shot a porta potty up in the air because “why not?” Dad went through a phase where he loved making beautiful fireworks. His wife demanded his mixing shed be far away from the house so that if it blew up, it wouldn’t take her antiques with it. Then, airplanes. Dad wanted to fly airplanes, so he built one from scratch in his backyard. When I was little, would fly from Vancouver to Lincoln City on a whim. He also crashed that airplane and ended up buying another-his days of building planes had passed as a new hobby had taken place.
There are moments with my dad that are clear as day. They are ingrained into my mind in technicolor and often are shocking and out of this world. But the ones that I remember most are the quiet ones. I don’t mean literally quiet as in silent because there is nothing silent about my dad. My dad loves nothing more than to hop into his little Mazda Miata sports car and drive and drive and drive. Being in Texas, the roads are straight and go on forever. He turn his music up-typically jazz or blues- and whistles, while tapping his ring (that he made during yet another phase of rock hounding, gem cutting, and jewelry making) on the steering wheel. It’s beautiful, crystal clear, and a bit haunting. I remember falling asleep in the backseat on long drive being lulled into dreams by the whistle and the tap, tap, tapping of the ring. I think this is what I will remember most about Dad. The whistle and the tap.