Monday, November 3, 2008

Random Memory

Hey, everyone! I don't want to bump Uncle Rich's pictures of the mallet down - I was so glad to see something new posted on here! But I wanted to share a memory of my Dad, and to encourage others to do the same. I really like hearing/reading stories about him... this blog seems to have been mostly dedicated to pictures so far, but I wouldn't mind some more text.

When Greg and I were pretty young, we'd drive out into Dutch Flat with Dad and go to the playground/tennis courts by the community center. The tennis courts are enclosed by a fence – we would go inside, Dad would shut the gate, and then we would start the game. I think it came from Tintin, but there's no telling, really. It wasn't a complicated game. Dad would start stomping around in a very exaggerated way, yelling "Stop in the Name of the Law" in a very self-important, gargly voice, and Greg and I would run away, squealing.

Sometimes he'd push us on the tire swing. Well, not really push. He'd spin us in circles until we got ridiculously dizzy. He made swings for us out at the cabins, too. The one made of thick wire is still there. It used to have a comfy cushioned seat until some bees decide to make a home in there with the cotton balls. He made us rope swings too, which he would test out first. He was excellent at climbing trees. He could go way out on the thinnest branches, and he would take all kinds of risks. But whenever Greg or I wanted to climb a tree, he'd immediately turn serious and try to pass it off as the most dangerous of pastimes.

A couple of years ago, Uncle Rich and Aunt Chris gave us a bunch of Terry Pratchett books, and Dad absolutely loved them. Back in July, during one of my weekend-visits home, he finally convinced me to start reading one of them. But he wouldn't hand me the book – he had a whole long list of characters and scenes he wanted me to pay special attention to. After I finally started reading, he made a point of checking up on me frequently. He came over to the Big Cabin to make some coffee when I was about 30 pages in. He got very excited, and insisted that I give him the book so that he could see where I was at, and what was coming, and oh, didn't I like that character? And what did I think THAT part meant? And wasn't THIS funny? I could see Mom rolling her eyes from where she was sitting behind him. He tended to "look over your shoulder" as you read a lot, if it was one of his favorite books.

By the way, he was horrible every time a new Harry Potter book came out. It was bad enough that me and Greg had to take turns reading... but with Dad taking a turn too, we all got frustrated! Plus he didn't have school in the morning, so he would always get ahead of us in the story and then hint at all the exciting events to come... oh, it was frustrating!

-- Janet

1 comment:

Remembering Russell Towle said...

It was probably the first time Russell stopped by my house to pick me up for a hike. After a quick greeting in the yard I went inside to get my knapsack and loppers. When I returned outside less than a minute later I did not see Russell by the cars where I had left them. I then noticed the dog standing under and looking up one of the trees in the yard. In that short time I had gone in the house Russell had selected a tree that he believed would give him the best view and had already climbed 40 feet up the tree and was identifying all the far off mountains. I think he was part monkey.